Thursday, June 04, 2015

"An unbelievable, an amazing performance"

The Belmont Stakes is on Saturday (post time 6:50 Eastern, 3:50 Pacific), and because American Pharoah has won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, there's some hope that, for the first time since 1978, there might be a Triple Crown winner. And there's a lot of ink being spilled about what has to happen for American Pharoah to win. Here's a typical article, talking about the track, the jockeys, how you have to pace the horse. There are trainers talking about their horse and rider losing focus or never having it in the first place, where a favorite took off after a very fast pace horse and ran out of gas.

Of course there is that one exception to every rule: Secretariat. All Ron Turcotte had to do was make sure he had a clear path. They went for the lead on the first turn, which is maybe a furlong past the gate. He went head-to-head with Sham, briefly falling a neck behind, but in retrospect, well, Secretariat was just toying with the other horse. He never gave up the lead and just drew away from the field. His world record time of 2:24 for 12 furlongs on dirt is still standing.

Chic Anderson, the caller, termed it "the most sensational Belmont Stakes in the history of the race." He was right.

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