Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Best Horses Ever, in the Mind of a Duck

[Hyperion's Note: My good friend (and occasional lover) Sparky Duck posted the following over on his website Philly Transplant. He was kind enough to allow me to repost it here as well, for all those horse-lovers out there. (Joke omitted about Monkey Barn gals and their "love" of horses)]

This is actually a post idea that I got from a comment on my Kentucky Derby review post of last week. Good ole Hyperion asked a darn fine question. Plus, I think I am going to cross post this post on the Monkey Barn, just to hear what Hyperion thinks.

Hyperion said...

I'm not a big horse racing guy, but I have been watching the Triple Crown religiously for 20 years. I'm curious what the best horse and horse races you have seen.

The best duels were with Easy Goer and Sunday Silence, late '80s I think. The best horse, hands-down, was Point Given. To this day I can't figure out why he lost the Derby (his only loss ever, I believe). Just didn't want to win that one. Man, did he dominate in the Preakness and Belmont

And of course, being Hyperion, he does bring up some great horses to look at. Though of course, me being the duck that I am, I am going to have to quibble just a little bit.

I have been watching races since the early 80s. I still remember winning my family Preakness pool when Forty Niner hit on the board. So, I have lots of races tucked away in my feathery brain.

The best horse ever of course is Secretariat. His Belmont performance was sheer and utter domination. But, Secratariat was even before my time.

The best horse I have ever seen in person was Smarty Jones, but that was not really in a race since it was his retirement workout at Philadelphia Park. By then, Smarty was ready to start shagging, not racing. So, best I have seen at the time would be a tough call, between Hyperion's Point Given and Afleet Alex. Both horses had inexplicable faults in the Kentucky Derby and then went out and won the last 2 parts of the Triple Crown races, stomping the pretenders that had managed to defeat them in the Derby. I would probably give the nod to Point Given, based on bloodlines and his price, but Afleet Alex was also damned special.

Best race ever? Even tougher call, probably because as I watch, I am so impressed by some performances. Afleet Alex stumbling at the start of the Preakness and then cruising to a win. Though the most crushing race in the Triple Crown races at least of my past, has to be Real Quiet losing to Victory Gallop by a nose at the Belmont. My heart just sunk.

And for uplifting, check out what Rags to Riches did in the Belmont last year. While the field was a tad overrated, a Filly winning like that against the Stallions is special.

1 comment:

Hyperion said...

I watch the '73 Belmont at least once a month on You Tube. Secretariat just blows my mind. Did you know he still holds the record on two of the three Triple Crown tracks, and there is some indication he should hold it at the Preakness. (There is a dispute about the time there.)

Darky Spuck, you know way more than I do about horse racing, so I feel daunted in trying to craft an appropriate response, but I'll do my best.