Time Flies; and so do Racehorses


The electrifying moves always leave us dumbfounded! We're watching a race that seems like any other horse race when, suddenly, one of the horses accelerates to a level the human eye has trouble comprehending. It's as if all the other horses in the race were somehow relegated to slow motion, yet one of them is on fast forward. Three of the most electrifying moves I've witnessed occurred in Secretariat's Preakness, Seattle Slew's Kentucky Derby, and Arazi's Juvenile. Secretariat's Preakness He was the "buzz" horse a full year before his Triple Crown glory. Everyone was talking about the "big red" horse. In Hollywood it's the blonde bombshells, in horse racing it's the chestnuts! He stood out like a movie star, but ran like a locomotive. Oddly enough, he lost his first race. He was banged around at the start and got rolling too late. He finished 4th. His trainer was supposedly furious and was quoted saying, "This horse should never get beat!" Subsequent performances would have everyone nodding in agreement. His Triple Crown swing introduced the world to horseracing. People who had never before considered watching a horse race were talking about him after that Belmont Stakes. Who can ever forget Chick Anderson's gasp of incredulity, "He's moving like a tremendous machine!", he shouted. Yes, his Derby and his Belmont were fantastic, but his Preakness and the move he made around the first turn are still etched in my mind 45 years later. He always had a tendency to break poorly. Some racetrack people thought it went back to the jostling that occurred in his very first race. The 1973 Preakness was no different. He was squeezed at the start and found himself dead last in a field of six after a hundred yards. Then as they were approaching the first turn, it happened. Turcotte wheeled him to the outside and he quite simply exploded. In the blink of an eye, he went from last to first. It was like the entire field was mired in quicksand and he was some modern day Pegasus. The rest of the race was almost anticlimax. He went on to win easily, but that electrifying move around the field in the first turn will stay in my memory forever.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfWwIyQYkgc Seattle Slew's Kentucky Derby Everyone knows how bad the inside posts are in the Kentucky Derby. If the inside horses don't break on the muscle, they soon find themselves buried behind an outside crush of rolling thunder. Horses do not break poorly from the inside, then rush through the field like drunken sailors, and then remain on the front end to win. That simply does not happen in the Derby; unless you are Seattle Slew. Slew, the number 3 in a 15 horse field, was left at the break. He spotted the entire field 10 lengths, then proceeded to bob and weave his way forward, bouncing off horses like a runaway pin ball right before tilt, and was vying for the lead by the first turn. His dynamic turn of foot from a compromised position should have left him gasping after six furlongs. Not Seattle Slew; he coasted to the front, ran a half in 45 and change, and left the other 14 horses wondering where he went! Seattle Slew went on to future glory as a Triple Crown winner. The first undefeated Triple Crown winner in history. There were many memorable races on his resume. Not the least of which was a second place finish in the 1978 Jockey Club Gold Cup. Yes, I said second place finish. In that losing race he showed more heart and determination and courage than most horses ever show, no matter how many times they win. After fighting through a suicidal pace duel with Affirmed, himself a Triple Crown winner, Slew dispatched Affirmed after a half in 45 and 1/5 and six furlongs in 109 and 2/5. At the top of the stretch he was passed by Exceller, but still found the courage to reengage Exceller and fight him right down to the wire. They ran the mile and a half in 2:27 1/5. One of the most courageous races ever run was run by the horse who finished second by a nose. Even though Seattle Slew's races all qualify as highlight films, the one I will always remember most is his Kentucky Derby. That incredible burst to the front, after being left at the break, was a sight to behold. Every time I watch it I shake my head. Nothing was going to beat Seattle Slew that day!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw-QYkEjVBM Arazi's Juvenile When Arazi went into the gate of the the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in 1991, he was something of a European wonder horse. He had won 6 of his first 7 races in Europe and the last three were Grade 1 Stakes. Handicapping veterans had seen European grass horses fail against American dirt runners in the Breeders' Cup before, so when Arazi drew post 14 in a field of 14 horses, everyone knew he would have to be something special to make an impact. He was made the 2:1 betting favorite based on his European credentials, but a lot of the "wise guys" were leaving him off their wagers entirely. When he broke slow, hopelessly wide in a field of 14, his prospects of winning the race seemed slim. "Looks like another European who can't run on dirt", said the "wise guys". Yes, things did not look good, but somebody forgot to tell Arazi. The next one minute 44 and 3/5 seconds were stamped into racing lore forever. In one of the most breathtaking moves ever seen on the racetrack, Arazi inhaled his competition with ridiculous ease. Weaving through traffic like a commuter late for dinner, he demolished the field. It was one of those I don't believe what I saw moments that had handicappers running to the video screens in hopes of making sense of the replay. They say you have to see it to believe it, but I've seen the video of that race hundreds of times and I still have trouble believing it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNZn919v6BU Three spectacular moves made by three spectacular horses. Alive in memory forever! Attachments area 📷📷 Secretariat wins the 1973 Preakness Stakes Preview YouTube video Secretariat wins the 1973 Preakness Stakes 📷📷 Seattle Slew - 1977 Kentucky Derby Preview YouTube video Seattle Slew - 1977 Kentucky Derby 📷📷 Arazi - 91' Breeders Cup Juvenile Preview YouTube video Arazi - 91' Breeders Cup Juvenile

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