The Brock Talk

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Preview of The Graveyard of Champions

The opening of Saratoga is indeed a hallowed day for racing enthusiasts for two most contrasting reasons. We anticipate the 36 days of great races run by some of the best horses in some of the most prestigious races. We also somehow can not surpress our facination that the Spa is also known as the Graveyard of Champions or the Graveyard of Favorites.

For it is Saratoga that gave us one of the great sports terms of all-time as Upset became the only horse to ever defeat Man O' War in the 1919 Sanford Stakes at Saratoga. Man O' War owner Samuel D. Riddle did not collect the winner's share of the $4,900 purse for the only time in the big red colt's 21 career starts.

Another big red colt suffered one of his only defeats at Saratoga when Onion defeated Secretariat in the 1973 Whitney Handicap at .10-1 odds at Saratoga and Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox lost to Jim Dandy in the 1930 Travers Stakes at odds of .50-1.

Jim Dandy is the namesake of Saturday's grade 2 stake that will act as a local prep race for the $1 million Travers Stakes on Aug. 27. The $500,000, 1-1/8 race will feature the top three finishers from the Dwyer Stakes in Kensei, Convocation, and Warrior's Reward, pllus Peter Pan winner Charitable Man and perhaps the return of Saratoga Sinner, who is making his first start since winning the grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park in January.

Although the Jim Dandy comes up light against the $1.25 Haskell at Monmouth Park this weekend with Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra and Belmont winner Summer Bird, it will in all likely hood provide a possible "upset" in the Travers should all three Triple Crown race winners meet in the Travers as expected. Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird is also running this weekend in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby in preperation for the Travers.

Should all three run, it will be the first time since 1982 that the three winners of the American Classics have run in the Travers. That year longshot Runaway Groom defeated Preakness winner Aloma's Ruler and Belmont winner Conquistador Cielo who were second and third. Derby winner Gato Del Sol was fifth.


brad said...

Always love the spa....

FrankB said...

This is my favorite time of year. I love tracking the babies.

Waquiot said...

As you know Brock our leader Jeff has a house rented from Aug.4th to the 18th. Everyone is invited just bring beer and gamblin money.

Brock Sheridan said...

If there was any way I could make it to Saratoga, I'd be there.