This break in 1994 profiling is brought to you by disbelief. There I was, in the middle of my mid-afternoon malaise, when I noticed this item announcing the Eclipse winning photo for the year. Surprised, I immediately tweeted “There are many more deserving photos than this one”. Othersagreed.
What’s wrong with the winning photo you ask? Nothing. It’s a perfectly nice photo, perhaps too perfectly. In fact I think it’s the image equivalent of a press release. As Patrick points out, it’s not like there aren’t plenty of other photos of Dettori hopping off a horse when he wins.
I’d like to humbly submit the following 20 photos that made an impression on me at some point during this year for your consideration. While I have no idea what the criteria is for an Eclipse award is besides probably, at the very least, being published somewhere other than GbG, I chose shots that 1) were taken this year and 2) felt like solid stand alone images that either spoke to an event this year or what makes racing great overall.
I put this list together relatively quickly and it’s by no means comprehensive. Sorry that I can’t put it in a slide show, they’re not my images!
It’s a tough call if I had to pick one. I love them all but I can narrow it down to Casino Drive with the Anna House kids, Big Brown in the paddock at Monmouth, Evening Attire’s retirement and Larry Jones with Old Fashioned.
What images did you like this year? I’m sure I’ve overlooked some great ones!
Update, check out Patrick’s post… I hadn’t noticed but Juvenile is misspelled!! After thinking about it this morning, I would have to concur with GbG pal and commenter Kevin of Colin’s Ghost on 2 points 1) the pic of Big Brown’s butt losing the Belmont should win and 2) the award should go to a photographer, not a single photograph.
As we saw with the Juveniles, talent and deep fields are also abundant for the 3 year old in 1994. The same caveats apply as before, let me know if something doesn’t look quite right or if you can shed some light on actual race order.
Going in to 1994, Dehere was the Juvenile champion of 1993 racking up an impressive string of accomplishments including being one of the few horses to sweep all 3 Juvenile stakes at Saratoga. Brocco, who had won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and Holy Bull, who was undefeated as a 2yo, had both defeated Dehere. Go For Gin and Tabasco Cat had both also won at 2.
Tabasco Cat kicked off the year by winning the El Camino Real Derby at the now defunct Bay Meadows. This win came only a month after a terrible accident involving trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ son Jeff. According to Wikipedia:
Tragically, in December 1993, Tabasco Cat seriously injured Jeff Lukas who worked for his father as an assistant trainer. In a shedrow accident at Santa Anita Park, the colt broke loose and when Jeff Lukas tried to stop him, the excited horse slammed into him with such force that it fractured his skull and left him in a coma for several weeks. Although he recovered well enough to eventually return to work for a time, he suffered permanent brain damage.
Holy Bull returned as a 3-year-old in the Hutcheson Stakes, winning with a late surge over Prenup and You and I, both of which became Grade I winners. He suffered the first of only three losses in his 16-race career in his next start, the Fountain of Youth Stakes. Holy Bull flipped his palate, causing him to lose his breath, and finished last.
The Fountain of Youth saw the rematch of Holy Bull and Dehere, and while Dehere got a chance to even the score with Holy Bull, it was his last race as he fractured a cannon bone in training. Go for Gin ran a very game second.
San Vincente winner Flyn’ J. Bryan was the favorite in the San Rafael but Tabasco Cat continued his winning ways. Meanwhile, the San Felipe was billed as a match-up against Brocco and Valiant Nature but it was the Burt Bacharach owned colt Soul of the Matter who blew by both of them in the stretch to win. Brocco and Tabasco Cat then met in the Santa Anita Derby where Brocco won the rousing stretch duel between them but Tabasco Cat held on for a game second.
On the east coast Irgun had been racking up wins in the Gotham and the Wood. While out gamed in the Wood by Irgun, Go for Gin won the Preview Stakes at Gulfstream, where he still holds the record for 1 1/16 at 1:41:62. Ironically the race is now known as the Holy Bull, go figure.
Bloomin’ Affair was the 2-1 favorite in the Arkansas Derby but it was Concern, who went off at 19-1, that made an impressive run from a distant last to win and pay $43.40. Bloomin’ Affair had run second to last and was right there with Concern but couldn’t get past him.
At Keenland Holy Bull cemented his position as the Derby favorite with an easy win in the Blue Grass, but it was not meant to be in the Derby. Go for Gin got the lead on the sloppy track and never looked back. Holy Bull, who finished 12th, skipped the last two races of the triple crown.
A thrilling stretch duel between Tabasco Cat and Go for Gin was the highlight of the Preakness with the win going to Tabasco Cat. Going into the Preakness super trainer Lukas, in addition to his son still recovering from his devastating injury, was in a quite a slump.
Lukas, who led the nation in purse earnings every year from 1983 through ’92, had lately been mired in the worst slump of his career. He hadn’t won a Grade I stakes race since October 1991. Yet here he was at Pimlico, clinging to the hope that Tabasco Cat, who had finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby, could somehow find a way to overcome Derby winner Go for Gin and eight other contenders in the 1 3/16 mile Preakness, the second leg of racing’s Triple Crown. “It’s a funny thing about these classic races,” he said to a companion. “We all analyze them, but they almost never turn out the way we think they will.
Strodes Creek, who was second in the Derby, was the favorite in the Belmont. Go For Gin got the lead early while Tabasco Cat tracked in second with Strodes Creek not too far behind. When Go for Gin started to run Tabasco Cat went with him and Strodes Creek did not. The second Triple Crown stretch battle between Go for Gin and Tabasco Cat ensued with Tabasco Cat winning again.
During the Triple Crown Holy Bull had taken the opportunity to get acquainted with older horses for the first time winning the Met Mile (replay will be in the Older Horse post, coming soon). He then returned to race against 3yos in the Dwyer on July 4th but only 3 turned up to challenge him making it an easy win.
Tabasco Cat returned in the Jim Dandy, but couldn’t catch Unaccounted For, who also won the 1995 Whitney. Holy Bull narrowly kept his winning streak alive in the Haskell and the Travers where he held on to defeat a super game Concern.
Fountain of Youth:
Santa Anita Derby:
It’s relatively easy to dig up information on the 3yo Colts and Derby Trail in general, but the same can’t be said for the 3yo of Fillies 1994. And from what I can tell it wasn’t like it was a slouchy crop. Even with the 2 meager replays I could scrounge up, it’s easy to see that these were talented Fillies.
Lakeway, who placed in both the Oaks and Alabama (below), still holds the record in the Las Virgenes and Mother Goose! (Rachel Alexandra recently broke her Mother Goose record)
Stable mates Inside Information, who won 7 of 8 starts in 1995 including a runaway win the 1995 Distaff and Heavenly Prize, who ever finished out of the money in her 18 starts, were also 3yos in 1994.
1993 Juvenile Champion Phone Chatter sat out most of the year with an injury but Sardula, who placed to her in the 1993 BC Juvenile Filles, won the Oaks. All but Sardula went on to race at 4, apparently she was euthanized at the end of the year due to a painful bone disease (click in the info icon). Here is her lifetime past performance. She was owned by Ann and Jerry Moss, Zenyatta’s owners.
It’s hard to write up an account without really seeing the replays, perhaps I’ll be able to do it in the future if more replays turn up. With folks like partymanners literally adding videos daily I’d give it a 9/2 shot that more will turn up over time!
See how our talented crop of 3yos faired against older horses in the next post in the series. Did you see any of these races? What did you think of these Colts and Fillies at the time? How have they measured up to the test of time? Let us know what you think!
1994 was not wanting for talented 2 year olds or competitive fields, that’s for sure.
Before we get started there are a few small caveats to keep in mind that apply to the entire series. In fact, I will probably mention them in every post just make sure you’re paying attention!
I’ve tried to display race replays and compile the list of races in chronological order starting with the beginning of the year. I was rarely able to find an actual date as opposed to a “usually run in the late fall” or “run in the beginning of march”. My goal was try to lay out the racing year as it unfolded. Please leave a comment or contact me if you can help put these races in the right order! Distance and race grade reflect the race in 1994 and again, if you can help correct any errors, let me know.
This is clearly and by no means a complete record, it’s what I could put together over the weekend. If there’s a race you’d like to see listed, let me know and I’ll see what I can track down. I’d love for it to be as complete as possible.
Let’s start off with the Colts. On the east coast you had Montreal Red. By the time racing was nearing an end at Saratoga he was undefeated in 3 races and poised to make history if he could win the Hopeful by becoming one of the few horses to sweep the 2yo series at Saratoga. He had won the Sanford and the Saratoga Special but the Hopeful was not to be for Montreal Red as he placed to Wild Escapade (wish I could find that replay!). He did go on to win the Futurity at Belmont.
On the west coast there was Timber Country, the first horse to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and then go on to win a Triple Crown race (the Preakness). In the fall he was sent east to compete a rousing rendition of the Champagne, check out that field size!
Not only did you have Montreal Red, the east coast buzz horse that had only been defeated once coming off a win in the Futurity, but there was the undefeated west coaster On Target in the mix as well as Hopeful winner Wild Escapade and Mr. Greeley (who really didn’t do much at 2). Timber Country had to fight for it but he secured his spot as the favorite going into the Breeders’ Cup.
The 1995 Derby winner, Thunder Gulch, improved as the year went on winning the Remsen in the late fall. West Coaster Afternoon Deelites also made the end of the year interesting capturing both the Hollywood Prevue and the Hollywood Futurity. He still holds the record for the Futurity at 1:40:74.
As for the Fillies, I have one word. Flanders. She’s one of the best kept secrets of 1994 and if I had to pick the most impressive horse of 94, it would be her. She had both speed and guts, digging down to repel bids and win stretch battles like an old war horse.
Going into the Spinaway, her firsts stakes race, Stormy Blues was the big buzz horse from the same barn as Montreal Red. Flanders broke quickly and was able to get the lead. Favorite Stormy Blues and Adirondack winner Seeking Regina sat off of her grueling pace but were “never gonna catch her today” as Durkin put it. She still holds the record at 1:23.
In the Matron, Flanders makes the lead early but sets a more moderate pace. Stormy Blues and Phone Caller both move on her at the top of the stretch and for a moment it looks like Flanders isn’t going to be able to hold on. She digs down and not only repels the bid of Stormy Blues, but finds enough to pull away and win by 2 or 3. Impressive.
Not too many takers in the Frizette, and Flanders easily crushes the 4 horse field by almost 20. On the west coast the impressive Serena’s Song was revving up by winning the Landaluce and Oak Leaf to make sure Flanders had some competition by the time the Breeders’ Cup rolled around.
Serena’s Song and Flanders shared two things beyond their talent, they both had similar running styles and they were both trained by D. Wayne Lukas. Flanders never ran again after the Breeders’ Cup. Given what Serena’s Song went on to do, one can only wonder what Flanders might have been able accomplish given the chance.
Serena’s Song winds up the year with a win in the Hollywood Starlet. Stay tuned to see how how our Juveniles fared in the Breeders’ Cup (the last post in the series). The next post will be 3yos.
GbG pal and frequent commenter Jason has some excellent photos from 1994, and all of the 90s for that matter. I’ll be featuring them on my posts but you can see them all here.
Were you there? Was 1994 as fantastic as it looks? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you… share some of your racing history, won’t you?
Several weeks ago I ran into Ernie after work. One of the first things he said to me was “that poll was hard”, something I underestimated.
Given that we’re now entering the final year of this decade, I would imagine that it’s easier to remember horses rather than the year as a whole as pointed out by GbG pal and commenter Carol.
1994 won by nose over 1997 with 6 votes to 97’s 5. 1998 & 1995 were not far behind with 4 apiece. What made 1994 so great? There were a LOT of good horses and plenty of competition. It wasn’t just Holy Bull, there was Concern, Sky Beauty, Flanders, Serena’s Song, Timber Country, Tabasco Cat, Colonial Affair, Montreal Red, Thunder Gulch, Lakeway, Lure, Paradise Creek, Cherokee Run and Cigar bursting on to the scene.
I spent the last few days tracking down replays and trying to recreate 1994 (while living in fear that all of a sudden 1997 would get a few more votes and win sending me back to drawing board). I had originally intended to do a single post but given the surprising amount of replays and information scattered around the interweb, I decided to break it up by division (for the most part) and do it as a 5 part series to round out the year.
Chantal Sutherland prepping for a days work while enjoying a GURU Energy Drink (GURU Energy Drinks)
Earlier in the year I was able to be of some assistance to the fine people of GURU Energy Drink in their quest to track down the talented and stunning Chantal Sutherland. It all worked out in the end and I even ended up being the lucky recipient of some of their product, which I must say is both delicious and unjanglingly energizing.
Recently my pals at GURU got in touch to say hi and, as promised, forward on this photo of Chantal prepping for a day at work while enjoying a refreshing GURU Energy Drink (points for the matching helmet, nail color and beverage can). As indicated earlier, I think she could sell a beverage, no?
Recently the topic of marketing has been racing around the blogosphere (har har) like a house on fire! Winston… Not Really made a great point the other day about using jockeys to market racing. And not only semi-naked ones! I totally agree with him and added several examples of “hot” images of jockeys that don’t involve bikinis, oil or lip licking.
These are just a few examples of jockeys looking alluring in a contextually appropriate setting that actually references racing, thus tying the sex appeal to the racing. Sure, the brazen approach might work, but this kind of ad seems more likely to send a guy to his favorite porn site rather than the track.
It’s funny that Michael Iavarone is in the news today because there was a send up of him on a new series on TNT called Leverage last night. The episode features a hedge fund manger turn race horse owner looking to create a hedge fund of horses. Sound familiar?
Throw in some insurance fraud, losing a horse in a poker game, and fake southern accents and you’ve got yourself a fine hour of mindless mainstream media entertainment. My favorite part was how the horses had microchips implanted in their necks and an ID number associated to their record in the Jockey Club database. Horses were effortlessly identified by using hand held readers. I believe both Ernie and Winston, not really have made SAFC submissions about just this sort of thing.
It’s not up yet, but you’ll be able to watch the full episode at TNT.tv. It just aired last night so they still only have the preview:
It’s a shame that the preview is mostly about the annoying characters. On the upside, it was shot primarily at the track, and while not on par with Mommie Dearest, the Iavarone send up certainly has it’s campy entertainment value!
Note: this picture is not of the authoress of this site. (birdnest1384)
You’ve probably just walked in from doing all of your holiday shopping, making this list a mute point. But if you’re like me, you’re gonna wait till the last damn minute. Also, if you’re like me, you’re not gonna leave your house to shop. I think Amazon should use the following clip as advertising for why one should stay home to shop:
Here at GbG, we like to support our industry’s independent content creators. And with the recent spate of trade and mainstream media lay-offs, we’re expecting more independent content to support (and enjoy).
Let’s start with independent films. There’s a lot to choose from in this category and at the price point there’s no reason not to get all three! The First Saturday in May, Lost in the Fog and Women in American Racing are perfect stocking stuffers. I’ve seen the first two and both are great. Mother GbG ordered Women in American Racing for me and I’m using all my restraint to not unwrap and watch it (no doubt I will have watched by this time next week).
The First Saturday in May
Lost in the Fog:
Women in American Racing
You have may have noticed that there are a LOT of great photographers shooting racing. GbG would just be a bunch of boring words without their help. While I don’t know that all of them sell prints, you can always ask! I believe Charles Pravata and Sarah K. Andrew sell prints, but there’s also Raymond Haddad, Jason Moran, Bud Morton and new comer/old timer Walter Kobbe. Now that’s a classy present!
Looking to get more involved in racing? Why not give yourself the gift of ownership and join a partnership! There are several small, affordable, independent stables that just happen to be members of the TBA, which means you can read their thoughts and insights on racing and determine if they’re the type of people you want to do business with. My guess is that they are.
Moving from the independent to the unique, I’m a big fan of eBay present getting and giving. A quick twirl around eBay this morning uncovered the following.
Wanna spend the big bucks on that Sunday Silence fan? You’re in luck, the 1990 Hollywood Gold Cup saddle cloth worn by Sunday Silence is up for auction, currently at a mere $4,999. The good news is no one has bid on it, so perhaps it will be relisted. I have no idea if that price is reasonable for memorabilia of this caliber, but here’s the race. Sunday Silence gives 1990 horse of the year Criminal Type a run for his money and places by what looks like a nose, very exciting. Imagine the price if he had won!
From one of the highlights of this summer, Little Belle’s saddle cloth from the Alabama is available, starting bid $.99… and no one has bid on it! The auction ends on Thursday so I doubt it will stay low for that long, but I’m watching it just in case. Little Belle was one of the many talented distaffers this year. Here she is showing to Proud Spell and Music Note after setting a very “deliberate” pace, as Durkin puts it.
With only 2 hours and change left to this auction, you might have a chance to own alleged Derby history with Whirlaway’s supposed horse shoe up for auction. The inability to authenticate it is no doubt keeping the price low, currently at $82, but an additional bid has come in since I spotted it this morning, so it might climb up a bit more. It would be very cool if it were in fact the real deal but one could probably never prove it. Fun item nonetheless. Update: it ended up going for $262, an absolute steal if the new owner could manage to authenticate.
From the price is right department (no E, I’m not talking about your beloved Bob Barker), there’s a groovy 70’s Preakness patch currently at $4.99 with no bids. It ends in 4 hours but I would imagine it would be relisted if there are no bids.
Thanks to Equidaily, Paulick Report, Pull the Pocket and Raceday 360 for sending so many holiday shoppers over here to the GbG eBay shopping bonanza! Since several of the listed items have ended, I’ve added some new ones for your potential shopping enjoyment.
Why not bundle this next item with Lost in the Fog? It’s a Russel Baze “I was there #9351” Pin currently listed at $.99. It was given away on the day Russell Baze broke the record for most wins by a North American jockey. Russell Baze was Lost in the Fog’s jockey.
History buffs should prepare to freak out… 1773 Sporting Calendar described as “The Sporting Calendar: Containing an Account of the Plates, Matches, and Sweepstakes, That Have Been Run for in Great-Britain, Ireland and North-America in the Year 1773. (Volume 5) by Thomas Fawconer” currently $200(ish, it’s in GBP).
And how about a couple of items for our harness racing friends? There’s the 1931 American Sportsman featuring 1930 Hambletonian winner Hanover’s Bertha currently at $14.99 and a First Edition 1949 “Horses of Destiny” by Fairfax Downey and Paul Brown currently at $25.29 to name a few.
Literally. I was going to write a “holiday gift idea” post tonight a la Geno but puttering around the internet got the best of me. During this time, I had the fortune to find a stellar flickr set entitled ‘”Champions” – From the DRF Book‘ by Festin2008.
Serendipitous because Ernie had just pointed this book out to me earlier in the week, along with the American Racing Manuals (25 lbs of them showed up on my door step today!).
The photo set is incredible. Many greats from the late 80 and 90s including Azeri, Ashado, Alysheba, Bayakoa, Speightstown, Groovy, Housebuster, Easy Goer, Ghost Zapper, Personal Ensign and more.
Check it out and come back later for some gift ideas. Until then, here’s Cigar’s 1995 Woodward, pictured above.
As you may know, the Race Track Industry Program’s annual symposium is currently going on (december 8th – 11th). Normally you’d have to wait for someone to file a story, or a pal to send an email after they got back to their room, assuming they didn’t get too drunk at the cocktail party. But this year you have a variety of ways to follow along thanks to phones, twitter, RSS, widgets, chron jobs and symposium participants’ will to blather!
If you don’t feel like visiting that page all afternoon long, which is when most of the action is happening, you can grab the RSS and let it come to you. Jessica has also set up a few ways to get the info. She’s got a page that pulls in all the tweets plus articles and a widget that pulls in all tweets with #RTIP (I’ve got one over there underneath my twitter thingie).
It’s fun to watch the comments in real time. During the “A Perspective for Racing – So Who in the World Thought Selling Shoes Online Would Work?” panel DeRosa tweets:
Racing does none of the stuff Zappos.com does to provide great service
Perhaps. But the numbers do show that racing is still a factor in the racino world
DeRosa, no doubt powered by caffeine and an iphone given his ability to file stories in near real time, recounts the panel here.
These are just some of the small samples of stuff coming out of the symposium, and it’s going on for 2 more days. If you have a chance to hang around the internets tomorrow, I’d definitely peak in on the conversations and even join in if you’re so inclined.
I didn’t forget about blogging. Well, maybe a little but I’m going to try to play some catch up tonight.
The other day I was over at YouTube and noticed that NYRA added 3 new Jockey Cards… Jackie Davis, Maylan Studart and Ramon Dominguez. As always, very enjoyable.
For some reason I was also at NYRA.com, perhaps to start planning my Saratoga trip based on the new stakes schedule, and I noticed the following promotion: “What’s important to you? Help create an enhanced NYRA.com”. It’s a survey to find out what you, the user or potential user of NYRA.com, finds important. In addition to answering their questions, there’s also a spot for you to freestyle. Want better navigation, a less cluttered homepage, or the ability to search? Here’s your chance to tell them.
As you can guess, I have a lot say on this matter as a fan of New York racing, an internet geezer and someone who’s already dispensed some free advice on the subject. I’ve got a draft of my input/feedback that I plan on posting here when I finalize it (some day). But get over there, tell them what you think! User input is a crucial part of any site redesign.