Sep 29th 2008 12:46 am |
Curlin’s win Saturday in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park puts him in prime position to repeat as Horse of the Year. Since 1936, when the Horse of the Year was officially recognized by the Daily Racing Form, seven horses have won multiple HOY titles. Here is the list:
1941/42 – Challedon
1943/44 – Whirlaway
1960/61/62/63/64 – Kelso
1972/73 – Secretariet
1974/75/76 – Forego
1978/79 – Affirmed
1995/96 – Cigar
Quite a list of champions. A second Horse of the Year award for Curlin would put him in elite company. Let’s hope he finds the new surface at Santa Anita to his liking.
Where does Curlin stand among recent champions? I would suggest Travis Stone’s interesting post on his racecalling blog: “How good is Curlin?”. I agree with him 100% that “Money is a poor variable to distinguish historical placement and significance.”
I made the trip up the turnpike on Saturday. The crowd at Belmont Park, as noted by others, was small but enthusiastic. Sure, I would like to see bigger crowds at the track but name another sport where you can pay $2 and have a front row seat to watch a superstar. I could hear Curlin’s hoofs hitting the ground as he passed Wanderin Boy in the stretch. Unbelievable!
Here are a few images from Saturday:
Check out some beautiful images of Curlin’s JCGC win by real photographers at flickr
For a full recap of the day, check out Brooklyn Backstretch
Thanks for Reading and Good Luck!