Monday, March 30, 2020

1901 Horse Racing Recap

Every May and June, the eyes of the horse racing world turn to three tracks in Kentucky and New York as thoroughbreds compete in the grandest competitions of the year.  While no horse was able to compete in all three events this year, history was certainly made by the winners of each event..  Let's take a look back at the races and their winners this year.

1901 Kentucky Derby

With a relatively modest field of five horses participating in this year's Kentucky Derby, most bettors found that the smart money heading into the race was either with Alard Scheck or His Eminence.  The two horses took turns as the favorite in the hours leading up to the race, with the other three horses, Sannazarro, Amur and Driscoll, all seeing much less action.

When the race began, however, Alard Scheck stumbled out of the gate, leaving the door open for the other racers.  Very quickly, His Eminence and Sannazarro took advantage of the misstep by the favorite as they raced ahead of the field.  By the time the race had reached the final turn, it was clear that the race belonged to either His Eminence or Sannazarro.  Both horses exchanged the lead heading down the stretch before His Eminence began to tire slightly.  The brief decrease in His Eminence's pace allowed Sannazarro to move ahead, and he took the lead for good.  Sannazarro increased his lead, and was able to clinch the 1901 Kentucky Derby by two lengths over His Eminence.  Pre-race favorite Alard Scheck would finish fourth, a length and a half behind third place finisher Driscoll.  

Final Race Standings:
Win-Sannazarro (2:05.2)
Place-His Eminence

1901 Preakness Stakes

For the eighth straight year, the Preakness Stakes were being held at Gravesend Race Track in Brooklyn, and this year, five horses were on hand to attempt to win the short, eight and half furlong race.  The Parader was the odds on favorite to win, and received most of the action at the betting windows, but after the win by Sannazarro at the Kentucky Derby, two other horses, the filly Sadie S and Outlander, were also receiving a few looks.

At the start, Sadie S was able to get out to an early lead.  Both The Parader and Outlander were close behind, while Dr. Barlow and The Golden Prince struggled at the back of the main group.  As the horses made their way around the three-quarter mark, The Parader had not only caught up to Sadie S, but had passed her, if only by the slimmest of margins.  The two horses traded the lead back and forth down the final stretch before the jockey of Sadie S gave her one final strong strike with the whip, and pushed the filly ahead of The Parader for the final time.  The two horses crossed the finish line within moments of each other, but it was Sadie S who crossed the line first.  Her half length victory over The Parader made her the first filly in Preakness Stakes history to win the race, and ensured her spot in the history books moving forward.

Final Race Standings:
Win-Sadie S (1:43)
Place-The Parader

1901 Belmont Stakes

After his narrow defeat at the Preakness, The Parader's trainers turned their attention to the Belmont Stakes, where 1900's horse of the year would be waiting.  Commando had won five out of his six races in 1900, and was racing for the first time in 1901.  Despite The Parader's strong showing at Gravesend, Commando was the odds on favorite to take the Belmont Stakes.  Only one other horse, All Green, decided to enter the race, and he was seen as having no chance, and saw very little action from any serious bettors.

Both Commando and The Parader got off to smooth starts, and were running neck and neck with each other for most of the first mile of the race.  As they entered the home stretch, the length of the course seemed to get to The Parader, and he began to fade.  Commando took advantage of this, and pulled away from his competition.  The 1900 United States Horse of the Year eventually would win by four and a half lengths over the game challenger.

Final Race Standings:
Win-Commando (2:21)
Place-The Parader
Show-All Green

Commando, the 1900 and 1901 Horse of the Year.

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