Wednesday, November 11, 2020

1904 Horse Racing Recap

 As the spring of 1904 rolled along, horse racing's Triple Crown races were run once again.  Unfortunately, no horse was able to claim all three races, but the events had no shortage of drama whatsoever.  Who was able to ride their way to victory?  Read on to find out.

1904 Kentucky Derby

The Field (Odds in Parenthesis):
Elwood (15-1)
Ed Tierney (1-1)
Brancas (7-2)
Prince Silverwings (7-1)
Proceeds (1-1)

There were three clear favorites coming into the Kentucky Derby, as Proceeds, Ed Tierney and Brancas all saw heavy action at the betting windows.  Though there was slight action on Prince Silverwings as an underdog, very few saw Elwood, with 15 to 1 odds, as much of a threat to compete in the Derby.

When the race began, Ed Tierney and Proceeds quickly jumped out to the front of the pack, but Elwood was quick to join them, shocking most of the spectators.  The three leaders increased their lead on Prince Silverwings and Brancas, who were beginning to fall even further behind.  As the horses passed the half mile mark, there was very little to separate the three horses running at the front of the pack.

The crowd reached a fevered pitch as Ed Tierney, Proceeds and Elwood raced down the stretch stride for stride with each other.  It seemed as if nothing would allow any of the three to distance themselves from the others, and as the race reached its end, that's almost what happened.  The three horses crossed the finish line within a split second of each other, and when the dust settled, it was determined that Elwood had crossed the finish line just moments before Ed Tierney, and just a few more moments before Proceeds.  The most unlikely of horses had won the closest finish in Kentucky Derby history.

Final Race Standings:
Win-Elwood (2:07.02)
Place-Ed Tierney

Elwood, winner of the 1904 Kentucky Derby.

1904 Preakness Stakes

The Field (Odds in Parenthesis):
Bryn Mawr (3-2)
Wolan (7-1)
Dolly Spanker (7-2)
Careless (15-1)
Baseful (20-1)
Alforten (20-1)
Flammula (5-1)
Possession (60-1)
Lord of the Valley (100-1)
Pentaur (60-1)

A large field of ten horses came to the Preakness Stakes with hopes of winning the second jewel in the Triple Crown of horse racing.  While some horses, like Lord of the Valley, Possession and Pentaur seemed to have no chance at all of victory, there were some favorites.  Bryn Mawr was seen as the odds on favorite to take the race, but hopefuls Dolly Spanker and Flammula, as well as Wolan all hoped to take the top prize for themselves.

When the race began, Bryn Mawr managed to jump out quickly to the front of the pack.  Wolan, Dolly Spanker, Careless and Baseful formed a second pack, all trying to catch Bryn Mawr, while the remaining horses, save for Flammula, were all struggling to keep up with the pace of the field.  Bryn Mawr's lead only increased as the race reached its halfway point. 

In the secondary field, Flammula had caught up to the pack, while Wolan, Dolly Spanker and Baseful were starting to fall slightly behind.  Bryn Mawr's lead increased as he came around the final bend, and the strong horse won going away.  Careless's strong race earned him a second place finish, while Flammula finished well and crossed the finish line in third.  Wolan's disappointing day ended with a fourth place finish just behind Flammula, and Dolly Spanker finished fifth.

Final Race Standings:
Win-Bryn Mawr (1:42.2)

1904 Belmont Stakes

The Field (Odds in Parenthesis)
Delhi (1.6-1)
Graziallo (6-1)
Rapid Water (3-1)
Conjurer (7-1)
The Southerner (20-1)
Ostrich (20-1)
Leonidas (6-1)
Robin Hood (15-1)

Following in the footsteps of the Preakness, the Belmont Stakes saw eight horses enter the field, all with dreams of winning and gaining glory for themselves and their owners.  Much like the Preakness Stakes, the Belmont saw a few heavy favorites, with Delhi and Rapid Water seeing most of the action.  Other solid choices included Graziallo and Leonidas, while Robin Hood, The Southerner and Ostrich were seen as longhsots to win.

It didn't take long for Delhi to get a lead, as he started from the gates very quickly.  Rapid Water was right on Delhi's heels, with Conjurer and Leonidas behind him.  In the back of the field, Ostrich had struggled to get out of the gates and was well behind, while Robin Hood and The Southerner weren't faring much better.  Early race favorite Graziallo found himself in between the two packs and was sitting soundly in fourth place as the race reached its halfway mark.

As the horses came down the final stretch, Delhi seemed to find a second wind, and the lead horse surged even further ahead of the rest of the pack.  Though Rapid Water would mount one final comeback, the effort was for naught, and Delhi would claim the Belmont Stakes.  Rapid Water crossed the finish line in second, while Leonidas would just beat out Conjurer for third place.  Graziallo finished his day in fifth place, and The Southerner, Robin Hood and Ostrich rounded out the final three spots.

Final Race Standings:
Win-Delhi (2:05)
Place-Rapid Water

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