Hooooo-eeeeeeeeeee!!! Yessirreebob that there was one HELLUVA horse race! That filly’s got guts and heart and the look of eagles all right.
Some quibblers may point out her five-pound weight advantage, to which I reply, look at not only her stumble at the start, but also her outside track through all but the stretch run. She actually covered more ground than Curlin – whose jockey did a neat job of threading the needle to slide through that dicey little hole and get free of the pack.
I’m not going to watch the Ruffian special, though. Just seeing the part in the promo after her surgery, the overhead shot of her thrashing – oh, man, I busted out crying and decided I just couldn’t take it. I cried hard enough when I read her death scene in Ruffian: Burning From The Start, which if you haven’t read it, READ IT! And yeah, have a fistful of hankies ready for her death.
The headstone lists her breeding, breeder, owner, trainer, and racing triumphs. It’s a simple flat marble stone, placed over where she’s buried in the infield of Belmont racetrack where she broke down in the match race against Foolish Pleasure. The All Pedigree site, which shows her superb pedigree (mouse over the tiny horse icon by her name for a picture of her), says:
Looking for the wording on Ruffian’s headstone, I came across this description of her by the legendary horse racing reporter William Nack:
I was at the Belmont, and my throat is still sore from yelling. The crowd loved her when RagstoRiches came onto the track, and the roar from the clubhouse was so loud when the field came down the stretch - unbelievable! I think it was the happiest crowd at Belmont I’ve seen in a long time.
My brother and I stunk up the betting all day, but finally got some action in the Manhattan with BetterTalkNow, and Rags and Tiago in the Belmont. We were so excited about the filly’s performance that we forgot about where Tiago finished. I’m glad to see Tiago did well because his performance in the Santa Anita Derby was phenomenal.
Best announcer quip came in the True North Handicap where Bordonaro (our bet) got pushed to the outside by Keyed Entry’s wide turn. Announcer said “Keyed Entry is taking Bordonaro out to the Long Island Expressway.”
The weather was good, the crowds not too large, great undercard races and a Belmont not to be forgotten - an excellent race day!
I listened to the race on the radio, during the call of the race there was an annoying background sound of horse’s hooves from the start till about 10 seconds from the end of the race when it suddenly stopped and after a second delay, the sound of the cheering crowd took over.
She did win the Triple Tiara, the filly equivalent of the Triple Crown. They mentioned it in the movie as “filly Triple Crown” because the “tiara” usage hadn’t been invented yet.
And, yeah, it was a tear-jerker. They started rolling down my cheeks when they were tacking her up (stupid commercials dissipated that).
Two things I wish the movie had pointed out.
[li]The Janneys did not hesitate an instant to try and save her. The cost was several hundred thousand dollars with a very small chance of success; they gave her the chance.[/li][li]She is the only horse buried in Belmont’s infield – 50 yards from the finish, facing it.[/li][/ul]
On a more cheerful note, how about that Manhattan Handicap? (I hope the link works.) Better Talk Now’s rundown of Cosmonaut and final shakeoff of poor English Channel’s bid was right up there with the Preakness’ Curlin / Street Sense dash at the end. (Of course I had my money on BTN so I can say that) And then >bang< The Rags to Riches / Curlin stretch duel in The Belmont. Despite not producing a triple crown victor (again), I’d say all three races this year were something special. How special was Rags’ victory? Well, as they mentioned on the air, she was the first filly winner of the Belmont since Tanya in 1905. And the only one before her? Ruthless in the inaugural Belmont in 1867.
I don’t know why they had to do that, unless he lumbers in the sprint. A man can sprint 100m (Half a furlong) in less than ten seconds; a thoroughbred cannot. I doubt quarter horses can either. Of course, after that he’d have been left in the dust. A T-bred can clip off two furlongs (400m) in 23 seconds or a bit less. The American record for 400m is 43.18 seconds.
Here are world records for Quarter Horses at various distances, all in yards. For 220 yards it’s 11.62 seconds.
According to this article, “The horse will run one furlong — an eighth of a mile — while Johnson covers half that distance.” So that’s 220 yards for the horse, 110 for the man. No wonder Johnson won, given such a head start; even the finest sprinters in the equine world couldn’t have made up that kind of advantage.
It is possible for a man to outrun a horse over a great distance, though it doesn’t often happen. It happened in 2004 in Wales for the first time in that race’s 25-year history.
the stone lists her name and accomplishments. however under that is a magnificant horse with her face to the finish line. that’s what gets me. she is looking to finish, because she died in the lead.
i’m very happy for rags to riches win yest. i like when the best go head to head colt or filly. i’m very glad her people had her in the race. it is a wonderful win.
yes, ruffian won the filly triple. i do believe she would have won THE triple crown had she been in them. she was the best horse of her time.
and yep, i turned the channel before her final race. i did tune in every now and again during the last half hour, but quickly turned.
it was very nice to see them show her during the credits. it was good to see her run again.