Food for Derby thought: In the 1970s, trainer Lou Rondinello would receive stock to train from top quality stamina sires to prepare for the Triple Crown, but would never work them fast. His nickname?: “Fifty-Two Lou.” His strategy seemed to work out okay with the 1974 Preakness and Belmont winner Little Current, who finished 5th in the Kentucky Derby after being dead last for most of the race.
To date, just 5 stallions who have won the Jockey Club Gold Cup have sired a winner of the same race, with four of them considered to be all-time great sires: Man o’ War (War Admiral, Crusader), Princequillo (Hill Prince), Chance Play (Pot o’ Luck), Sword Dancer (Damascus), and Nashua (Shuvee, who won it twice).
Will Bernardini join that list with son Stay Thirsty [pictured]? (Thirsty’s already repeated history winning both the Jim Dandy and Travers!)
In 1920, only two horses were entered in the second running of the Jockey Club Gold Cup, which at the time was a whopping 1 1/2 mile race. Harry Payne Whitney sportingly sent his Damask to run against the legendary Man o’ War, who defeated the colt under a stranglehold by 15 lengths while breaking the American record for the distance.
September 16, 1978 - The first time two Triple Crown winners met on the track. Seattle Slew shipped west for the first time to face Affirmed in the 1978 Marlboro Cup. Slew won handily by 3 lengths.
This weekend’s Triple Bend Handicap (I) was won yesterday by the brilliant sprinter Smiling Tiger, but lest we forget the real Triple Bend himself in the thrilling 1972 Santa Anita Handicap (I). The start of the race was comprised by gray sprinter Buzkashi vaulting over the rail before toppling over in the infield. The rest of the race pitted Don Pierce on Triple Bend against Bill “The Shoe” Shoemaker on prized California colt Cougar II and highweight Unconscious with Angel Cordero Jr. Watch the race for yourself to see who won.
**Tumblr was being finicky in uploading the video properly and since embedding is restricted, please head to this link to see the video.