Another Rout: Spectacular Bid Wins Mervyn LeRoy by Seven


Thirty-nine years ago today, Spectacular Bid received a high weight for the Mervyn LeRoy Handciap at Hollywood Park on May 18, 1980 – 132 pounds – and still destroyed the field by seven lengths en route to his sixth straight win.

Bid lay off the pace as Replant led into the clubhouse turn. Flying Paster stayed with Bid toward the back of the field and moved to the outside of Bid, who was on the rail. Pierce was right where he wanted to be, and Bid was boxed in.

Shoemaker first tried to find room outside Peregrinator, who was hugging the rail in front of Bid, but the colt moved off the rail to block any chance of Bid getting through. Shoemaker waited, and then an opening developed between Peregrinator and Flying Paster.

Shoemaker went for it. Eight lengths behind after the first quarter mile, Shoemaker urged Bid on, and the horse slipped between horses with a twenty-two-second quarter mile down the backstretch. He then had to squeeze his way between Beau’s Eagle and Replant. Replant relented, but Beau’s Eagle hung on.

The two battled neck and neck again around the far turn—Bid on the inside of Beau’s Eagle—but in the homestretch, Bid turned it up a few notches and extended his lead to win by seven lengths over Peregrinator, who closed for second place in the field of six.

The final time was 1:40 2/5, almost a full second faster than the winning time of Affirmed, who had carried only 130 pounds on the same track.

Flying Paster finished fourth; Bid had now beaten him seven times.

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