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… Read More »Another Rout: Spectacular Bid Wins Mervyn LeRoy by Seven

    Triple Crown Near-Misses: Native Dancer Misses Perfection by a Head

      I’m sure that when Native Dancer was at stud, he often woke up in a cold sweat after dreaming about Dark Star. Dark Star was the only horse ever to beat Native Dancer; it just happened to be in the Kentucky Derby. Nicknamed “The Gray Ghost,” Native Dancer won all 9 of his races as a 2-year-old in 1952, earning him Horse of the Year honors. He won the Gotham Mile and Wood Memorial leading up to the 1953 Derby,… Read More »Triple Crown Near-Misses: Native Dancer Misses Perfection by a Head

      Triple Crown Near-Misses: Middleground Gets No Respect

        Even though Middleground won two of the three jewels of the Triple Crown in 1950, most of the attention that year centered on Hill Prince, who was supposed to sweep the series with ease. The horse had won 6 of 7 starts at age 2 and had won the Wood Memorial. Middleground was an afterthought, a horse with bad ankles who had finished second five times that year – three times to Hill Prince, who had dominated the early prep season. So… Read More »Triple Crown Near-Misses: Middleground Gets No Respect