Top 5 Desert Island Races: #1 Smarty Jones

Yes, it’s technically Birdstone’s Belmont Stakes in 2004, but this day —  in defeat — belongs to the people’s champion.  Smarty Jones — hailing from what was then Philly-park — was undefeated, had rather easily won the first two legs on the Triple Crown, and captured the public imagination in a way not seen in decades.

When he turned for home under Stewart Elliot’s premature move, he appeared to be pulling away and the question — for at least a second — was “how much?”  But, then announcer Tom Durkin noted that  Birdstone was commencing a rally, and it became a race against the tiring stretch of the mile and a half and, of course, history.


Top 5 Desert Island Races: #2 Secretariat

So many wonderful places to go with Secretariat.  I love his Canadian International win — he was, impossibly, an even better turf horse.  But, when it comes down to one, it has to be the Belmont Stakes.  Think about it — he runs two 6f sprints without tiring — with a style that should demand a collapse in the stretch.  I don’t know if there is a more amazing performance in sport.

#5: A.P. Indy in the Belmont Stakes, 1992

#4:  Frankel in  the Juddmonte Stakes, 2012

#3:  Cesario in the American Oaks, 2005

#2: Secretariat in the Belmont Stakes, 1973

#1:  Released July 8, 2014 (hint:  It’s from 2004)

Top 5 Desert Island Race: #3, Cesario!

Read #5 — A.P. Indy’s 1992 Belmont Stakes.

Read #4 — Frankel in 2012 Juddmonte Stakes.

#3:  Cesario’s triumph in the 2005 American Oaks at Hollywood Park.

It’s a very impressive race from the Japanese filly, but the call by Vic Stauffer is simply classic.  Starting with a bad post, you don’t see many turf races with this sort of dazzling middle-move.  The video quality is reminiscent of the early days of ADW video, but the call is crisp. Enjoy!

Top 5 Desert Island Races: #4 Frankel

Over the holiday weekend, I’m counting down my top 5 desert island races.  You can view #5 here.

#4 takes us across the Atlantic to watch the amazing Frankel in the 2012  Juddmonte Stakes.  His owners had waited for a promising foal to give  the name of the late, great Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, but no one could of known that he would be this amazing.  Some questions whether he could get the distance going into this race.  He answered them emphatically.  Known for extremely high class, an always-immediate response, variable style, and, as we see in this race, stamina up to 10 furlongs.  Timeform rated him a 147, their highest rating ever.


Top 5 Desert Island Races: #5 A.P. Indy

If I was trapped on a desert island, I wouldn’t want a book or movie with me.  Instead, I’d want a collection of my favorite YouTube races.  I’m going to count them down over the holiday weekend, starting today.

#5:  A.P. Indy’s Triumph in the 1992 Belmont Stakes. This race is a testament to his pure stamina, which he showed both here and in winning the Classic.  A sire of sires, he passed his routing prowess on to his sons and daughters, including the 2007 winner of this race, Rags to Riches.