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Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Match Race

Ah, the Match Race, the head to head dual between two horses popular in the 1800's and early 1930's. The last significant race was in 1975, wherein Kentucky Derby winner Foolish Pleasure raced against the heralded filly Ruffian in New York. With a national television audience watching, the filly broke down shortly after the start of the race and had to be euthanized. Her remains are buried in the infield at Belmont. Other notable Match Races include Man O' War - Sir Barton (1920), Swaps - Nashua (1955), and the most famous Seabiscuit - War Admiral (1938).

Would the Match Race be en vogue in today's environment? Probably not, but it's fun to speculate what would certainly be some interesting duals between champions.

Top 3 Match Races that I'd love to watch:

1) Barbaro v. Invasor - Battle of the Americas at speed favoring Gulfstream Park where Barbaro won the Florida Derby and Invasor, won his last (the 2007 Donn).
2) Secretariat v. Seattle Slew - Battle of the Triple Crown winners of 1973 and 1977…wouldn't that be something to behold…both with Bold Ruler in the bloodlines. Plus Slew was the only Triple Crown winner to defeat another TC Winner (Affirmed in '78 Marlboro Cup)
3) Rags to Riches v. Curlin - Battle of the Sexes II…even Smokin' Joe gave Ali a second chance! This, race fans, would be bigger than anything Billie Jean and Bobby Riggs could cook up…

Feel free to comment on what your fantasy match race would be.

Update to yesterday's feature on La Chica Rica. She received a 96 Beyer Speed Figure from her race on Monday at Mountaineer. You go girl!



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