Historical PPs -- Boy is the game different than it used to be..... (365 Views)
Posted by: Socalman3
Date: March 24, 2020 12:46AM
was just looking at some old PPs and it is truly remarkable how differently horses used to be campaigned, the following is all Whirlaway --
1) ran 16 times as a 2yo -- the first 14 were all sprints, only the last two were routes in November -- both at Pimlico -- yes Pimlico used to have a November meet.
2) after 5 sprint prep races in February, March, and early April (no stakes -- all allowances and one handicap) -- he ran 7 races in 8 weeks and 3 days as follows:
April 24 - Blue Grass - Keeneland -- 9 furlongs - ran 2nd by 6 lengths in a 4 horse field on a muddy track
April 29 - Derby Trial -- Churchill -- 8 furlongs (presumably one turn) -- ran 2nd in a six horse field
May 3 -- won the Derby by 8 lengths against 10 horses.
May 10 -- won the Preakness by 5.5 lengths against 7 horses
May 20 -- back to one turn, ran a mid-week allowance against older horses at Belmont -- 1 and 1/16
June 7 -- won the Belmont
June 21 -- won the Dwyer -- then run at 10 furlongs
he still had plenty more to go in his 3yo campaign, but his races were more sanely spaced (although nothing still like spacing today).
3) In his 4yo debut, on April 9, 1942, in the Phoenix Handicap, run at 6 furlongs - he spotted a precocious 3yo 14.5 pounds (no typo - the 3yo carried 113.5) -- Whirlaway lost to the 3yo by a head -- the 3yo went on to be the Derby favorite -- at 9-5 in a field of 15 horses. So yes, the 1942 KY Derby Favorite had actually beaten the prior year's TRIPLE CROWN WINNER in his only prep for that year's Derby. Ironically, he ran a lackluster 6th.
I do recall 30-40 years ago 3yos running against older horses -- Conquistador Cielo and Gulch in the Metropolitan Mile as a prep for the Belmont come to mind -- but they were outliers by that time.
My fandom of horseracing started in the mid-1970s -- the DRF used to run non-equine stories on the front page on rare occasions -- one was when there was a big move in the price of newsprint (which usually presaged a drf price increase) and the other was when the annual figures came out on spectator sports and horseracing was always the number one spectator sport in America. Boy have times changed -- who cares about the price of newsprint?
Also, anybody here remember listening to news radio for the races results and they would read out the results and the prices? I loved it when I horse would pay more to show than to place -- and they would say -- "prices okay" -- so you knew it wasn't an error and the prices just came out odd.