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Coastal winning the 1979 Belmont Stakes (Gr1)
(Photo : Belmont Stakes - Footage : YouTube)
THE BELMONT STAKES
Belmont Park, 5 June 2010
Any mention of the third leg of the American Triple Crown (scheduled for this Saturday afternoon) pricks the ears here at Summerhill. For many years, we were home to the only American Classic winner in the southern hemisphere, the grand old man, Coastal, who at one point ranked as the oldest surviving American Classic winner in the world until his death at 30, in 2006. Such is the reverence with which Americans regard their Classic winners (and especially those of the stature of Coastal, who thwarted the Triple Crown aspirations of no less a horse than Spectacular Bid,) that in his twilight years, the Blood-Horse magazine twice sent a journalist and a photographer to Summerhill, to capture him in his dotage.
This weekend brings together the best of the “stayers” among the American Classic generation, and it’s an interesting observation that the three at the top of the boards are all grandsons of the “Emperor” of United States stallions, A.P. Indy. Right at the top is the horse that chased home Super Saver in the first leg of the Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby, Ice Box, whom many consider to be the unlucky loser of that race.
Tipped to follow him home is Fly Down, impressive winner of the Dwyer Stakes (Gr.2) at his last start, and a son of the Horse Of The Year, Mineshaft. And finally, the horse that’s expected to take them along in the early stages with his very effective front running style, First Dude, (second in the second leg, the Preakness, at his last start), a son of Stephen Got Even, yet another grandson of A.P.Indy.
Summerhill-watchers will know that we’re home to the world’s most accomplished racing son of A.P. Indy in 2008, A.P. Arrow, a millionaire in his own right, whose pedigree is as distinguished as any of A.P. Indy’s most eminent progeny. We look forward to the midnight (Central African Time) call of the starter’s roll for the 2010 Belmont Stakes. Be sure, at Summerhill, there’ll be those maintaining a vigil.
DAVE IN DIXIE
GAME ON DUDE
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