August 23rd, 2007

A Decade of Superlative Steeds

I watched this live, but I didn't understand what I was watching:
A list of the 100 worse "beatdowns" on ESPN.com today inspired me to watch. It really is hard to imagine a more thrilling performance. What struck me the most, though, was seeing how buoyant the horse was afterwards. He seems to be acknowledging the applause. Hard to know what motivates a horse to keep going faster when there's nothing to compete against but the clock, but this particular horse obviously had incomparable motivation.

While I'm feeling equine -- my parents have always been devoted horse race aficionados, even though they never place bets -- I should also link to another Belmont Stakes I saw live. This one, though, I remember in great detail:
That was the highlight of a Triple Crown that will surely never be surpassed. I have fond memories of the Kentucky Derby, too, which fell on my birthday:
I'd forgotten about all the hype surrounding Affirmed's teenage jockey Stevie Cauthen. Looking at the stretch run, you'd think that Alydar would have prevailed in the Belmont. But Affirmed obviously had the heart to go the lead early without faltering late.