Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Jockey Club Gold Cup, Belmont Park, 10/3/09

Up until today it seemed perfectly inevitable that super-filly Rachel Alexandra was going to win the 2009 Horse of the Year award, but suddenly there's a new contender on the block. By holding off a hard-charging Quality Road in the stretch, Summer Bird became the first horse to take down the Belmont Stakes, The Travers Stakes, and the Jockey Club Gold Cup in the same year since the legendary Easy Goer did it in 1989. Only ten three-year-olds have accomplished this particular feat, one less than the eleven who have won the Triple Crown, and the list includes storied horses like Man o' War and Sword Dancer.

Summer Bird was listed in the morning line for the 2009 Kentucky Derby at 50-1, the same odds as his half-brother Mine That Bird. It should come as no surprise that the sons of Birdstone are over-achievers; their dad halted Smarty Jones' Triple Crown Bid in the 2004 Belmont Stakes at 36-1.