A tale of two horses:
Sunday Silence or Easy Goer. This discussion is obvious and very much to the point of understanding the difference between the Kentucky Derby and The Belmont.
Sunday Silence beat Easy Goer every single time at 1 1/4 mile or less (Preakness is only 1 3/16th), by narrow margins. Much like Affirmed and Alydar. However, when Easy Goer and Sunday Silence met in The Belmont, “forgetaboutit” — Easy Goer was the KING, and by a mile.
If you only watched the Belmont, there was no question who was the better horse – it was Easy Goer, but if you watched all the other races it was Sunday Silence who fiercely hung on to every lead he established. The answer is simplier than we like, Sunday Silence was only terrific up to 1 1/4 mile, while Easy Goer became greater at 1 1/2 mile.
In the end, neither were great horses to my thinking, because they lacked a certain something and to be great you have to have everything against everyone — that’s what makes great. The Belmont Stakes is designed to do that. It’s easy to remember that Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby, closing from pretty far back, running successive faster quarter – literally unheard of – right. But in the Belmont, Secretariat was on the lead battling with Sham through 6 furlongs in 1:09 and a piece. Secretariat broke Sham down – plain and simple. He was a beast. And he was a beast at every distance against everyone from 1 mile to 1 1/2 miles he carried scale weight and put the hurt on all who tried him. Same thing with Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Alydar. Not so with Sunday Silence, Spectacular Bid , Easy Goer, Alysheba, Smarty Jones or the many others who were close.
Some horses have limits, and we are going to explore the limits of American Pharoah this coming Saturday…
My final comment, this is a talented and potent group of 3 year olds. For American Pharoah to win — he will likely need to fire his very best! I don’t know for sure if it’s Materialty or if it’s Forged or who for certain, but I do know this is a terrific crop and the winner of this years Belmont is going to be one terrific race horse…