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Old 05-11-2019, 09:09 PM   #1
dilanesp
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happy 34th birthday Forty Niner


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Old 05-12-2019, 02:34 AM   #2
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Great racehorse.

Rightly won the 2yo Eclipse without having to participate in the Breeders' Cup.

Won stakes at 6.5f, 7f, 8f, 8.5f, 9f, and 10f.

On average ran every 3 weeks with a couple of well-timed breaks over the winter and after his Triple Crown debacle.

Only blights on his record:

1) his arbitrary retirement by the great stallion waster Claiborne Farm at the end of his 3yo year; compounded by the fact that they gave up on him after only a couple of crops and sent him to Japan; yet he produced a Belmont Stakes winner (Editor's Note) a year later and nearly reproduced himself in the guise of the unheralded Coronado's Quest (who was also dumped by Claiborne to Japan without much of a chance at stud) a couple of years after that; sired the influential stallion Distorted Humor (same crop as Editor's Note)

2) the Preakness disaster where he was sent on a suicide mission against Winning Colors despite being a major win candidate after coming up short with a questionable ride in the Kentucky Derby

3) musical riders; I think Eddie Maple rode the horse at 2, Pat Day rode in the spring, Laffit Pincay rode in the summer, Billy Fox rode scabbed in the NYRA Mile, and Julie Krone in the BC Classic. Not sure what to make of the ride of the latter. Forty Niner--who owned several wins around one-turn--was blessed with a ton of early speed. In the BC Classic, despite breaking sharp as always, Krone elected to settle Forty Niner well off the pace despite that strategy being his downfall in the Kentucky Derby over the same track. She then advanced along the rail with a poorly timed early bid into a solid pace set by the good stayer Waquoit. This move was immediately negated by the advances of Alysheba and Seeking The Gold. Forty Niner was then shuffled back to last when the closers Cryptoclearance and Personal Flag got in full gear. Despite this complete botch job, Forty Niner nevertheless rerallied in the stretch to be a meek fourth.

Basically all the human elements (owner, trainer, jockeys) of this horse's career stopped him from being an indisputable all-time great.
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:38 AM   #3
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I made a lot money on this one when I was working for not much.
One of my all time favorites.
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:20 AM   #4
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Spalding:

1. He should have come out for the 87 BC. But yes, when Success Express, who was lousy, won the Juvenile, FN was the deserving 2 year old champ.

2. Day's Derby ride was fine. He realized he couldn't afford to burn the horse up chasing WC and took back and made a late run. It almost worked. They tried the other approach in the Preakness and it didn't.

3. I agree about the early retirement.

4. I always felt his best race was the second to Alysheba in the Woodward. He beat a lot of good horses that day and the time was fast.

5. Krone said he stepped in a hole in the BC Classic. I believe her. I attended that day, and the track was awful.
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:14 AM   #5
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Wow, he's 34 and still kicking? God bless him!
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:41 PM   #6
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Great example of how little a jockey matters as the jockey strike in the Fall of his final season (a fellow named Fox took the reins to win the NYRA Mile).

Then went on the the WORST ride I have ever witnessed (almost on par with Ronnie Franklin's ride on Bid in the Florida Derby) when Julie Krone took this speed horse all over the track after a tardy break (and mostly down on a dead rail) in his final race at Churchill in the BC Classic...Horrid ride.

I really liked this good old speedball.
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