Greatest Decade in Horse Racing...

blankblank Member
edited January 2014 in General Interest
For me, you can't beat the 1970's when it comes to our beloved sport...

Seattle Slew, Forego, Allez France, Chris Evert, Dahlia, Shergar, Affirmed, Youth, Alydar, Sham, Ruffian, Alleged, Desert Vixen, Mr. Prospector, Foolish Pleasure, Exceller, Our Mims, Secretariat, Riva Ridge, Wajima, L'Enjoleur, Brushing Groom, Davona Dale, The Minstrel, Storm Bird, John Henry, Glorious Song, Danzig, Nureyev, Kris S, Genuine Risk, Desert Orchid, All Along, Deputy Minister, Spectacular Bid... to name only a few.

Having been born in the mid-70's, I actually began watching horse racing in the 80's, but the 1970's must have been the golden age.

So what's your favourite decade? This is for fun debate, not meant to be contentious.. really there is no wrong answer, right? lol

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Comments

  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited January 2014
    I agree the 1970's had a collection of outstanding thoroughbreds. I would have picked this decade as well...

    But I'll select
    A DECADE LESS COMPLICATED...
    ...A time period which were less sophisticated without medical drugs to enhance the performance of the racehorse, a time when horses were built sturdier, a time that did not involve genetics but good breeding sense...the 1940s!

    These were times where horse racing brought out people from famous leaders and glamorous movie stars to the average "Joe" workman who were thrilled to see their favorite horse run. It was common back then for horses to race in the double digits before they were retired. Citation for example ran 45 races (32 wins, 10 places, 2 shows). During WWII...horse racing also gave people something to hope for.

    Who can forget Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946) and Citation (1948) for Triple Crown winners during this decade!
  • You're not going to tell us you were watching horse races in the 40s. I'm pretty sure you're younger than I am, and in the 40s I was a little kid, and not aware of horse racing at all. Races weren't televised in those days either; they were only on the radio.
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited January 2014
    You're not going to tell us you were watching horse races in the 40s. I'm pretty sure you're younger than I am, and in the 40s I was a little kid, and not aware of horse racing at all. Races weren't televised in those days either; they were only on the radio.
    No...I wasn't born in the 40s but I'm not that far off from the 40s. If Senaks can choose a decade when she was a toddler...I see no reason why I can't chose one that is earlier than my birth year. :o)

    Remember...The objective of this thread was to select a decade you felt was your favorite decade...there are no right or wrong answers. :o) Obviously no TVs back then only radio...but that is why more people came out physically to the tracks to watch the races! I liken it to K.I.S.S. Today...there's too many elements that dilute or distract from the popularity of horse racing. Too many medical drugs that enhance the horse's true potential or worse yet...cover up injuries/lameness such that racehorses today tend to breakdown.
  • kurtkurt Member
    edited January 2014
    i'll vote for the 70s just because we got three triple crown winners,the greatest 4 year old of all time,spectacular bid bid(although his 4 yr old year was 1980, he was still a product of the 70s), arguably the best filly ever(ruffian)(i'll still take Z though) and im also old enough to remember alot of it. first derby i can actually recall watching was foolish pleasures so even though i was alive, i have no memory of secretariat etc.
    the 40s has to be equal to the 70s, im just not old enough to have lived it but i know it was an incredible decade as well...having been in Kentucky recently and being able to walk the cemetery at calumet farm and visiting with citation etc, makes me think the 40s would have really been something to see...kinda like the few people who were fortunate enough to have seen Man o War AND secretariat
  • I agree 70's greatest decade for racing to date in my lifetime. I am truly amazed that we are still seeing the impact of Secretariat this many years after the death of the greatest thoroughbred to have lived.
  • Don't think the legends of great horses ever die. I would have to say the 70s too since it was Seattle Slew who was responsible for my passion for the sport. However, the first decade of the 21st century is a close second. It gave us some of the greatest fillies ever all at one time. It produced 3 female HOYs in a row and a filly who beat the male HOY in the Belmont. If I pin it down further, the 2 greatest years of horse racing to me were 1977 and 2009.
  • Great coffeee table book called Decade of Champions, by Patrick Robinson, paintings by Richard Stone Reeves. The other one I have is Classic Lines.
  • I'm going with the 70s, too. However, I have to love the 80s as well because of Sunday Silence. Beautiful, unappreciated boy. He showed em!
  • Loved the article, QueenZ. And to greatness that might have been - RIP Mentor Cane.

    Was very sad when Sunday Silence went to Japan. He didn't fare well there and I always thought it wasn't good for him. Some horses will forever be linked to their rivals and Sunday Silence-Easy Goer was one of those great rivalries.
  • Didnt fare well there? He changed the breed in japan, he was their most beloved stallion. They let him do things on his terms.. even up to his death. When he got the leg infection, they did all they could to give him a fighting chance, they didnt want to put him down. And fight he did up until the infection went to his heart, where he ended up dying of a heart attack.
  • And even today u still see many of his sons and daughters. And who knew the great sunday, that is black as night, could sire a horse that is white as snow in Yukichan?
  • Oh yeah, Sunday Silence did very well there. That's why I said he showed them. Maybe Slewpy got him confused with another. I'm so proud for him and what he did in Japan and I love, love him.
  • My memory isn't what it used to be. Sorry 'bout that. I do remember being very sad about his going to Japan. And I remember fearing for his safety over there. But he did die young and I remember wondering if that might not have happened had he remained in this country. I think I read an article along that vein. Will check my facts next time.
  • I believe after Ferdinand's untimely demise at the slaughter house...I think the US owners made a clause at the time of Sunday Silence's sale to Japan regarding some sort of "buy-back" and return to the US when his stud career was over. But I haven't checked what year this type of agreement was enacted.... so I may be wrong. :o(
  • I have to go with the 70's, and also the 40's. The 60's weren't bad either; Dr. Fager, Damascus, Buckpasser. And the 50's had Native Dancer. But the 70's were the best.
  • edited January 2014
    I do think we were all sad when he went to Japan. I just was so sad that he wasn't appreciated enough here. However, he did change the breed in Japan and we all ended up very proud of him as are the Japanese still proud of him and all his babies. He died of heart failure brought on by laminitis at 16 or 17. Kind of close to the same age that Secretariat died also of laminitis. We sure need a cure!
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited January 2014
    Yes...Need a Cure for Laminitis and Colic!
    Those two diseases send chills down my spine when I hear a horse having either illnesses. I know in equine science...they are pursuing finding the genetic links that triggers the onset of laminitis...in combination with environmental aspects such as diet, stress, etc. Currently with not knowing the genetic "trigger" mechanism(s), vets can only work on the symptoms. I hope in the near future, they can find the genetic "off" switch for laminitis! In the meantime, I'm all for the Old World techniques such as bot fly maggots and leeches to help combat the domino effect of tissue degeneration & inflammation/poor circulation in laminitis. :o)

    Sorry...went off topic just now. :o(
  • Good points Paniolo_Gal. Anyway, you didn't go off topic, I started it. But I agree, both of these illnesses cause so much dread. I never knew, until the past few years, how fragile horses are and how horribly FAST they can go down and not recover. It is chilling! I knew about fragile bones, but didn't realize the other things that can go so wrong so fast. Scary stuff!
  • Paniolo_Gal, You are right about the buy back c!ause it's called The Ferdinand Clause.
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited January 2014
    Thanks louisecastello and KayJay! I'm glad Sunday had the Ferdinand Clause on the contract. :o)

    Anyway...looks like the 1970's seems to be the head runner in most of the people's selections! Earlier. I chose the 1940's because it was a different era of thinking on how they bred and trained these race champions. Back then wealthy families also bred their horses to keep and not to commercially sell outright. So I thought I'd put in an alternative preference. Besides...4 triple crown winners and Pensive with 2 out of 3 TC wins (1944)...the 1940's aint bad either! :oD
  • I have to go with the 70's, and also the 40's. The 60's weren't bad either; Dr. Fager, Damascus, Buckpasser. And the 50's had Native Dancer. But the 70's were the best.
    The 50's also had Swaps & Nashua, easily at least equal to the Sunday Silence, Easy Goer rivalry. Nashua also won the Jockey Club Gold Cup two years in a row. This was back when the JCGC was a real cup race, run at a distance of two miles, not the pathetic weak race it is today.
    Check Zenyatta's pedigree, she is inbred 5x5 to Nashua. Nashua, along with Princequillo, also a JCGC winner, is likely where Zenyatta gets her stamina.

    The 50's also had Gallant Man, who won the JCGC the year after Nashua, lost the Kentucky derby due to a terrible mistake by Bill Shoemaker and won the Belmont stakes in stakes record time.

    Round Table, by Princequillo, won 43 races from 66 starts. No, he was not a gelding, and went on to be a significant sire. Horses had actual racing careers in those days.

    Bold Ruler was from the same 1954 crop as Gallant Man and Round Table and a good race horse as well. Although he retired after only 33 starts with 23 wins, Bold Ruler was an important stallion. Among his progeny was a horse of the 70's you may remember out of the Princequillo mare Somethingroyal, called Secretariat.
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited February 2014
    Question...that mistake that Bill Shoemaker made that cost Gallant Man the Kentucky Derby...was that because he stood up too soon before crossing the finishline? If not...what mistake was made by Shoemaker? Just curious. :oD
  • And even today u still see many of his sons and daughters. And who knew the great sunday, that is black as night, could sire a horse that is white as snow in Yukichan?
    Yukichan is his graddaughter. Her dam Shirayukihime is his white daughter.
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