TDN Weekend

June 2017

TDN Weekend December 2016 Issue 9

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win the most. To ride him in the Belmont, being that he was coming from my country, to me was a big memory. What race that you rode would you like a do-over because of a mistake you made? The 1978 Jockey Club Gold Cup when I rode Seattle Slew against Exceller. He beat $ƯUPHGLQWKH0DUOERUR&XSWKHƬUVW time that two horses that won the Triple Crown met. That was a mile and an eighth. Then he won the next race, the mile and a quarter Woodward. Then he came to the Gold Cup. He went a little too fast for me and that probably is the only race in my life that I would like to ride back. He was going a mile and a half and he was going :22 and change, :45 and change, three-quarters in 1:09 and change, a mile in 1:34 and change. Just a little too fast. I lost my stirrup on WKHƬUVWWXUQDQG,ZDVXQDEOHWRUDWH him. They sent a rabbit for that purpose. Exceller came back and beat me by a nose. He would have been the only horse in the world to win the Triple Crown as a 3-year- old and (the Fall Triple Crown) as an older horse. You were third in Secretariat's Belmont. What do you recall from that race? I was planning to go to the lead but they gave me orders to take back, so I knew already that he was going to be hard to beat. If you are a little guy and you want WREHDWDELJJX\\RXoYHJRWWRKLWKLPƬUVW ,ƬJXUHGIRUPHWREHDWKLP,oGKDYHWR RXWUXQKLPWKHƬUVWSDUW,ZDVDOUHDG\LQ my mind a loser going into the race. What I remember most is that in our game they say that when a horse is getting tired they get smaller. When I was back with Braulio (Baeza), Secretariat looked like a tiny, little horse from way back. I said to Braulio in the middle of the race, 'I think that horse is getting tired, look how little he looks.' I didn't realize that the reason he looked little was that he was so far in front of me.

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