History repeated as Seabiscuit beats War AdmiralPosted: Friday May 16, 2003 4:27 PM
BALTIMORE (AP) -- Sixty-five years later, nothing has changed.
Seabiscuit is still better than War Admiral.
The memorable 1938 match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral was re-enacted at Pimlico on Friday afternoon. Maryland-based horses and jockeys played the roles of the original participants.
Seabiscuit and War Admiral, generally recognized as the finest horses of their time, clashed in the 1938 Pimlico Special and produced an unforgettable race.
War Admiral, the 1-to-4 favorite, held the lead for a good portion of the race. But Seabiscuit took command in the stretch and won by four lengths, securing his place in horse racing lore.
The winning time was 1:56-3/5 for 1 3/16 miles, then a track record.
The re-enactment of the race went off without a hitch, even though the track was sloppy because of a daylong rain.
One other difference: There were 40,000 fans at Pimlico for the original race. Far fewer fans assembled Friday, and although Seabiscuit went off as the underdog, there was no betting.
Stay in schoolLisa Lewis dropped out of school at 16. The trainer of Kissin Saint in the Preakness doesn't recommend other teenagers follow her path.
"I would tell all the kids to stay in school," Lewis said. "I don't know why I was in such a big hurry to train horses. For some reason, I thought I had to be at the track."
Lewis went to work as an assistant trainer to her mother, Penny Lewis. The early start helped the younger Lewis, 34, develop a number of top horses at an early age. She now has her first Preakness starter.
"I always wanted to train horses," Lewis said. "My whole life would have been different if I stayed in school. I might have done something else. I don't regret it because I do what I love, but I wouldn't recommend it."
Long oddsFoufa's Warrior will be looking to buck two trends Saturday in the Preakness.
The horse, owned by Sondra Bender and trained by Lawrence Murray, is seeking to become the first Maryland-bred to win the Preakness since Deputed Testamony in 1983 and the first gelding to win the race since Prairie Bayou in 1993.
Winless in 2003, Foufa's Warrior was a 20-1 long shot in the morning line.
"That's just fine with me," Murray said. "When you're 20-1 there's not nearly the same amount of pressure as when you are starting as the favorite."
Bad memoryThe mention of Deputed Testamony brought back unpleasant memories for retired Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron.
Aboard Desert Wine in the 1983 Preakness, McCarron headed for the finish line with a decent lead. Convinced that the rail was dead on the sloppy track, kept his mount in the middle to the track.
Deputed Testamony, ridden by Donnie Miller, took advantage of the wide-open rail to draw off to a 2 3/4-length win over Desert Wine.
"All day long, the rail was not the place to be," McCarron recalled Friday. "When Deputed Testamony came through on the fence, I kicked myself all day and all night."
Busy BaffertBob Baffert, the trainer of Senor Swinger, still owes wife Jill a honeymoon.
The couple got married last summer, and Baffert has since been too busy to plan an extended getaway. They tied the knot on a Saturday and flew immediately to New Jersey, where Baffert saddled War Emblem to a victory the following day in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.
They have maintained a frantic pace ever since.
"I'm afraid to go anywhere," Baffert said. "I'm afraid to leave. We've got these horses and client's money tied up in it."