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Silverbulletday highlights fillies' failures at Triple Crown
Posted: Monday June 07, 1999 05:51 PM
NEW YORK (CNN/SI) -- After Silverbulletday's seventh place finish in the Belmont Saturday, Bob Baffert's Triple Crown run with fillies proved to be somewhat of a letdown.
In the Kentucky Derby, Baffert's Excellent Meeting finished fifth despite a rough trip, and then was eased up at the top of the stretch in the Preakness. She hasn't run since.
Three Ring, who was 19th and last in the Derby, returned to the races on Friday and won the Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park.
And then there was Silverbulletday, the sensational filly who entered the Belmont with 11 wins in 12 career starts against her own sex. With Jerry Bailey aboard, Silverbulletday shot to the lead and battled with Charismatic before fading at the top of the stretch.
"We were taking a shot," Baffert said, a few days after trying to sell the Belmont as a battle between the top filly and the top colt. "If we could slow them down, gotten a half mile in 49 and change, she'd have something to kick home. ... She's such a fighter. I thought we could win. If not, Charismatic would win it. It's a tough race to win. I feel horrible for the Lewises."
Bob and Beverly Lewis, owners of Charismatic, saw their Triple Crown hopes dashed for the second time in three years. In '97, their Silver Charm, trained by Baffert, was second to Touch Gold in the Belmont.
Even more amazing than Charismatic's career-ending injury -- two fractured bones in his left front ankle -- was that the colt shot to the lead.
"I can't believe he ran away with her," Bailey said. "My hand was kind of made for me because I was on the inside. It's tough to go head-to-head that far."
Silverbulletday was the 21st filly to run in the Belmont. Just two -- Ruthless in 1867 and Tanya in 1905 -- won the race.
Santos gets first Triple Crown win
Jockey Jose Santos finally won his first Triple Crown race on his 17th attempt, guiding 29-1 long shot Lemon Drop Kid to a head victory over Vision and Verse in Saturday's $1 million Belmont Stakes.
"Scotty and I have said all along he was one of the better 3-year-olds and he proved it today," Santos said, referring to trainer Scotty Schulhofer. "He needed a good trip and he got that today. The filly and the others set a pretty quick pace to run at."
Santos finished second in the Belmont twice -- with Skip Away in 1996 and Kissin Kris in 1993.
A record crowd of 85,818 showed up at Belmont Park to watch Charismatic's failed bid to win the Triple Crown on Saturday.
The previous record was in 1971, when 82,694 showed up for Pass Catcher's upset of Canonero II, who also was trying to win the Triple Crown.
Last year, 80,162 showed up to see Victory Gallop spoil Real Quiet's Triple Crown bid.
For the seventh time since 1978, when Affirmed swept the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont, a Triple Crown bid was spoiled.
Charismatic's loss in the Belmont also marked the third straight year a colt tried for, and failed, to win the Triple Crown.
In 1997, Silver Charm won the Derby and Preakness before losing to Touch Gold in the Belmont, and Victory Gallop stopped Real Quiet's Triple Crown bid last year.
Others who failed in the Belmont since 1978 were Sunday Silence in 1989, Alysheba in 1987, Pleasant Colony in 1981 and Spectacular Bid in 1979.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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