He moved his hands. Risen Star picked up the beat and ranged up right next to the filly. "I moved up to her and she didn't do anything," Delahoussaye said. "I knew it was over."
So did Stevens. When Risen Star drew alongside, Stevens asked Winning Colors to run. "I let out a notch and there was nothing there," Stevens said. "Always before, a horse could run to her, but if you let out a notch, she'd pick it up and jerk their hearts out. I moved my hands three or four times on her and nothing happened." At that point, looking over and seeing that Delahoussaye's arms were full of horse, Stevens called to him, "You're the winner!"
Meanwhile, in front of a TV monitor near the winner's circle, Roussel and Jimmy Nichols, Star's exercise rider, were watching the race together, with Roussel imploring Delahoussaye to wait: "You've got plenty of time!" he yelled. "Too fast! Too fast!" But around the turn, with the filly cooked and the long shot Kingpost vainly giving chase, Roussel urged his rider to move. "Go with him!" Roussel said. "Open up. Turn him loose, Eddie!"
"He's got him," Nichols said. "Just hold him together." As the colt extended his lead in the stretch to 10 lengths, then 12, Roussel was shouting, "Turn him loose, Eddie! Turn him loose...don't even hit him with the whip...save him...ease him. What a racehorse!"
As Risen Star widened his margin to the wire, Nichols began the refrain that would be heard the rest of the evening: "Like his daddy...just like his daddy!" The colt drew off at will, while Winning Colors faded to last. Kingpost, a 17-1 shot, ran steadily to finish second, and Brian's Time came in third.
Now, suddenly but unmistakably, Roussel finds himself with a monster on his hands. Before he decides what to do next, he says he will give his Star some time off for the leg to fully heal, some time to rest. Not that he needed it Saturday night. Three hours after the race, the colt was eating his way through his webbing, howling and nickering for supper. When Joseph tried to carry the feed tub into his stall, Risen Star stopped the groom at the door and plunged his nose into the grain. Joseph stood at the door holding the tub, letting the horse enjoy his victory feast.
"You are the champeen!" the groom told him. "Your daddy jumped out of you today."