As it was, Rotz and Buffle set a slow enough pace, with Buckpasser never more than three lengths away. Buffle went the first quarter in 24 3/5 and the half-mile in 48 3/5. His six-furlong time was 1:12 2/5 and the mile was run in 1:36 4/5. One now sensed that Buck-passer had him measured for a quick stretch duel. And, sure enough, just after the pair left the quarter pole, Braulio Baeza put Buckpasser on the lead. It looked as if it was all over right then—but Buckpasser—even running out front—is no ordinary horse.
Having taken the lead, Buckpasser appeared to go into one of his not unusual loafing acts with an eighth of a mile to go. "He had it won," Phipps said later, "and tried to pull himself up." Not so, Baeza corrected. "He noticed the starting-gate tractor marks at the eighth pole and actually made a little jump over them. I hit him once and he went on about his business." Buckpasser's last quarter was a splendid, businesslike 25 seconds on the way to a final clocking of 2:01 4/5.
Less than a year ago Eddie Neloy took over the training of the Phipps's horses from retirement-minded Bill Winfrey. Neloy has steadily increased the successes of the country's most prosperous stable. And last week Buckpasser sent him once more to the winner's circle, along with Phipps and Baeza. The nervous and exhausted Neloy looked at another former Winfrey employer, Alfred Vanderbilt, and shuddered, "Now I know why Winfrey went to live in Switzerland!"