Reaching all those bonus plateaus won't be easy, because there are some other redoubtable 3-year-olds around. SKS's top competition may come from Bert Firestone, the man who gave us Genuine Risk, General Assembly and Honest Pleasure in recent years. Firestone has a striking colt by Stop the Music from Quick Cure, which he has named Cure the Blues; the stable help calls the horse just plain Blues. He was undefeated in 1980 in five starts and at present is in LeRoy Jolley's barn at Gulfstream awaiting his first race of 1981. Jolley is a trainer who seems to have Kentucky Derbies chasing him around. In the last six years he has had five Derby runners and two of them have won (Foolish Pleasure and Genuine Risk), while two others (Honest Pleasure and General Assembly) finished second. Jolley also has high hopes for two other colts in his keeping, Executive Order (Secretariat-Optimistic Gal) and Dash O'Pleasure (Foolish Pleasure-Dashing Diana).
And there is a less-tested but very interesting dark horse among the Triple Crown candidates. Just a few days before Lord Avie's Hutcheson, a large colt named Sain et Sauf made the first start of his career at Gulfstream and won in 1:25[2/5] at seven furlongs. Nothing exceptional about the time; the extraordinary thing is that Sain et Sauf got to the races at all. In 1977 a mare named Fanfreluche, in foal to Secretariat, was stolen late one evening from a field at Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky. For more than five months the pregnant mare was missing and presumed dead. Eventually, however, Fanfreluche was found grazing in a field 115 miles from where she had been stolen. Two months later, she dropped a healthy colt.
Prominent Canadian owner-breeder Jean-Louis Levesque asked fans to name the horse, and the one chosen was Sain et Sauf (Safe and Sound). Now Sain et Sauf is heading down the road toward the Triple Crown. At the moment the traffic is heavy but moving.