12/22/2011 10:29PM

Blast from the past ... 10 from 1991


I was so pleasantly surprised to see so many interesting comments from people who remembered horses and races from the recent "10 from 1979" blog.   I sometimes forget how many people share a passion for racing history.

Below are some photos from 1991.  The memories seems fairly recent until doing the math....  Twenty years!  Twenty years ago Farma Way, Silver Survivor and the near-tailless Sea Cadet - as well as the American Championship Racing Series - helped create our memories.

Above and below:  Solar Splendor (ch.g., b. 3/31/87, by Majestic Light - Sultry Sun, by Buckfinder) had 42 starts, 11 wins, 3 seconds, 6 thirds, with earnings of $1,386,468.  Solar Splendor won three Grades 1s during a six-year career, including the 1991 Turf Classic, above, in which he - and Herb McCauley - defeated Dear Doctor.

Above:  Solar Splendor with the Pat Kelly family - their Christmas card portrait for 1991.

Above:  Withallprobability (b.m. b. 3/18/88 - 1/14/04, by Mr. Prospector - Sulemeif, by Northern Dancer).  27 starts, 9 wins, 4 seconds, 5 thirds, $643,438.  This handsome mare won or placed in 15 stakes - including victories in two graded races, the G2 Forward Gal and Bonnie Miss stakes.

Above:  Gary Stevens, looking sharp in pink.

Above:  Tri to Watch (b. 5/21/89 by Tri Jet - I Like to Watch, by Mickey McGuire). 56 starts, 8 wins, 7 seconds, 9 thirds, $506,124.  Tri to Watch raced for five seasons, winning the G1 Champagne in his first year.  The cute Fred Hooper-bred gelding finished his career in September 1995, running seventh in a claiming race.  I sometimes wonder where he ended up.

Above:  The popular - and close-to-tailless - Sea Cadet (4/13/88 - 4/9/95, by Bolger - Hattab Girl, by Al Hattab). 29 Starts: 10 - 6 - 5, earnings of $1,807,150.  Among his eight stakes wins were the G1 Meadowlands Cup, G1 Gulfstream Park H. and G1 Donn.  Sea Cadet, in case you wonder, was born with his stumpy tail:


Above:  Devil On Ice looks thrilled about being in the Champagne Stakes' paddock.  Devil On Ice (b. 3/8/89, by Devil's Bag - Ivy Road, by Dr. Fager) raced for four seasons, with a record of 22 Starts, 10 wins, 2 seconds and 2 thirds. $255,922.  He ran in ten stakes, placing in three.

Above:  Chief Honcho and Mike Smith before the G1 Philip H. Iselin Handicap at Monmouth Park.  The Iselin was part of the popular and competitive American Championship Racing Series.  Chief Honcho (ch.h. b. 3/31/87 - 7/7/98, by Chief's Crown - Expressive Dance, by Riva Ridge) won 10 of his 34 starts, with 6 seconds and 3 thirds.  He earned $1,265,719.  His biggest win came in the G1 Brooklyn Handicap.

Above:  The always fiercely competitive Julie Krone.

Above:  Black Tie Affair and Farma Way in a great renewal of the Iselin.  Black Tie Affair (g./r. h., 4/1/86 - 7/1/10, by Miswaki - Hat Tab Girl, by Al Hattab), raced 45 times over four seasons, with 18 wins, 9 seconds, 6 thirds, for earnings of $3,370,694.  He rounded out his career with six consecutive wins, culminating in a Breeders' Cup Classic victory.

Above and below:  Black Tie Affair after the Iselin.

Above:  Farma Way after the Iselin (assistant Kiaran McLaughlin in tie).  Farma Way, by Marfa - Fine Tribute, by Diplomat Way, had a stellar racing career - 23 starts, 8 wins, 5 seconds, 1 third, $2,897,175. He won the G1 Santa Anita Handicap and G1 Pimlico Special.  Born on April 2, 1987, the near-black stallion died at age 12 on November 18, 1999, after a paddock injury.

Above:  Ron McAnally, an excellent trainer and a true gentleman.

Above:  Who doesn't remember with fondness Silver Survivor?  His story - he was forgotten at a sale and left alone for nearly two weeks, existing on bedding and rain water (or, perhaps, water from a passing youngster) - is part of racing legend.  Hence, he became a Silver Survivor.  His record was not for the faint-of-heart either: 77 Starts: 12 - 12 - 10, $909,829.  The son of Silver Buck - One Nice Cat, by Cougar II won or placed in 16 stakes, including two wins each in the graded Paterson H. and Assault H. 

And after surviving all that, Silver Survivor died very soon after entering stud.  I can't remember for sure, but I feel it was from a heart attack.  ?

Online articles about Silver Survivor are quite elusive (at least in my Google searches), but here's one:


Above:  'The Chief,' H. Allen Jerkens.

Above:  El Senor (b. 3/31/84 by Valdez - Sunrise Sue, by Grey Dawn II).  44 starts, with 12 wins, 7 seconds, 5 thirds, for earnings of $1,769,215.  The handsome turf specialist won four Grade Is in a career that lasted through age 7.  It appears El Senor ended up in Japan for stud duty.  Online sources mention he was pensioned in 2004.

The blog about 1979 runners:  http://www.drf.com/blogs/blast-past10-1979

Katie Henretty More than 1 year ago
Love more info on Farma Way, am a HUGE fan of him. Have one of his babies!
yuwipi More than 1 year ago
You almost snuck this one by me - a busy time of year. Love the Live Oak/Solar Splendor/Pat Kelly shots. I believe that he actually won two Grade 1's on the same day -one in NY and one in California. Don't recall if it was the day of the Turf Classic win though. Devil on Ice - Due Process Stable and Reynoldo Nobles if I remember correctly. The images that always stick with me about that outfit are the way they so often braided the manes of their fillies into stable color pom poms. It was a special touch. Julie Krone - games not the same without what she brought to it. Remember watching her doing the Macarena with some kids outside the Saratoga jockey quarters some years ago. Too many years I"m afraid. Any blog with photos of Ron McAnally and Allen Jerkens is pretty darn special if you ask me. Black Tie Affair - never really ranked him as high as some did, but he put some smokin' on them all in the BC Classic. Many thanks again.
Luke Clowes More than 1 year ago
To see Chief Honcho reminds me of my dad. He stuck with that big guy through so many defeats all because of one win. Thats what I love about this sport, loving the animal no matter how many times he/she doesnt finish where you thought they should. Saarland is of the same ilk! Funny how these great animals always end up in similar barns (Bill & Shug). I would love to see a compilation of 1988 Alysheba, Forty Niner, Seeking the Gold, Personal Ensign, Winning Colors, Easy Goer and Gulch. That was an amazing time for this wonderful sport. I love your work!
Alysse Jacobs More than 1 year ago
I love when you do these because I get to learn about cool horses I'd have missed otherwise. The Silver Survivor story is awesome. Also, Chief's pony is super cool looking.
Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
Black Tie Affair was one of my favorites in the summer of 1991 and I couldn't wait for him to compete in the Iselin. Unfortuantely my son decided to make his arrival 5 1/2 weeks early and I was in the hospital recovering instead of rooting on my boy. I still tease my son that he has a lot to make up for..............in an attempt to mollify me, my son's father went and brought me back a program with Jim McKay's signature. :( Do you have any old pictures of my online namesake, Turnbackthealarm? I've looked on your website and failed to find them in your galleries.
Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
Thank you Barbara. I will look forward to it. Like Anne M, I have copies of both Old Friends and Old Friends 2. It was really hard to find your first Old Friends because at the time it was out of print. They are so beautiful and I have them (safely) displayed along with my limited edition Richard Stone Reeves and Degas horse books. There were so many terrific fillies in the early 90's, weren't there? Bayakoa, November Snow, Turnbackthealarm, Saratoga Dew and a couple of hard knockin' Monmouth favorites like Smart Marge, Born to Shop and Bodacious Tatas.
AnneM More than 1 year ago
I received your Old Friends II for a Xmas present yesterday. I spent a happy couple of hours looking at wonderful horses that I remember when they younger. A bit sad to see some look so old but still do dignified. And the photo of Frans Valentine is priceless. Thanks for keeping these older stars in our memories.
Denise More than 1 year ago
Oh to see Black Tie Affair when he was still almost Black!! I just loved him. Saw him just before he passed away.
Stephanie More than 1 year ago
Thank you for the pictures! I was 9 years old during this summer of racing and I do remember them all clearly, especially Solar Splendor. Thank you again....
Utah More than 1 year ago
I remember watching Silver Survivor compete at the Big M. I was a young man then, just getting into the game. If Im not mistaken, he was owned and trained by Glen Hild. He always had those ? silks. Thanks so much for the trip down memory lane!
hialeah More than 1 year ago
Hi Barbara, Once again, I find it so great to find your most recent post. Sometimes the memory fades, but your pictures bring so many happy thoughts to mind. I do remember Silver Survivor, but never knew his amazing story. And I always thought that the American Championship Racing Series was a great idea that wasn’t marketed very well. 10 championship races run from coast-to-coast with a point system of 10 for a win, 7 for 2nd on down that resulted in a leaderboard and ultimate winner with big juicy purses that should have been a nice run-up to the Breeder’s Cup. I am pleased that you were at the Iselin and were able to document it so well (as always:). I was at the New England Classic run at Rockingham Park and won by Marquetry over Festin and, err, Silver Survivor. Jim McKay and Charlsie Cantey were there for the live broadcast on ABC, so it did call out that it was a “Big Deal”. Unfortunately, that 500k race was a one hit wonder. My everlasting thought is that it was the hottest day of the summer and they had set up these aluminum folding chairs between the 1/16 pole and leading out towards the top of the stretch. Really, like five thousand reflective chairs, and it was so hot out there that nobody used them. I love the photos of Gary Stevens and Mike Smith and Julie Krone. That is a pretty good trifecta for 1990’s Jockeys. There are more than a few Triple Crown and Breeder’s Cup winners in that group. The personalities all shine through here. Thanks, it’s been a blast!