Updated on 09/16/2011 7:54AM

Add this to list of all-time gems



There are close competitive races every day at every track. But every once in a while, when good horses get together, they seem touched by a spirit that is unique to the Thoroughbred race-horse. With glorious generosity they give everything they've got ... and then a little bit more.

Saturday's $250,000 Test Stakes for 3-year-old fillies was one of the great races of our time, to be compared and savored with such other classics of the past as the Belmont Stakes of 1978, featuring Affirmed and Alydar, the Preakness of 1989, starring Sunday Silence and Easy Goer, the Travers of 1962, with Jaipur and Ridan, and the 1950 San Juan Capistrano, when Noor out-nosed Citation.

We usually prefer these memorable races to be run over a distance of ground. But the Test tingled with a fierce intensity that was visible to all, and the 28,412 on hand saluted You and Carson Hollow with a roaring ovation, long before the placing judges posted the photo which showed You the winner by a nose under Jerry Bailey.

Bailey had a spectacular weekend at Saratoga, where he has been the leading jockey seven of the last eight seasons. He rode four winners on Saturday, including the Test and Diana, and had four more winners Sunday, including the Go for Wand. He is the equal of Eddie Arcaro at his best, and there is no higher praise.

The previously undefeated Carson Hollow, a reservoir of quality speed, set the pace in the Test with a sizzling quarter in 21.60 seconds, the half in 44.27. You, the 4-5 favorite, broke sluggishly, raced along the rail, and encountered traffic problems near the turn.

Bailey threaded a narrow opening on the inside as the field turned for home and You engaged Carson Hollow near the three-sixteenths pole. The two fillies - You on the rail and Carson Hollow lapped on her - battled like tigers, neither giving an inch. They passed the winning post in undiminished fury and only the camera was able to separate them.

"This was one of the all-time great races," trainer Bobby Frankel said Sunday morning. "I didn't think she won it at first. It was so close. We were fortunate to get through and Bailey was brilliant. You came out of it in fine order and I expect she'll run again at` this meeting, in either the Alabama at a mile and a quarter on Aug. 17, or in the Ballerina at seven furlongs on Aug. 25."

Rich Dutrow Jr., who trains Carson Hollow, was almost as delighted as Frankel, praising the filly for her determination under fire after setting fast fractions in the opening stages of the Test.

Dutrow reports Carson Hollow was a tired horse Saturday night and will be freshened now and pointed for the Breeders Cup Sprint this fall at Arlington Park.

Tates Creek's inside post position forced Bailey to take her out of her usual game plan and move her into a stalking position in the $500,000 Diana Handicap. The 4-from-old Tates Creek was equal to the challenge, however. She took command at the head of the stretch and, under a strong ride by Bailey, held off a vigorous challenge from the favored Voodoo Dancer to prevail by a nose.

Bailey concluded a remarkable weekend in Sunday's $250,000 Go for Wand Handicap, timing his move perfectly with the talented Canadian filly Dancethruthedawn, who won by almost four lengths. Last year she beat the colts in the Queen's Plate. This year she is better.