11/02/2001 12:00AM

History Challenge answers

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1. Buckpasser, Damascus, and Dr. Fager - all later enshrined in racing's Hall of Fame - met in the 14th running of the 1 1/4-mile Woodward Stakes on Sept. 30, 1967.

The 55,259 fans at Aqueduct that day made the 4-year-old reigning Horse of the Year, Buckpasser, a slight favorite over the other two, both 3-year-olds.

The trio entered that race having won 48 of their combined 58 starts. Damascus and Buckpasser each brought a rabbit to ensure that the speedball Dr. Fager would not get loose on the lead. He didn't.

On a fast track that had been labeled muddy for the first race that day, Dr. Fager was pushed through fractions of 45.20 seconds and 1:09.20.

Damascus and Buckpasser stayed a dozen lengths back early. When it came time to accelerate, Damascus exploded. He was five lengths in front at the top of the stretch and 10 in front at the wire. Buckpasser caught a tiring Dr. Fager in the final few strides for second.

2. Six horses were entered in the Nov. 9, 1957, Trenton Handicap. One horse was withdrawn because of injury. In what was described by one writer as "a rare gesture of sportsmanship," two other trainers withdrew their horses.

That left just the three titans battling for Horse of the Year: Bold Ruler, Gallant Man, and Round Table. All three had met in that year's Kentucky Derby, considered by many the greatest field to ever run in the May classic (Iron Liege won).