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History challenge answers: Calder's Carry Back celebrates Cinderella colt
By Ron Hale
See the questions HERE.
1. Triple Crown winner Citation won 19 of 20 starts during his unforgettable 3-year-old season in 1948.
After rattling off four victories at Hialeah in February, including the Seminole and Everglades handicaps and Flamingo Stakes, Citation shipped to Maryland.
Before his next start in the April 12 Chesapeake Trial at Havre de Grace racetrack, Citation’s regular rider, Al Snider, went on a fishing trip off the Florida coast and was never heard from again.
Trainer Jimmy Jones asked Eddie Arcaro to take over the mount on Citation, giving the jockey instructions not to whip the champion in his first race back in six weeks.
In the Chesapeake Trial, Citation took back early and was forced extremely wide into the stretch. Following instructions, Arcaro did not whip Citation and came up one length short of catching Saggy.
Saggy was nothing special. Citation had beaten him by 10 lengths in the Flamingo.
Ten years later, the breeding of Saggy to the broodmare Joppy produced champion and Hall of Fame inductee Carry Back.
2. Carry Back won three stakes as a juvenile, including the richest race in the world, and finished second or third in five other added-money events, but was outvoted for champion that year.
That honor went to Hail to Reason, whom Hall of Fame trainer Hirsch Jacobs called the best 2-year-old he every trained.
Slow to get going, Hail to Reason did not break his maiden until his fifth start. After that, it was a different story. The brown colt won 8 of his final 13 starts at age 2 (18 starts in all), including the Youthful, Tremont, Great American, Sanford, Sapling, Hopeful, and Worlds Playground stakes. In mid-September, he broke two sesamoid bones and was retired.
In three head-to-head meetings with Carry Back, Hail to Reason won them all.
Hail to Reason raced in the name of Jacobs’s young daughter Patrice. Eighteen years later, Patrice – then married to Louis Wolfson and racing under the name Harbor View Farm – won racing’s Triple Crown with their homebred Affirmed, a champion at ages 2, 3, and 4.
3. The $72,700 winner’s share of the $111,900 Metropolitan Handicap on Memorial Day in 1962 was enough to put Carry Back over the $1 million mark in earnings – the fourth Thoroughbred to do so.
Racing’s first millionaire was Citation, who passed the seven-figure mark in 1951 and retired with career earnings of $1,085,760.
He was followed by Nashua, whose career earnings totaled $1,288,565.
Third to join the club was Round Table, who retired with earnings of $1,749,869.
Shortly after Carry Back, Kelso became the sport’s fifth millionaire, and when he retired in 1966, his earnings were a world record $1,977,896.
Kelso’s record stood until Affirmed became racing’s first $2 million horse in 1979.
4. In the fall of 1962, Jack Price took Carry Back to Paris in an attempt to become the first Derby winner to capture the fabled Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp Racecourse.
Daily Racing Form provided blanket coverage of the attempt and even included a daily diary written by Price himself.
Carry Back was badly ridden by Australian jockey Scobie Breasley in the 1 1/2-mile classic and was beaten by 5 3/4 lengths.
5. Etched on Carry Back’s gravestone are the words, “The People’s Choice,” a popular phrase used by sportswriters to describe the rag-to-riches star.
The late Derby historian Jim Bolus wrote, Carry Back was a colt “whom fans flocked to the racetrack to see. People’s moods, not just their money, were affected by the outcome of races involving Carry Back. His appeal stretched beyond the racetrack itself, and it seemed even the man on the street had heard of his racing exploits.”
Bolus added that during Carry Back’s 1961 championship season, the colt ran 16 times at eight tracks in front of crowds totaling 533,325.
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