05/17/2011 12:41PM

No. 8 Preakness Moment: The Thriller, 1997


Not all great individual efforts get their colors painted on the infield cupola weather vane. There is a basic unfairness in describing a horse who has just run a lights-out race as a loser, especially when that loss can be measured in inches. No one ever said horse racing is fair.

In 1997, a bumper year for 3-year-olds, the Preakness gathered the first three finishers from the Kentucky Derby, shook them up, and rolled a perfect three-way photo. Derby winner Silver Charm got there first, with Free House second and Captain Bodgit third. The margins were a head, and a head, which made it the closest, most crowded finish in the history of the classic.

"It was a privilege just to be in a race like that," said Bob Lewis, who owned Silver Charm.

Sometimes, though, it is a blessing just to survive, and the most memorable moments occur someplace other than the finish line. NEXT >>

Jay Hovdey's Top 10 Preakness Moments

10. The Fairy Tale, 1971 (Canonero)
9. The Duel II, 1989 (Sunday Silence)
8. The Thriller, 1997 (Silver Charm)
7. The Duel, 1978 (Affirmed)
6. The Rumble, 1962 (Greek Money)
5. The Stumble, 2005 (Afleet Alex)
4. The Tragedy, 2006 (Bernardini)
3. The Filly, 2009 (Rachel Alexandra)
2. The Mugging, 1980 (Codex)
1. The Move, 1973 (Secretariat)