05/17/2011 12:46PM

No. 9 Preakness Moment: The Duel II, 1989



Talk was cheap and plentiful during the early months of 1989. In New York, Easy Goer was making good on his promise as a 2-yearold champion with fast, fluid wins in the Swale, the Gotham, and the Wood Memorial. At the same time, out West, Sunday Silence had emerged as the colt of choice, burying rivals in the San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby. When they finally met in the Kentucky Derby, Sunday Silence beat Easy Goer by 2 1/2 lengths, but the track was a muddy mess, and no one east of the Appalachians was convinced the right horse won.

"Sunday Silence may well turn out to be the best colt in the land," wrote Steven Crist – now editor and publisher emeritus of the Daily Racing Form – in the New York Times. "But few will believe that until he beats Easy Goer again."

So he did, two weeks later, in a Preakness that still gets fans squabbling over drinks. Sunday Silence moved first, Easy Goer jumped him on the turn, then Sunday Silence came out and around and swept past Easy Goer heading into the Pimlico stretch. Cheek to cheek, they clawed at each other until the wire mercifully arrived, with Sunday Silence a nose in front. 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)