ALMOST HOPELESSLY BEAT

A question almost sure to elicit a difference of opinion among avid racing fans is this: Which single race would you select as the one in which a horse looked impossibly beaten, yet somehow got up to win? If you could have wagered on who would win when the horses reached the final strides, how sure would you have been as to the outcome?

My candidates are twofold: John Henry’s win in the 1981 Arlington Million over The Bart and Personal Ensign’s win in the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Distaff over Winning Colors. I watched the former on television and the latter in person.

Click here to watch John Henry and click here to watch Personal Ensign.

If forced to choose between these epic come-from-behind victories, I would select the John Henry race. Old John looked beat even a jump from the wire. In fact, to my eyes, John Henry looked like he lost the race.

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