Friday, May 04, 2007

Curlin: The Next Affirmed

Well, many of you know I love thoroughbred racing, this guy could very well be the best horse of the decade. Many will quibble over the best races or trophies. The triple crown series in the US is hard to rival. Though the pomposity of the Melbourne Cup is second to none, it lacks the history of super horses needed to prove themselves 3 times on 3 diff tracks (Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes and the Preakness). Trivia buffs, where is the Preakness run?

Of course, there are triple crowns in UK but in terms of stature, status and prizemoney, nothing beats the Triple Crown in the US. Though Dubai can pour millions more in prizemoney, its a bit like Roman Abramovich's money in football: that's not quite the way its done matey. There are other significant races in the world such as the Epsom Derby, L'Arc de Triomphe, Japan Cup, Golden Slipper and the Cox Plate... but the Triple Crown attracts attention for each year we wait to see if there is a super horse to win all three in a year. In its 133 year history, only 11 horses have won all 3 races. The last horse to do it was Affirmed in 1978. The 70s was marked by the 3 great horses, Affirmed was one, the other two also won the triple crown, namely, Seattle Slew in 1977 and Secretariat in 1973. So its been nearly 30 years since greatness has been proven. Naturally, there were hardluck stories, some just winning two of the three races, some encountered bad luck in a race which robbed them of the glory. Sometimes, to be immortalised, it takes more than ability, it also has an element of destiny in it. Real Quiet almost did it in 1998, but lost the Belmont by a nose.

This year I have a feeling about this unbeaten horse Curlin, unchallenged and now he's the favourite for the Kentucky Derby, the first of the 3 races. The colt a slight 7-2 favourite over 4-1 Street Sense. Still, Curlin has a few things to overcome. He didn't compete as a two-year-old and has run only three races in his career - though he won them by a combined 28 lengths. Thats an incredible 9 lengths a races. Most races are decided by the winning horse beating the second horse by less than a length (one length is about a small car's length). So Curlin won his races by nearly 10 car lengths each time. History isn't on his side, either. It's been 125 years since Apollo won after skipping his two-year-old season. Still, it takes a freak to win by nearly 10 lengths each time even though the earlier races were much easier. The main danger is the big shortener Street Sense which has plunged from 6-1 to 4-1 in just over 48 hours. As this year's live action was won by NBC over ESPN, maybe we will get to see some action over at channel 91, maybe.


Anonymous said...

rask3 said...

Hi Dali,

I know zilch about racing, but I would like to take up horse riding as a hobby. I went to Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club to have a look see recently, but I haven't decided if I should take up membership there.

Any suggestions, Dali?


Boon said...

Dear Dali,

Enjoy reading your posts very much. Your content is great and your insight into things in the market is very sharp.

Did you draw those pictures on the right? I used to draw when I was younger.

Best wishes

Anonymous said...

Ironically....Street Sense!

What a Hard Spun story?

In stead of in front of the street, Curlin the hot favourite is behind the Street.

Well, it's a game of animal on a horse....hehe

Anonymous said...

Now that SS captured the KD.

The streets in Shang Hai are gettin' crazy, you see all the people very bubbly....hehehe....

solly Dali, i'm just a passing by postie....

Salvatore_Dali said...


i would suggest u have at least one lesson first before deciding to take up horse riding, not everyone's cup of tea ... besides kl eq there are others a bit further out iskandar, templar, etc..


i was shocked that u would think a normal person would be able to paint those pictures on the right column ... i can draw for zilch, the right column pictures on top is always dali, the paintings are all his work through the years... if i can even paint one or two like him, i'd be rich and famous mingling with shallow chicks in bars in NY

Boon said...


My mistake. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Jomaropol said...

You guys like to ride horses? You should try this nice little hotel in the inner regions of Kulai, Johor. It quite a respectable stable their and you get horse riding lessons and get to ride around the jungle too.

Great food too!

Jomaropol said...
It's got a country feel to it, mostly expats go there. Try the chicken.

Jomaropol said...

Speaking of horse riding, I happen to know this chap who happened to be the good doctor's instructor.

Recently he told me that he nearly had a heart attack when the good OLD (80 years old) doctor wanted to get up on his horse by his own, somewhere in the Andes/Argentina region. He wondered what would the country have felt if something would have happened to him.

Salvatore_Dali said...

1) Street Sense (shoulda known this was an omen tip, Wall Street Sensibility, aiyah.. the big shortener, won the race with 250 m to go but had a clear rails passage, still good, but may not have the goods to cover the 3 races
2) Hard Spun, tried to lead early, not good enough
3) Curlin, good effort 3rd from 20 horses, traffic was bad, only warmed up too late, I blame jockey too slow to react and too inexperienced to judge on timing of runs, leader's pace and crucial horses starting crucial runs, needs to change the provincial jockey la

jom, u r asking us to try the horse riding in kulai, and then recommended the chicken, r we to ride the chicken? It would be a pretty tight saddle.

the doc tried to ride up the andes, quite silly, a mini fall will break in many pieces

Jomaropol said...

haha Dali. The chicken is seriously good, but a tad ex, coz mostly catered for expats.

The old doc has been riding the Andes a lot these 2 years. Still very strong. One of the reason is because a Malaysian General E owns the resort. And you know how the doc loves riding, and enjoys giving us heart attacks while at it.


The Leakers - Helmed by the often brilliant Herman Yau Nai Hoi (whom I believe was from Malaysia who became a great success in HK films). 7...