This Day in Belmont history: Real Quiet’s miss

June 6, 1998

The stage was set.  For the 2nd consecutive year a Bob Baffert trainee rolled into NY in search of racing’s elusive Triple Crown.  It had been 20 years since the world was treated to what was rapidly becoming the most difficult feat in sports.

Real Quiet had won the Kentucky Derby at 8-1 five weeks earlier, emerging from the shadow of his stablemate, Indian Charlie.  With an electrifying move on the far turn he swept to the front and held sway late.  The 2nd place finisher, Victory Gallop, was in high gear late and finished a fast-closing second.  Two weeks later in Baltimore jockey Kent Desormeaux made a similar move with Real Quiet to the one he did in the Run for the Roses.  He swept to command five wide and finished strongly through the lane, setting up another Triple Crown bid one year after his trainer missed with Silver Charm.

The 1998 Belmont featured four horses from the Preakness, with Classic Cat and Basic Trainee joining the aforementioned Real Quiet and Victory Gallop.  Thomas Jo was coming in off of consecutive victories in the Tesio and Sir Barton at Pimlico.  Parade Ground had just been 3rd in the Peter Pan behind Grand Slam.  Raffie’s Majesty was coming in off of a 4th place finish behind Yarrow Brae, who was also in the field.  Limit Out had just finished 3rd in the Withers and Chilito was looking to avenge consecutive defeats in the Kentucky and Jersey Derbies.

Real Quiet was bet down to 4/5 and broke from post position 7 after scratches of Hanuman Highway and Hot Wells.  Rather than me narrating the race itself, click here to watch the 1998 Belmont via www.belmontstakes.com

Tom Durkin’s race call, which might be the best among his hundreds of stirring descriptions, captured the feeling soon after Real Quiet and Victory Gallop hit the wire.  It was a frenzied final furlong that left you hopeful, doubtful, then awe struck.  We could wait years for a Belmont that will be as exciting as that running and I’ll patiently wait in hopes that it happens again.

 

I’ll be back tomorrow with This Day in Belmont History.  Only four days until the 143rd Belmont Stakes!

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