1978 Travers Stakes - Affirmed -vs- Alydar
With the infield open to the public, a record crowd of 50122 jammed its way into the Spa, shattering the previous record by more than 15000. There was no way anyone in attendance or the millions watching on TV could foresee the bizarre events that would ensue. What began as a glorious celebration of the sport would end in bitterness and controversy. For the first three-quarters of a mile, everything was going as predicted. Affirmed, favored at 3-5, was sitting comfortably in second and about to dispose of the pace-setting Shake Shake Shake, who had been setting leisurely fractions of :24 and :48. Alydar, sent off at even-money, was in third, two lengths behind Affirmed. Everyone was waiting anxiously for something to happen. When would Affirmed blow past Shake Shake Shake? How and when was Velasquez going to attack Affirmed, and how was he going to try to avoid looking into the eye of the tiger this time? The answer soon became obvious. Cordero took Shake Shake Shake off the rail and began drifting out into Affirmed, opening a huge hole for Alydar, who had been running just inside of Nasty of Bold. Velasquez, as if expecting that hole to open, wasted no time and shot Alydar right through along the vacated rail. Affirmed by now had taken over the lead from the tiring Shake Shake Shake, only to have Alydar come charging through on his inside going into the far turn. The crowd let out a resounding cheer and braced for the battle they had been waiting for. Pincay, sensing the ...
Tags: 1978, Travers, Stakes, Affirmed, -vs-, Alydar, horse, racing, saratoga, disqualified, harbor, view, farm, calument, jorge, velasquez, laffit, pincay, controversey, john, vietch, rivalry
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