1979 Belmont Stakes: CBS Broadcast

History and the long, demanding stretch at Belmont Park had caught up with Spectacular Bid. With a short distance remaining in the Belmont Stakes last Saturday, he was leading, seemingly drawing away from his seven rivals. He was four lengths in front of 12-to-1 shot General Assembly and looking just as strong as he had while rattling off victories in 12 consecutive stakes races. Just 660 yards to go to the third Triple Crown in three years. But then Spectacular Bid began to behave like a very fat man trying to run up a very steep hill. In the stretch curve he drifted out from the rail. His lead diminished. He was having trouble getting air into his lungs, and his legs seemed to desert him. With a furlong to go, he was a beaten horse, seconds away from joining the company of Pensive, Tim Tam, Carry Back, Northern Dancer, Kauai King, Forward Pass, Majestic Prince and Canonero II—the band of Derby and Preakness winners that came a cropper at Belmont. The winner, Coastal, was one of those lightly raced colts that periodically come out of old-line barns to waste Belmont pretenders. The steady Golden Act, spear-carrier-in-chief in the classic races, was second. Bid, who had been described by his trainer, Bud Delp, as the greatest horse ever to look through a bridle, was looking at the nearly four lengths of track between his nose and Coastal's as he finished third. Did Bid's young jockey, Ron Franklin, ride the horse badly? Some of the jocks in the race and those watching from ...

 

 



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