1979 Travers Stakes: CBS Broadcast

Next to the Daily Racing Form listing of five of the seven starters in last Saturday's Travers Stakes at Saratoga was an asterisk indicating that those horses could handle a muddy track. The other two had no mud mark. When rain drenched the track, making the going difficult and tiring, bettors gave those marks and those non-marks considerable thought. They could have saved themselves the effort. One of the two without a mark was General Assembly, an enigmatic critter who went out and won the 110th Travers by 15 splashy lengths. The General has led a puzzling racing life, up one day and down the next. Racing fans adore him after one race and deride him after the next. Until last week's Travers he was known primarily as "Secretariat's best son," but that has meant very little because Secretariat has been anything but the sire he was expected to be when he was sent to stud after his stunning two years as a runner. Well, what General Assembly did in the Travers was stunning and more. He ran over a track rated "sloppy" in 2:00 for the 1� miles to set not only a stakes record but a track record as well, and Saratoga is the oldest track in the US, having opened its iron gates 116 years ago. The field the General left in his wake was the best group of 3-year-olds assembled since the Kentucky Derby. Not since Secretariat himself won the 1973 Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths has there been so overwhelming a triumph in a race of such high significance. But a question remains, one as ...

 

 



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