1987 Strub Stakes

Carl Grinstead, one of the owners of Snow Chief, thought he had won. Trainer Mel Stute, who was standing in an aisle in the box-seat area, said he had a perfect position in line with the wire and thought Snow Chief had lost. Eddie Delahoussaye was riding Ferdinand, the horse who charged to the finish line almost stride for stride with Snow Chief. Unlike Grinstead and Stute, Delahoussaye wasn't wearing glasses, and his view was much closer. But Delahoussaye couldn't be sure who had won. That's how close the 40th running of the Charles H. Strub Stakes was on Sunday at Santa Anita, with 58806 fans just as unsure of the outcome as the principals. Finally, the photo-finish camera showed that Snow Chief had beaten Ferdinand by the smallest of noses, and Charlie Whittingham, the trainer of the runner-up, shoved his hands in his pockets, looked at the ground and walked around just outside the winner's circle. "Just one more jump," Whittingham said wistfully. Whittingham has won the Strub twice, but in three of the last four years he's found himself saying the same thing. In 1985, it was Precisionist over Whittingham's Greinton, by a nose just as short as on Sunday; in 1984, Desert Wine got to the wire a neck in front of Load the Cannons, another runner from Whittingham's barn. Stute should have been the last observer to doubt that Snow Chief had won, because all week long he had convinced himself that his colt was going to dominate the $516750 race. Snow Chief, a victim of a bone ...

 

 



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