Great Horse Racing Videos – 1984 Frontline Episode

Frontline Season 2, Episode 11

Air Date: May 7, 1984 as “The Other Side of the Track” ; Rebroadcast Date: November 6, 1984 as “King of the World”

At the time, horse racing was still American’s number one spectator sport. In 1982, more that 77 million people wagered almost $12 billion at the nation’s racetracks. Frontline gives an insider’s look at the ‘sport of kings, ‘ focusing on tracks at Belmont, NY, where the rich indulge their interest in racing, and at Great Barrington in Massachusetts where horses, many with soundness issues, run for purses that can barely pay the feed bill.

Washington Post columnist and inveterate bettor Andy Beyer discusses the beauty and excitement of the sport, praising its virtues as a crucible for one’s character. Handicappers Connie Merjos and Len Ragozin enumerate the incredible complexity of the variables involved in predicting winners.

This program examines the phenomenon of horse racing in the United States. Frontline reporter Irv Drasnin goes behind the scenes of the industry, speaking to track stewards, professional handicappers, so-called “touts,” horse owners, and gamblers to explore the mystique and emotional thrills that attend betting on the horses, as well as the seamier side of the pastime.

The elegant, patrician atmosphere of horse racing associated with tracks such as Belmont Park and Hialeah are contrasted with the “Great Barrington Fair, a rundown venue with worn-out horses that caters to gambling addicts, who desperately flail for the dubious tips provided by Great Barrington’s unscrupulous, bottom-feeding touts.”

Former steward Herman “Slim” Summers, former Massachusetts Racing Commission member James Mosely, and detective Joe Pomarico comment on the rumors of race-fixing and horse-tampering that abound at Great Barrington. The program concludes with Beyer’s annual trip to Hialeah, where he hopes to win at least $50,000, reflecting the the optimism and eternal hope — or destructive self-delusion — required of the serious bettor.

It’s a fascinating look at our sport from nearly 40 years ago.

Great Horse Racing Videos – 2022 Breeders’ Cup Classic Won by Flightline

The great Flightline faced the best field of his lifetime in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland on November 5, 2022 and he was up to the task.  Ridden by Flavien Prat, Flightline drew off to a decisive 8 1/2 length victory over a stellar field.  Post-race comments include Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey.

Great Horse Racing Videos – Flightline Moving Like a Tremendous Machine

Flightline winning Pacific ClassicGrade 1 winner and horse racing superstar Flightline rated kindly in second during the early running of the Pacific Classic at Del Mar.  He took over while under an absolute strangehold before drawing off to a 19 length victory.  Trained by top California horseman David Sadler and ridden by Flavien Prat, Flightline is headed to the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland later this fall.

One YouTube viewer wrote:

“Probably the best I’ve seen since Secretariat. There’s not a horse on this earth that wants to try flightline right now. And I’ll bet he is just as good on turf as he is on dirt. This horse is a superstar. He wants to run his own race, like Secretariat, and he is a ham, did you see him looking at the crowd?, like Secretariat. I wish him and his connections the very best.”


Great Horse Racing Videos – Maxfield in a Clark Handicap Thriller

Grade 1 winner and Churchill Downs horse for the course Maxfield went out a winner in his final race, capturing the G1 Clark Handicap over Thanksgiving weekend.  Happy Saver, a 12-1 longshot, ran second after failing to switch leads during the entire stretch run.  That cost him the grade one victory.

Great Horse Racing Videos – 70-1 Upset in the 2021 Arc de Triomphe

The German invader Torquartor Tasso shocked the world with his 70-1 upset in this year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.  The runner, who had won two of his last three starts, relished the heavy going in Paris, finishing powerfully down the lane to run past the first and second betting choices of the French punters.

Last year’s Breeders’ Cup turf victor Tarnawa had a less than ideal trip when finishing a game second in this classic race.  Seeliway finished a good 5th off a layoff and may be coming over to the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar.

More Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar news.

When the Great Secretariat Raced at Arlington Park

It was June 30, 1973 at the Chicago racetrack, Arlington Park. Secretariat was making his first race after his dominating performance in the Belmont.

This is the ABC TV coverage of Secretariat and his race at Arlington Park in the summer of 1973 in front of a packed house.   Secretariat would go on to be upset by Onion in the Grade 1 Whitney Stakes at Saratoga in his subsequent start.  But on this day Triple Crown Secretariat was brilliant as he won again by open lengths.

Looking back at 40 years of the Arlington Million

Arlington Park racetrackOne million dollars. For a horse race. It was unheard of at the time.

The largest purse for a horse racing history in North America was created 40 years ago. And although it was last run in 2019 when Bricks and Mortar captured the race, it has captivated race fans since its inception.

“It really developed from Joe Joyce, Robin Sheldon, Ralph Ross and Mr. (Dick) Duchossois,” said Tony Petrillo, President of Arlington Park Racetrack. “They wanted to put Arlington on the map. So, this race was developed, and it was the first million-dollar race in the country [the Arlington Million].”

And there would not be a more fitting end to that first race in 1981 than a photo finish. Just like legendary track announcer Phil Georgeoff called it: “Is it The Bart? Or is it John Henry on the outside?”

It was John Henry, with the legendary Willie Shoemaker aboard, nosing out The Bart, a 40-1 longshot, at the wire in a truly exciting end to a huge payday for the owners of John Henry. That finish, which was the closest in Million history, has been memorialized in a statue with both horses just outside the paddock area and still sits there today.

The million-dollar purse and the race that went with it in 1981 did just what it was expected to do as Arlington Park racetrack began to regain its prominence not just in the United States, but in the world…

Great Horse Racing Video – The Final Race at Hollywood Park

Horse Racing History

75 years of historic horse racing came to a close on December 22, 2013 at Hollywood Park.  Track announcer Vic Stauffer gave a great send off to the Southern California racetrack.

This is a track where Citation, Native Diver, Affirmed, Zenyatta and many more great horses raced over the years.

Great Horse Racing Video – 2018 San Felipe Stakes

The battle between 2018 Kentucky Derby hopefuls Bolt d’Oro and McKenzie in the G2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita.

Ironman Perry Outz Wins 7,142

The ironman Perry Outz won again, scoring his 7,142 career win.  That victory moved him into the 6th position overall for wins by a jockey – an amazing feat by the legendary Ohio rider.

Outz’ win on Friday at Belterra Park was called by track announcer Ed Meyer.