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Risen Star – 1988 Belmont Stakes (Dave Johnson's ABC-TV Name) – jj

Risen Star – 1988 Belmont Stakes (Dave Johnson's ABC-TV Name)

Risen Star romps in the Belmont Stakes.


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  1. RE: The large heart gene – Princequillo (himself an excellent race horse), Secretariat's damsire (maternal grandfather) and Risen Star's great-grandfather, was also Sham's damsire; Secretariat and Sham were half-cousins.  Both Secretariat and Sham had extraordinarily large hearts (Secretariat's was estimated at 22 pounds, while Sham's was weighed at 18 pounds.  An average thoroughbred has about an 8 pound heart.)

    I remember watching the 1988 Belmont live, and when Risen Star pulled way away from the field down the stretch, I thought it must have been a little like Secretariat in 1973.  (I wasn't old enough to remember watching the '73 Belmont live.)

  2. Risen Star was a star indeed. With any decent trip in the Kentucky Derby he would have won, perhaps going away. Great Preakness run. But his Belmont was spectacular. A worthy son of Secretariat. But to those who note he ran the final 1/4 mile 1/5th second faster than his father . . . that was after Secretariat had run the preceding 1 1/4 mile a full 13 lengths faster than Risen Star had.

    Risen Star beat the field by 18 lengths, but Secretariat would have crushed Risen Star by 12 lengths in this race. Risen Star was an exceptional horse. Secretariat was Pegasus.

  3. Not to mention Storm Cat, and A.P. Indy out of Terlinqua and Weekend Surprise respectively, both Secretariat daughters. His maternal grandsire, Princequillo sired Something Royal, Sec's dam who passed the gene to him. Google Princequillo, there's a page called reines de course. Wonderful bio/tribute, especially the 3rd paragraph fm bottom, lovely. I think Sec looks most like Princequillo, see photo too.

  4. I love the way Sports Illustrated described this race. It said Risen Star won this race in "the swashbuckling style reminiscent of the old man himself." The day before this race Risen Star galloped a mile and finished off the last 3/8 mile in 33 3/5, the fastest last minute zinger ever recorded at Belmont Park at that time.

  5. I agree. IMHO I really doubt there will be another TC winner in the foreseeable future with the breeding practices today, the use of all these drugs, and other things going on in racing today. They are just not conducive to producing a tough, fast horse that can endure the rigors and the strain of a TC campaign. Even if they are very lightly raced, these modern racehorses don't seem to be able to handle it IMO..

  6. Risen Star was the best horse to race in the Triple Crown races who did not win the Triple. People think the Belmont is the hardest race for a great horse to win. It isn't, it is the Derby because of the size of the field. There is a huge element of luck involved in the Derby and unfortunately Risen Star drew the short straw that day. Bad luck.

  7. i was there coming down the stretch the whole crowd was yelling go big red even uncle joey then realzed and yelled go son of big red!! ps i won alot of money that day!! and just for the hell of it in the last race of the day put 20,00 across on a shot named airforbes gyspy paid nICE!!

  8. His final quarter was 1/5th of a second faster than Secretariat's last quarter because he had run the earlier part of the race much slower than his father did. As brilliant and fast as Risen Star raced here, he was still 12 lengths slower than Secretariat.

  9. I'm a huge fan of Bid; of horses I've seen, I rank him behind only Secretariat. But since you are not restricting yourself to horses who lost specifically the Bemont, Native Dancer ought to be mentioned here as well. Like Spectacular Bid, he's generally ranked among the top 10 American thoroughbreds of the 20th c; many, probably most,
    analysts would rank him above Spectacular Bid. Those two great grays are clearly
    rivals for the best of the Triple Crown "losers."

  10. The more time goes by the more impressive that Secretariat time of 2:24 is. The closest to that are Easy Goer 2:26 and Risen Star 2:26 2/5 and those aren't even close. That just might the greatest performance in the history of sports.

  11. Risen Star was a good horse, but the best horse to not win the TC was Spectacular Bid, Bid is an all time great. Now if you wish to debate who the second best one was, that would be a good debate. Point Given, Afleet Alex, Silver Charm, Real Quiet, that is where the debate is, Bid was heads above all of them.

  12. Steven Crist in the New York Times (July 5, 1988) wrote "The drama surrounding Risen Star these days is a familiar one, a set piece played in four acts: Horse gets good. Horse gets syndicated. Horse gets hurt. Horse gets retired." Injury didn't end Risen Star's career, the ankle problem was one for which the prognosis was good, it was syndication that did the horse in. Racing needs heroes to succeed and retiring top horses at 3yrs has severely hurt it.

  13. @NebulizerChi

    i think Eddie D tapped him twice right handed at the top of the lane, and it was over. As the close-up showed, the jock kept him to task, but the race was already over. Delahoussaye seldom gets the credit he deserves as one of the all-time greats. His rides on AP Indy were impeccable.

  14. In many ways the race looks like his father's race, albeit not winning by the same margin, but still a large margin, and just pulls away from the field towards the end. Shame he got boxed in at the Kentucky or we could have had another Triple Crown winner, and to be the son of the great Secretariat, what a great story that could have been! Risen Star, largely overlooked in talk of the best of all time. By the way, the SECOND fastest in Belmont history… and the great one's son, go figure, lol.

  15. From June 20, 1988 edition of SI "Like Father, Like Son" by William Nack – Joseph(Harold, Risen Star's groom) got to his feet and stepped back to admire his handiwork. "His daddy jumped out of him today!" said the groom. "He run the second fastest Belmont of all time. Second only to his daddy's 2:24 flat. Oooo! Man, I'm tellin' you! This colt told us all today: 'I'm the force to be reckoned with now. You've got to beat me.' "

  16. @jetdr yes, and his jockey told trainer RS shld be allowed to go to front. If he had raced the best way for him, he probably WOULD have won the Derby and the TC Q
    Shame. 17 hands high, what a beauty !

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