Famous Rabbits

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stark
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Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:29 pm

Curtis, are you out there?
I need your help, I got a headache.

For the life of me I can't remember one of my all-time favorite races, Charlie Whittingham had two, maybe three, entries in a stakes race and his rabbit stole it wire to wire.

I want to say something like Fitzwillam Place and he paid $20 but that may be similar to a fisherman's tale, I really have no memory. It was probably a long grass race as I've noticed to this day I have an affinity for speed in grass routes with no real explanation.

All I remember is that I had the happy feet waiting in the cashier's line on the other side of the partition, a great day.

Any suggestions from anybody are greatly appreciated, thanks.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
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Curtis
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Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:54 pm

stark wrote:Curtis, are you out there?
I need your help, I got a headache.

For the life of me I can't remember one of my all-time favorite races, Charlie Whittingham had two, maybe three, entries in a stakes race and his rabbit stole it wire to wire.

I want to say something like Fitzwillam Place and he paid $20 but that may be similar to a fisherman's tale, I really have no memory. It was probably a long grass race as I've noticed to this day I have an affinity for speed in grass routes with no real explanation.

All I remember is that I had the happy feet waiting in the cashier's line on the other side of the partition, a great day.

Any suggestions from anybody are greatly appreciated, thanks.
Here’s what I remember about Fitzwilliam Place. The first time Charlie ran her in this country, she was entered 6.5f down the hill and she refused to break. Later on, that year, she was set to go in a G1 at Hollywood—Gamely?—and McCarron had her scratched in the post parade causing Whittingham’s clean shaven pate to turn a lovely shade of red-violet. It seems next time out, Charlie put Aaron Gryder (the rider) up on her in the Beverly Hills, having vowed to never put Chris up on one of his horses again, and Fitzwilliam Place wired the field paying double digits. Charlie always had several horses in those races and they were only coupled if he owned a piece of one. In 1990, Ruhlman, with Stevens up, won the Big ‘Cap wire to wire for Charlie and the Mosses at 20-1 while Lively One, a more well regarded closer, took to herd tendencies up the track. I also remember Judge Angelucci wiring the 1988 San Antonio for Charlie and Eddie D. while Shoe on odds on defending HOY, Ferdinand went from last to second with Shoe never cocking the whip. I saw that latter stuff job a mile away, mentioned it to no one, and had steak for dinner that night. Ah, the good old days!
stark
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Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:53 pm

Thanks for the memories, and thanks to Aaron Gryder too!

And as I best recall, there were no superfectas or pick4s that we got duped into playing, had to resort to making large win wagers, lucky me!
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
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Treve
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Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:24 pm

Sir Barton was the rabbit for Billy Kelly in the KY Derby, wired the field... rest is history.
Damascus had Hedevar.
Citation had Coaltown as a rabbit on one occasion.
A filly named Ruffian...

Eine Stute namens Danedream...

Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


And a Queen named Beholder
Lord Helpus
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Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:07 pm

Let us not forget Commanche (yes--spelled with 2 'm's) for Tabasco Cat [to soften up Holy Bull]. I know that CT ran in the Haskill (?) and Travers in 1994(?) when he had no business being in route races. Connections --- DWT/Overbrook
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CoronadosQuest
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Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:04 pm

Lets never forget how Better Talk Now needed to have Shake The Bank in his races to be his rabbit. I always felt so bad for Shake :(
lurkey mclurker
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Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:08 pm

Bullet Train for Frankel, obvs.
middleground
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Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:53 pm

In the 1957 Belmont, John Nerud used Bold Nero to put paid to Bold Ruler for the benefit of Gallant Man.
slewobarney
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Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:33 pm

Is pacesetter the same as rabbit? If I remember, Mugatea was often the "pacesetter" for Slew O' Gold (my fav).

Here's 3 yr old Slew O' Gold (and Mugatea) vs the older heavy fav Bates Motel (one of my fav names) in the 1983 Woodward Stakes. Check out the animated AC as he crosses the finish line having just beaten the beast from the west.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Np9LwyWGx ... fullscreen
Last edited by slewobarney on Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:45 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Miss Woodford
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Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:39 pm

Big Blue Kitten's old rabbit Shining Copper is still racing and has won done quite well in his in his "solo career".
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Flanders
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Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:49 am

slewobarney wrote:Is pacesetter the same as rabbit?
Yes its a horse put into a race to either try and burn out the other speed, or to just ensure a lively pace.
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Kurenai
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Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:00 am

lurkey mclurker wrote:Bullet Train for Frankel, obvs.
You can't compare a pace setter with a rabbit though. That's apples and oranges.

Pace setter tries to ensure a honest pace, which is useful esp in turf races. Bullet Train was a pace setter. Rabbit tries to burn out other speed horses on the front or horses that have to be on the front. I think Game On Dude had a rabbit running against him, just can't remember the horses name, it was a sprinter. I also remember that Baffert was angry about it.

Since Noble Indy didn't make it to the front int he Belmont (and he could have since restoring hope floated so wide), Restoring Hope wasn't really a rabbit. And even if they tried to send a rabbit against Justify. Good luck, he is such a pro he would have settled no problem.
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Treve
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Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:56 am

Rabbit is a catch-all term in the US though, since it can refer to a horse with pacemaker like functions - in fact I'm pretty sure that's where the term 'rabbit' comes from - the idea of giving a target to chase after, moreso than simply going out to burn the front end horses.

Baffert declared RH would be a rabbit before the race then acted in the exact opposite manner so...
A filly named Ruffian...

Eine Stute namens Danedream...

Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


And a Queen named Beholder
FlyToTheStars
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Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:14 am

The rabbits that stood out was during Dr Fager and Damascus' time. And that rabbit was for Damascus' benefit. The Doc hated to have another horse in front or next to him so he poured his speed until the last ounce of energy- which set it all up for Damascus. I do not think it was fair if rabbits are in the race to kill off any runners who likes to lead in front, and that rabbits arent there to win at all.

It is sad to see them run full out then fade BADLY to finish mainly last. Heck, it wasnt meant to have Sir Barton to win the Derby at all, moreover the Triple Crown. He sure changed the tune of being a rabbit himself into a top runner of his day.
Tessablue
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Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:08 am

I think there's a difference between a pacemaker (who ensures that nobody else has to go to the lead and in many cases actually benefits the entire field), a rabbit who is entered for pace competition and runs best on the lead (in which case the horse is still being ridden with an intent to win, and can be safely ignored by any rival with enough tactical ability), and a rabbit who is entered purely to assassinate another horse.

The best example I can think of for the latter category, aside from the famous Hedevar, is the 2005 Whitney in which Dutrow entered two rabbits against Commentator and instructed the jockeys to surround him and shout at him in order to soften him up for Saint Liam. It worked, Commentator finished a distant third while both rabbits (who were coupled with each other, but not Saint Liam) were eased.

Unfortunately, I can't find a video of it.
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Kurenai
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Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:33 am

Tessablue wrote:I think there's a difference between a pacemaker (who ensures that nobody else has to go to the lead and in many cases actually benefits the entire field), a rabbit who is entered for pace competition and runs best on the lead (in which case the horse is still being ridden with an intent to win, and can be safely ignored by any rival with enough tactical ability), and a rabbit who is entered purely to assassinate another horse.

The best example I can think of for the latter category, aside from the famous Hedevar, is the 2005 Whitney in which Dutrow entered two rabbits against Commentator and instructed the jockeys to surround him and shout at him in order to soften him up for Saint Liam. It worked, Commentator finished a distant third while both rabbits (who were coupled with each other, but not Saint Liam) were eased.

Unfortunately, I can't find a video of it.
At least that's the difference here, but maybe it's different in Europe and in the US both types are called rabbit. I just cringe every time I hear Bullet Train was a rabbit, he wasn't.
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bare it all
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Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:36 pm

Some say no, but Spanish Chestnut was in the Derby as a rabbit. There were no intentions of winning with the pace he set that day. He was there for Bandini and Bandini alone.

Here's an awesome follow-up on his life as an OTTB now: https://www.paulickreport.com/features/ ... -k-a-chet/
katmandu
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Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:25 pm

lurkey mclurker wrote:Bullet Train for Frankel, obvs.
Just watched the documentary "Frankel" (it is really more about Sir Henry Cecil), and they talked about his "racing partner". Apparently Frankel did not rate well and they spent a lot of time training him to gallop along behind that horse to facilitate stretching him out. And then in a race. . . . not quite the same as a horse sent out to insure an honest pace. (That being said, I haven't gone back to look at his races to see if that is the actual reality(!), or the Hollywood version. . ).The movie is on Amazon Prime, perhaps elsewhere, it's well worth a watch, a documentary vs a "movie".
Apollo
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Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:40 pm

After the Marlboro Cup defeat, Laz Barrera used a rabbit for a Triple Crown winner in the 1978 Jockey Club Gold Cup. He instructed Life's Hope jockey to not only create a suicidal pace for Seattle Slew but also to scream at Slew during the race.

Of course, that turned out to be a wild and famous race. Slew was on edge already to the point he broke through the gate and spent much energy before being returned. Then Affirmed got rank and joined the dash up front instead of sitting back. I always believed it played out that way because Affirmed recognized Slew as the horse he couldn't catch in the Marlboro Cup so he wasn't going to sit back and allow that to happen again. Affirmed got a major reprieve when his saddle slipped. That attaches an excuse but he was going to get buried anyway.

I remember how furious ex-trainer Billy Turner was after Exceller beat Slew by a nose. Turner said, "The last thing Slew needs is a woop-de-do jockey like Cordero." It was a column by Luther Evans in the Miami Herald. Turner implied that Cruquet wouldn't have fallen for those fractions.
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Curtis
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Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:22 pm

Apollo wrote:After the Marlboro Cup defeat, Laz Barrera used a rabbit for a Triple Crown winner in the 1978 Jockey Club Gold Cup. He instructed Life's Hope jockey to not only create a suicidal pace for Seattle Slew but also to scream at Slew during the race.

Of course, that turned out to be a wild and famous race. Slew was on edge already to the point he broke through the gate and spent much energy before being returned. Then Affirmed got rank and joined the dash up front instead of sitting back. I always believed it played out that way because Affirmed recognized Slew as the horse he couldn't catch in the Marlboro Cup so he wasn't going to sit back and allow that to happen again. Affirmed got a major reprieve when his saddle slipped. That attaches an excuse but he was going to get buried anyway.

I remember how furious ex-trainer Billy Turner was after Exceller beat Slew by a nose. Turner said, "The last thing Slew needs is a woop-de-do jockey like Cordero." It was a column by Luther Evans in the Miami Herald. Turner implied that Cruquet wouldn't have fallen for those fractions.
Affirmed’s saddle slipped coming out of the gate causing Cauthen to have little control of him and for him to be rank. I think he may have been souring just a bit after a hard year as well. Also the jock on Life’s Hope was instructed to scream at Slew in order to wind him up even more. I remember after the race, Cauthen said he had to yell at Life’s Hope’s jock to “shut up!” since the yelling was also affecting Affirmed.
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