“A half century later, the Blood-Horse polled several experts to determine the best 100 horses of the 20th Century. One voter placed Secretariat 13th. You realize what this moron was saying: if a typical race were held between his first 13 horses, Secretariat would finish dead last. The only serious race I can come up with where Secretariat would have even the SLIGHTEST chance of finishing last would be at a mile against Man o’ War, Count Fleet, Swaps, and Dr. Fager. And, I repeat, only the SLIGHTEST chance. The odds are Dr. Fager would amazingly finish last and it would be a desperate fight at the wire between Secretariat and Count Fleet. I’d pay five figures to see that race–OK, maybe six.”
This comment was received in response to my recent post on One Count (and tangentially to the commentator on Native Dancer and Secretariat). The “half-century later” referred to was the time gap between Native Dancer’s two-year-old year (1952) and the Bland-Horse‘s poll on the 100 best North American racehorses of the 20th century.
I responded to this comment by asking if Frankel belonged in this race, this hypothetical meeting of the world’s best milers. The commentator responded affirmatively (along with some cogent observations about the difference between North American and European breeders, to the detriment of the former).
So right now we have a hypothetical race at one mile among Secretariat, Man o’ War, Frankel, Count Fleet, Dr. Fager, and Swaps. Since this is a hypothetical race, let us stipulate that the track surface (dirt, turf, whatever) and configuration (straight, one turn, two turns) are NOT a factor. It is a simple question of which horse is BEST at this distance.
So I hereby invite responses to this question. Responses might include other steeds you think “belong” in this mythical race. I can think of at least three (two European and one North American) in that category.
Or of course you can simply state your opinion as to who would win this race and WHY. Just keep in mind that since this is a HYPOTHETICAL race, it is all a matter of OPINION. And as John Madden said, “Records live; opinions die.”
Nevertheless, let me know what you think about this hypothetical proposition if you feel so inclined.