Sunday Silence & Lost Code
Sunday Silence, the winner of the 1989 Kentucky Derby, Preakness & Breeders Cup Classic represents all that is good in sports. He was an unwanted horse(went through the auctions unsold) with average breeding at best and who nearly died when his van tipped over as a yearling. He then goes on to become one of the greatest race horses of all time. His classic match ups with Easy Goer were some of the most memorable races of all time. Easy Goer was no slouch in his own right. He has the 2nd fastest Belmont in the last 100 years behind only Secretariat. If Easy Goer would've won the Breeders Cup Classic in 1989, fans were ready to call him the best horse of the decade(1980's). Instead he lost by a desperate neck in the Classic to Sunday Silence and he ended up being the 2nd best 3 year old of 1989. He was undoubtedly the 2nd best horse of the decade behind Sunday Silence.
The two greatest races that I've ever seen were between Sunday Silence and Easy Goer. The 1989 Preakness was a rematch of the Kentucky Derby just two weeks before. Easy Goer and Pat Day were determined to take the fight to Sunday Silence early and they blew past them at the 3/8ths pole. Sunday Silence who is all heart didn't panic though. He dug in and caught Easy Goer at the top of the stretch setting up one the most memorable stretch run in memory. The two colts slugged it out the entire length of the stretch with each putting a nose in front in a length of the stretch battle. In the end, Sunday Silence got his nose up at the wire. In the Belmont, Easy Goer cruised to an easy win stamping himself as clearly the better horse at 1 1/2 Miles. The great race horses are compared at the Classic distance of 1 1/4 Miles though and Sunday Silence proved to be the better horse at that distance.
Sunday Silence was sold to Japanese interests as he went off to stud and he became one of the great Japanese studs of all time. Selling our champions to overseas interests for stud is another topic for another time(See Greed). Sunday Silence will always be remembered to me as one of the horses that got me hooked on the great sport of kings. The big black strapping colt raced with a chip on his shoulder as if he knew he was the underdog. I've never enjoyed watching a colt run as much as I have him. One of the greats of all time.
The 1989 Preakness between Sunday Silence and Easy Goer can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSaQPrMS0RQ
Lost Code isn't going to remembered as one of the greats but he has a special place in my heart not only for the amount of money I won on him in the St. Paul Derby but because of his race style and determination. Lost Code was a horse that had to have the lead at all costs. He was hell bent for the lead when the gates opened and nearly got it every time. Once he got the lead he was one tough hombre. Like Sunday Silence, Lost Code was also a strapping black colt who was built more like a Quarter Horse or a Linebacker, compact and well muscled. Lost Code won 15 times in 27 starts including 2 Grade 1's. As a 3 year old in 1987 he rattled off 7 straight stakes victories including a track record. He will always have a special place in my heart.