Wandering through Whirlaways

A quick post here today, from gray, cold, wet of Whirlaway day at Aqueduct. Really, one Saturday this winter, could I have a sunny day at Aqueduct? Just one? Please?

But on we trudge, and while today’s Whirlaway doesn’t look like it’s going to be much of a race, one never knows what might emerge from this race for hopeful three-year-olds.

The race is named for the 1941 Triple Crown winner, and the marvelous British Pathe video archive brings us an English view of that year’s Kentucky Derby (pronounced, of course, “Darby”):


Last year at this time I wrote about Whirlaway’s four-year-old campaign, which brought him to Aqueduct for the first time: he raced only three times at this track, all in June of 1942, compiling a record of two wins and a second.

In 1943, Whirlaway ventured north for the 1943 Massachusetts Handicap, which he won easily.

The last two runnings of the Whirlaway are worth recalling as well; in 2009, a son of Speightstown came to the race with a record three wins in four starts and announced himself a force to be reckoned with, winning by more than six lengths as the odds-on favorite.

And a year ago, vaunted Eightyfiveinafifty was indeed the story of the race, but not quite in the way his connections had hoped; in this replay of the race, he disappears on the first turn, leaving everyone watching on television wondering just what the heck had happened to him.

5 thoughts on “Wandering through Whirlaways

  1. One of Jimmy Jerkens horses a few years ago was entered at Aqueduct in a mile race (out of the chute). He jumped the rails sans jockey and was later apprehended at the end of the parking lot by North Conduit.

    Concerning Eightyfiveinafifty, I was struck by Contessa proclaiming him his Derby horse. The horse was fast but, had never been around 2 turns prior to the attempt in the Whirlaway. He had a dosage over 8. Yikes! It was not a surprise to me, what happened.

  2. Teresa – any word on when Eightyfiveinafifty will be returning? Maybe he could have benefitted from the “one-eyed blinker” that kept Whirlaway from running around the outside rail.

  3. How could I resist, John? But what’s with the “inside out empty pocket at the racetrack” motif? Seems to be a fave for whoever made these films.

    August, I think that I remember that incident; I didn’t know whose horse it was, though. And if Eblouissante brings on the same madness that her half-sister did…then no, I’m not ready.

    Francine – I haven’t heard anything about a return, but I’ll try to find out for you.

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