IN PURSUIT OF GREATNESS: THE STORY OF THE SANTA ANITA HANDICAP
The oldest continually run, "hundred-grander", in Thoroughbred racing, this now $1 million race at Santa Anita Park in California is chronicled through its first 50 runnings with rare and historic footage, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and interviews with some of the, "Sport of Kings", most notable participants.
There's SEABISCUIT who competed three times in 1937, 1938 and 1940 - finally winning on his third try (see all three complete runnings from start to finish!); the popular Chilean import, COUGAR II; 1971 Horse-of-the-Year, ACK ACK; Triple Crown winner AFFIRMED; Eclipse champion SPECTACULAR BID; and the only horse to win it twice, JOHN HENRY. Film footage of other racing legends who've won or have participated include CITATION and NOOR's 1950 race, the unorthodox stretch run of TOP ROW and TIME SUPPLY, TRIPLE BEND, KENNEDY ROAD, BAGDAD, SILVER SPOON, HILL RISE, PROVE IT, CANDY SPOTS, ROYAL GLINT, CRYSTAL WATERS, BATES MOTEL, WAVERING MONARCH, NATIVE DIVER, LUCKY DEBONAIR, EXCELLER, LORD AT WAR, PRETENSE, ROUND TABLE, VIGORS, DAHLIA, AVATAR, TIZNA, ANCIENT TITLE and FLYING PASTER.
The more prominent horsemen who've made history in the "Big Cap" include WILLIE SHOEMAKER, CHARLIE WHITTINGHAM, JOHNNY LONGDEN, and LAFFIT PINCAY, JR.
And how about those Hollywood celebrities that were drawn by the glamour and excitement who focused on the track from its earliest days; box seats were occupied by Betty Grable, Tyrone Power, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Robert Taylor, Barbara Stanwyck, John Wayne, Ronald Reagan and Greer Garson Fogelson (owner of ACK ACK).
The Santa Anita Handicap's focus is ultimately on the magnificent Thoroughbreds with bloodlines refined through the centuries to produce speed, endurance and courage; the best of them converge on this 1-1/4 mile distance race each year which Calumet Farm trainer, JIMMY JONES, called, "The Toughest Race in America to Win." Some are champions going in and others catapult toward lasting fame from their exploits in this race; the winners are assured a place in racing immortality.
For most, winning the Santa Anita Handicap is the impossible dream. For 50 years there has been honor in the trying, as well as in the winning - the fans cheer when the horses step onto the track, when they arrive at the starting gate and when they're off! But there's nothing like the roar of the crowd when the "Big 'Cap" field drives for home - the sounds peak then slowly subside to cheers for the winner and applause of admiration even for the losers. These horses and people have made the Santa Anita Handicap a unique and great race; a race that lends honor to all those taking part, but especially to the few who are great enough to win!
|Format(s) Available:||DVD And VHS|
|Category:||U.S. & Canadian Flat Racing|