The best race of the year thus far, and certainly a candidate for a global year end award, occurred Saturday evening in Australia where Lennytheshark was the victor in the $750,000(AUS) Miracle Mile at Menangle Park. Racing on the outside the entire mile, the Shark was a nose victor in a 1:49.2 (tenths) mile.
What makes this victory so fantastic? Lennytheshark was parked on the outside the entire mile with Lazurus tracking him going into the stretch with Inter Dominion champion Smolda down on the inside. When a horse is caught uncovered on the outside in a :24.8 first quarter, one doesn't expect the horse to be around at the end. At the top of the stretch, one would not have blamed the victor had he spit the bit out but he persevered with amazing determination.
Sweet redemption for the seven year old Shark who was scratched this season from the Inter Dominion due to a foot injury.
It should be noted the winning driver Steve Alford received a $400 fine for excessive whipping in the race. Would Lennytheshark have held on without the excessive whipping? Who knows, it is hard to prove something which didn't happen. The one thing for certain is a $400 fine when the winning horse took down $450,000 is certainly not big enough; it becomes a cost of doing business.
I would be remiss not to congratulate Bold Eagle for winning this afternoon, the French Triple Crown by winning the Prix de Paris in a mile rate of 1:59 for the 4,150 meter (2 5/8 mile) race. This victory makes the Eagle the first horse since 1976 to nail down the Crown (Prix d’Amerique, Prix de France and Prix de Paris), join horses like Gelinotte, Jamin, and the famous Bellino II.
Here is the history-making race: If you are in a rush, go to the 4:30 point and look for the driver with the red silks in the outer tier.