Capps, Author Of Spectacular Bid Biography Reflects On Horse's
KY Timothy T. Capps, author of the book Spectacular
Bid, a biography about renowned race horse Spectacular Bid
in the Thoroughbred Legends series of fine books published
by Eclipse Press, reflected on the horses career and offered
his thoughts on Spectacular Bids place among modern great
racehorses. Spectacular Bid died of an apparent heart attack Tuesday
at Dr. Jonathan Davis' Milfer Farm near Unadilla, N.Y.
Spectacular Bid, Capps details the heart-breaking Triple Crown
run of Spectacular Bid who could have achieved racing immortality
were it not for a loose safety pin in his stall. Spectacular Bid
had already won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness and looked
to be a sure thing in the Belmont Stakes until he stepped on the
fateful safety pin prior to the race and ended up third.
Spectacular Bid's career was more than just a missed Triple Crown.
He had versatile speed that allowed him to run from anywhere in
the field, whether on the lead or far back, and he used his speed
to overpower his rivals time and again.
executive vice president of the Maryland Jockey Club and former
editor and publisher of the Midatlantic Thoroughbred, commented,
Had he won the Triple Crown, I believe his reputation would
be on par with that of Secretariat, Man 'o War, and Citation.
Certainly, he has to be among the ten best ever in this country,
and I would rate him in the top five. I know that the Timeform
Millennium book ratings had him only trailing Secretariat and
Citation among America's 20th century stars. I'm not a believer
in ranking horses who have never faced each other or come from
different eras, and once you start down that road you just keep
coming up with an additional horse or two you left out.
said all that, I think Spectacular Bid ranks among the best horses
this country has seen. Spectacular Bid came along at the end of
a decade which witnessed an extraordinary number of great racehorses,
perhaps the best decade in American racing history for superstar
horses, and he developed his own following in the same sense as
did Seattle Slew in that he was a moderately priced yearling purchase
owned by people who were not long-time household names in racing,
trained by a guy heretofore known as a successful claiming trainer.
was not a rags-to-riches story, but was not a Tiffany story, either.
He was simply so good for so long that he gained an enormous number
of admirers, me among them, who recognized that his talent was
enormous, as was his will to compete; he was sort of a blue-collar
super horse, one who earned every ounce of the recognition he
received. Whatever the expectations were for him, he exceeded
continued, Finally, it didn't hurt that he was gray; for
some reason, grays, perhaps because there aren't all that many
of them, seem to appeal to a certain segment of the racing population.
He was an irresistible force, a horse who simply didn't have bad
race in his system, one who needed no excuses and left little
behind him to puzzle over.
could run fast, far, on any surface, and was a genuine a competitor
at the end of his career as he was at the beginning. If all those
attributes don't make a racehorse great, then the term needs to
more information on Spectacular Bid, read Spectacular Bid and
Thoroughbred Champions: Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century,
published by Eclipse Press, available through Exclusively Equine
at www.ExclusivelyEquine.com or by calling 1-800-582-5604. For
more information on Eclipse Press visit www.EclipsePress.com.