The Legend of Silky Sullivan, the greatest come-from-behind horse in racing history

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Fecha: noviembre 1, 2019

I’ve always been a lover of a come-from-behind horse. Zenyatta is the first to come to mind, as she’d settle way back to the area and mow them down after appearing hopelessly beaten. Racing’s”Queen” lost only one race, and by a short head, following 19 straight victories.
The new creation of horseplayers is likely somewhat less comfortable with Silky Sullivan. From the late 1950s, this family name was synonymous with winning a losing struggle. Silky Sullivan was, undoubtedly, the best come-from-behind horse of all time.
Silky, often ridden by the great Bill Shoemaker, was nicknamed Mr. Heart Attack, and for good reason. This horse did not only come from the clouds, he came from another world! I’ve heard lots of stories of old timers who tore their betting tickets while viewing the horse left behind, just to experience the garbage and try to tape together their winning slips.
Back in 1957, Silly won the Golden Gate Futurity, easily making up 27 lengths on the area. At a race at Santa Anita in 1958, Silky took back some 41 lengths off the leaders and passed them all to win by open lengths at a 6-1/2-furlong sprint! What’s even more amazing is he ran the previous quarter-mile of the race in 22 minutes. Later on in his profession, he would come from 32 lengths from it to score conveniently in The California Breeders’ Champion Stakes.Silky Sullivan was a legend and a folk hero. He had his own train to journey, obtained Christmas and birthday cards and had his own secretary to open and respond to his mail.
He was a gentleman. He’d let children walk underneath him, sit on his back and stroke the white star on his brow. When an adult would try out any of the, Silky would gently but firmly remove them from the area.
Silky Sullivan was foaled on St. Patrick’s Day in 1955 and raced through his four-year-old season. Beginning in 1965, he had been paraded at Golden Gate Fields each year on his birthday. He was also revealed at the Santa Anita Derby each year. At the mature age of 20, he was still being exhibited at racetracks across the nation, and he loved every minute of it.
While his two- and age-old seasons were decent, he didn’t fire in big races such as the Kentucky Derby or Preakness. His career ended with a record of 12 wins from 27 starts, with one second place finish and five thirds. Silky earned $157,700 within his lifetime.
Silky died in his sleep, in Pleasanton, California, on November 18, 1977, at age 22. He was buried in the infield in Golden Gate Park, simply to the left of this tote board. Just one other horse — Lost In The Fog — is buried at this track.
What Silky Sullivan gave a generation was priceless. He supplied thrills and chills and pure enthusiasm. He took people’s issues away for a few minutes each time he ran and showed us regardless of how bad things are, there’s still always expect. His name is still used today in sports and politics — if a individual or staff is really far behind they can’t possibly win and yet they still do, it is known as a Silky Sullivan Finish.
We could all use a bit of Silky Sullivan within our own lives.

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