Being a favourite for two consecutive seasons, as a two and three year old, Alsab was even compared to the legendary Man O’War for his racing style and what he could easily achieve. When closing in on the wire in the final furlongs, Alsab’s speeding into a high never appeared effortful or exerted. The Blood-Horse ranked him 65 but Alsab certainly had more to offer. The U.S. Champion colt for two consecutive years, 1941 and ’42, this Hall of Famer took a number of match races in his tenure to establish and maintain his supremacy over other contemporary and older horses. Alsab was the best trained by Sarge Swenke and owner Albert Sabath.
However uncanny it may sound how Alsab’s name seems to be derived from that of his owner’s, he quite was their favourite. In a two year season that comprised of 22 starts from this fine young colt, he won a remarkable 15 with 3 seconds and one third place finish. Alsab drew his immense stamina and grinding racing pattern from his great grandsire Colin who belonged to Commando-Domino lineage. Alsab had a super-impressive pedigree that combined the aggression of champion filly Pastorella and Colin’s persistent competition Fair Play.
Alsab’s career comprised of few very crucial races that were primarily a test of his competence against the others of his generation. His contemporaries like Requested and Shut Out posed a serious competition during his tenure as a two year old while Whirlaway held the fort during his three year old season. As a racing horse freshly out of debut, Alsab won the Washington Park Futurity and the Mayflower Stakes but his distinction went unrealised due to lack of qualification for the much honoured Futurity Stakes. Having watched the much acclaimed winner of Tremont Stakes, Requested also failing to make it to the Futurity, a call for a match race between the two failed qualifications was made.
Even though the pace was initially set by Requested, after a head to head speed duel, Alsab suddenly burst to bullet speed winning the six and a half furlong test race with 3 ½ lengths effortlessly. Alsab also went on to set a new track record clocking 1:16, a complete second less than older record.
Alsab’s three year old season brought him to the Triple Crown where he met Requested and Shut Out. The Derby was lost to Shut Out with Alsab closing in for second. However the Preakness, his luck favoured and Alsab won the race against the Derby winner Shut Out who finished out of money and Requested finishing second. Alsab’s Belmont didn’t quite favour him as he finished second to Shut Out who was back in form but eventually had to let go of his Triple Crown dream.
The same year, another match race was proposed to test Alsab’s superiority over 1941 Triple Crown winner, Whirlaway. Even though Alsab set the pace and led most of the distance, Whirlaway closed in offering his a tough duel in the final stretches. The gruelling duel ended till the wire with Alsab winning the race by a nose in 1:56 3/5 for 1 3/16 miles. Another match race accomplished and Alsab’s supremacy, over horses his generation and older- established.
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