Whirlaway’s Emergence as The Annihilator of Competition

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By the Epsom Derby winner, Blenheim II, out of mare Dustwhirl, Whirlaway was one of the esteemed bandwagon of the Triple Crown winners. A Calumet Farm foal, Whirlaway was one of their naughtiest foals who despised the idea of running disciplined and in a straight line. Gifted with a lightning speed and a concealed thrust of acceleration that he unveiled only at the critical instances that would compile into a victory, Whirlaway’s skills had made him quite a centre of attraction for the Calumet Farm. The farm turned to Ben Jones to train their talented young horse. However, enlightened by the weird behavioural patterns of this highly energetic young colt, the responsibilities to create a race winner out of the foal entrusted to him, Ben Jones consciously decided to dedicate himself solely on the acceleration prodigy. Referred with a handful of witty names, Whirlaway was also referred to as “Mr.Longtail”, “The Flying Tail” and often as “The Half Wit” by his fans. However keen Whirlaway seemed to be of galloping and training all day long, he was incapable of running in a straight line or closer to the inner rail. His probable fear for the rail or running in the pack brought Ben to train him under specialized conditions to rid of his track phobias so he could make impressive running. As a two year old in 1940, Whirlaway started in seven races in all of which he made a fine win out of four stakes races, namely, the Hopeful Stakes, the Saratoga Special, Breeder’s Futurity Stakes and Walden Stakes. This season he had finished in the money in 13 out of 16 starts, a maiden season not far from impressive. His connections had already begun predicting his chances at the Triple Crown but the persistent fear of the rails and running in indefinite patterns made the possibilities a tall order to cater. Whirlaway’s sophomore broke off with a start at a sprint held at Tropical Park that was directed to help him overcome his fear of the rails. Later followed were the Blue Grass Stakes and the Derby Trial, both of which eluded Mr. Longtail owing to his repulsion to the inner rails that eventually costed him time and effort to match speed and distance with his counterparts. Post plenty of training sessions to help him run closer to rails, through the pack and away from outside rails finally gave way to an eight lengths victory in the Kentucky Derby with reputed jockey, Eddie Arcaro, a win against Blue Grass winner, Our Boots. The 2:01 2/5 win on the Derby leg stood a record for almost two decades following which Whirlaway set the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes on fire with a characteristic sudden burst of pace that happened towards the home stretches winning the former by five and a half lengths and the latter by 2 ½ lengths lead. The season ended with Whirlaway’s repeated success in Dwyer, American Derby, Saranac Handicap along with Lawrence Realization and Travers Stakes that eventually won him the Horse of the Year and the U.S. Champion Three Year Colt 1941. The next season however, The Flying Tail emerged as a handicap specialist winning a series of handicap tournaments, namely, the Clark Handicap, Dixie Handicap and also the Narrangansett Special. Soon the recognition as an older Horse of the Year 1942 became elusive as a match race with the emerging contemporary, Alsab, came looming over Whirlaway. Alsab being a younger horse gave the advantage of setting an early pace for the first mile of the 1 3/16 mile race held at Narrangansett. Mr. Longtail attempted to close in with his signature last move but Alsab, giving him a tough fight for the wire, won by a nostril, they say. Its most obvious the Alsab victory didn’t go down well with Whirly’s connections or him; his comeback was more than a vindication, it was a quench for the thirst for victories that would wipe out the entire competition. Whirlaway now demolished Alsab in the Jockey Club Gold Cup and followed onto his winning rampage with Washington Handicap, Governer Bowie Stakes, Pimlico Special and the Louisiana Handicap. Whirly’s effort found recognition with a consecutive Horse of the Year award along with Champion Older Horse 1942. By the time Whirly retired from active racing, he had become the highest grosser of his time earning more than half a million from his races. He was ranked number 26 by the Blood-Horse and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1959. He died in 1953 having sired good stakes winners like First Whirl, Whirl Some, Rock Drill and Going Away. Whirly now awaits in his 3D simulated version for racing fans from around the globe to choose him as their ride and compete in online tournaments where he vanquishes all competition with his everlasting desire to win. Register for free downloads or online play of the exciting 3D games from HorseRaceGame where players get to choose riders, train them on variety of surfaces, breed new foal and also compete in horse racing handicapping tournaments held online. The games are a virtual version of reality horse racing with exceptional detail paid to accuracy of characteristics of every aspect related to horse racing. If you are a genuine horse racing fan, probably this is the ultimate test of your racing skills!


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