Equidaily.com cited the significance of Monday Sep 20, 2010 as being the 30th Anniversary of the legendary Spectacular Bid's walkover in the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park.
In addition they unearthed the CBS video of the race (more commonly the NYRA feed has been seen by most folks) posted on youtube which features Bud Delp talking with CBS host Jack Whitaker and even Jimmy "The Greek".
The amazing part is the very audible boos from the audience from the time 'Bid' comes on the track to him in the final stretch. Obviously people (and we're talking a huge crowd in todays view) were miffed seeing a paid workout they could not wager on. History being lost of course on the crowd ...
Keep in mind this was just a couple weeks before the 1980 Jockey Club Gold Cup which was slated to be his last career start also at Belmont and at 1 1/2 miles. Bid never made that start - being withdrawn less then 2-hours efore the start of the race. see Sports Illustrated Oct 13, 1980 "The Champ Calls It A Day"
the Belmont crowd was 23,000 spectators and four-year-old Spectacular Bid [with Bill Shoemaker up] won the Woodward Stakes in the world's richest walkover.
To the surprise of trainer Bud Delp and owners Harry, Teresa and Tom Meyerhoff, "Bid" was awarded only $73,300, which was half of the winner's share of the purse, but all that was allowable under the track's rules.
There had not been a walkover in a major U.S. stakes race since Coaltown won the Edward Burke Handicap on April 23, 1949.
There hasn't been a walkover of a major U.S. stakes since either.
from an outsider.................what is a "walkover".
please excuse my ignorance
Only one horse goes to the gate. So if s/he makes it around the track and under the wire, s/he wins.
These days, most, maybe all?, racing jurisdictions no longer allow walkovers, at least in stakes races. If a race doesn't draw a minimal number of entries (say, 4 or 5), it doesn't go.
As to The Bid's walkover in the Woodward, Haskin said on FB yesterday that Delp was furious with Shoemaker for allowing Bid to finish that fast (he ran each of the last 2 quarters in something like :24 1/5!!).