The Underdog


May 1st, 1999 was quite a day in Louisville, Kentucky. The field was packed with promising but not too-impressive colts, all ready to go. However, as the race began, it was evident that there was just too many horses racing together at one time. They were all getting clumped together and boxing each other in, colliding with each other, and all fighting for the same position, making it impossible for hardly any of them to have a fair chance. Through it all, however, this surprise underdog managed to win the biggest horserace in the world - but just barely. Had the pole been just a little further down, second place winner, Menifee, would have passed the chestnut right by. Hhmm... taking into account that the bay's trainer is the same as last year's Triple Crown spoiler, Victory Gallop, I'd be very wary of this competitor. But with how things have been going in the horseracing world these days, you never can tell.

Pumpin' for the Preakness

After the Kentucky Derby, still no one even considered the possibility of the chestnut, Charismatic, to win the second leg of the Triple Crown. It was a page right out of Secretariat's history (which is indeed, fitting, because Charismatic is the grandson of Big Red), with a flashy chestnut all of a sudden appearing out of nowhere and breezing past the other horses. Charismatic's finish in Pimlico was very impressive, holding off Menifee by about a full length. (The bay had been the favorite for the race.) What a year it would've been for the underdog to win the last Triple Crown of the Century... however, such fantasies were only that.

After his trying attempt, Charismatic could only manage to keep third, behind Vision and Verse and Lemon Drop Kid. Charismatic made such a daring attempt that he chipped a bone in his front leg. Almost immediately after finishing the race, Chris Antley tumbled off his mount and checked his steed's leg. A huge crowd gathered to see what was wrong with the Derby and Preakness winner, and a vet ambulance took the colt back to his stall. There apparently was a swelling at the bottom of his cannon that occurred when Charismatic was trying his hardest. From the injury, it was finally confirmed that the Derby and Preakness champion was no longer able to ever race again. In a sport of triumph, there must always be tragedy. This was one of those times.

The Horse that Got No Respect

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