The racing community ponders a classic question this Saturday afternoon. Can a Kentucky-bred three year old beat all the best older horses in the country going a mile and a quarter? The answer is that the older horses do not have a chance.
This Saturday, Arts and Letters will teach the handicap horses how to run. The arena will he spacious Belmont Park, and the conditions weight-for-age.
On April 24, Arts and Letters won the Blue Grass Stakes by fifteen lengths. He then lost the Derby and the Preakness by a neck and a head to the much celebrated Majestie Prince.
Since then he has beaten America's best handicap horse, Nodouble, in the Metropolitan Mile, America's best three year old. Majestie Prince, in the Belmont Stakes, and subsequently won the Jim Dandy Stakes by ten lengths and the Travers by six and a half lengths. There is no horse in America who can run with him at distances over a mile.
The purist will argue, Nodouble was giving Arts, and Letters an eighteen pound weight edge when they ran in the Metropolitan. In the Woodward, under weight-for-age, he gives away only six. Forget the weight argument. Arts and Letters was under only a "mild drive" when he bashed Nodouble two and a half lengths in the Metropolitan. When he tries harder, It's cookies.