Easy Goer (March 21, 1986 – May 12, 1994) was an American Champion Hall of Fame Thoroughbred racehorse known for earning American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt honors in 1988 and defeating 1989 American Horse of the Year Sunday Silence in the Belmont Stakes by eight lengths. The victory deprived Sunday Silence of the Triple Crown. It was also the second-fastest Belmont in history, behind only the record performance of Secretariat in 1973. Easy Goer also ran the fastest mile on dirt by any three-year-old in the history of Thoroughbred racing with a time of 1:32 2/5, which was a full second faster than Secretariat's stakes record, and one-fifth of a second off of the world record set by Dr. Fager in 1968. On the Blood-Horse List of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century, Easy Goer is ranked #34.
1 Racing career
1.1 1988: two-year-old season
1.2 1989: three-year-old season
1.3 Rivalry with Sunday Silence
1.4 Remainder of season
1.5 1990: four-year-old season
2 Stud record
3 4 External links
Homebred and owned by Ogden Phipps, Easy Goer was a son of Alydar and was out of the 1981 American Champion Older Female Horse Relaxing (by Horse of the Year Buckpasser). Trained by Shug McGaughey and ridden by Pat Day, the large chestnut colt with a white star won 14 of his 20 races, including nine Grade I wins, and placed second five times, including three runner-up finishes to arch-rival Sunday Silence. McGaughey described Easy Goer as, "a big, strong horse, and jockey Pat Day helped him by not crucifying him in his races and bringing me back something. He had soundness problems, but we stayed on top of it." Racing writer Steve Haskin described Easy Goer as, "Adonis-like, the closest thing physically to Secretariat. He was plagued by terrible ankles his entire career, but was placed upon a throne at an early age and justified all the adoration." Racing writer Edward L. Bowen's characterization of Easy Goer was: "Easy Goer was a glowing chestnut with a fluid stride that belied his short pasterns and less than perfect foot. Pasterns notwithstanding, he had the look of greatness, and he ran to his looks." Joe Drape of The New York Times described Easy Goer as a "powerful, massive, raw talent with an enormous stride." His running style was versatile depending on the circumstances of a race. He had enough big time speed to stay in contact with nearly any pace, and the ability to finish strongly nevertheless. He could go to the lead or come from behind. He could breathe down the neck of a speed horse, press a fast pace and take no prisoners, or drop behind the pace. Pedigree expert Avalyn Hunter noted, "Easy Goer combined blistering speed over a mile with thoroughly genuine stamina."
1988: two-year-old season
Before his career began, Easy Goer was shipped to McGaughey at the Payson Park Training Center in Indiantown, Florida., where he spent the winter getting acquainted with the starting gate and underwent basic training. His trainer noted some faults in his conformation. He had puffy, problematic ankles, a clubfoot, and his left knee turned out, all providing the potential for injury once the horse began serious workouts. However, McGaughey was captivated with Easy Goer the first time he saw him, but really felt he had something special when he watched him for the first time with a set of horses. “He gave the impression he could gallop those horses to death,” McGaughey said.
At two, Easy Goer won his maiden race at seven furlongs at Saratoga Race Course under a hand ride, defeating Is It True by over two lengths after being steadied on the backstretch, and, as McGaughey stated, "Running two or three seconds faster than the split of the race." Easy Goer came out of that race with a sore left shin. McGaughey was concerned because he thought he might have to stop the colt's training; however, treatment by hosing and poulticing the leg to draw out the heat was successful. He decided to wait and have Easy Goer's legs further treated after the Breeders' Cup that November. Easy Goer continued to train at Saratoga. He then won a 6 1/2 furlong allowance race at Belmont Park, again under little urging, running one-fifth of a second off the track record in 1:15 2/5, while carrying five pounds more than his opponents. His trainer said, "Then I knew I was training something special." Easy Goer then won the seven furlong Grade I Cowdin Stakes with little encouragement, defeating Is It True by four lengths. He ran the seven furlongs in 1:23 3/5. The raw time was more than 2 seconds off Devil's Bag's 1983 stakes record, but the Belmont track was producing unusually slow times on that day. He also won the one mile Grade I Champagne Stakes with little exertion, again defeating Is It True by four lengths, after stalking a half length to a length and a half behind the leader through fast fractions of 22 4/5 and 45 3/5, and
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