Lord of the Underworld
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Historical momentsthe break down of the Queen of the fillies; Ruffian 1975

It was the day that would answer every race man and woman’s question: which sex was the better. It was the match race between the colt Foolish Pleasure and the filly Ruffian. Everyone was taking side for either of the champions. Belmont park was filled with over 50, 000 people and over 20 million was seeing it all on television, they all had one thing in common; being eager to see the outcome of the race for which champion would remain on top of the racing world. The start signal went off and the colt and filly was both away like dark lightnings over the dirt. The first quarter mile of the dirt was taken by both horses in the impressive time of twenty-two seconds and a half, with Ruffian ahead by a nose. Barely more than a fur long later was Ruffian ahead by half a length but the disaster was faster than the filly. Her right foreleg snapped. With her jockey (Jacinto Vasquez) doing everything in his power to stop the filly she kept running. Her mind was set for the finish line and she wanted to win more than anyone. Once Vasquez got Ruffian to slow down he was off the horse to support her, holding her up to keep her broken leg from taking too much pressure but the hoof was already damaged and the leg was a disaster. A medical ream attended to Ruffian immediately and the moment she was off the track she got taken care of my Belmont Park’s surgical vet team. She was in for a long emergency operation that was successful but a long and hard recovery was expected. When Ruffian woke from the anesthesia was her heart still out on the track running the race, as she was held down to be calmed down she kept kicking as if running, and hurt her leg more, making the surgery undone with more damage to that. Ruffian was put down and out of her suffering July 7, 1975. After the tragedy many trainers admitted to have believed Ruffian would’ve been the greatest horse of all time. The trainer of Secretariat, Lucien Laurin. said to the press: “As God as my witness, she may even have been better than Secretariat.”

To this day is Ruffian the only horse to be buried at Belmont Park. She is buried near a flag pole in the infield of Belmont Park with her nose pointing towards the finish line.