His owner thought he was finished at mid-stretch, his rider thought he might have been ready for bed, too, but Tell All You Know spilled it all in the final strides to win the 20th running of the $75,000 Honor the Hero Stakes on Memorial Day in a stakes record :55.85.
The race was shaken up with three scratches, including the defending champion, Bet Seattle, and that left the winner as the even-money favorite with Dylan Davis, who arrived from Churchill Down but he surely had a better trip from Kentucky than Tell All You Know did in the five-furlong sprint. Boxed in behind horses most of the way, Tell All You Know got the opening he needed in the stretch, paused momentarily as Moses did at the parting of the waters, and then re-broke, reaching the wire ¾ length in front of 9/5 choice Castletown with El Seventyseven third at 9/2.
That didn’t appear likely with a furlong to run. “I thought he was all done right there,” said owner Gene Phelps of Wayzata.
“I had no place to go for so long, I didn’t know if he had anything left,” said Davis.
The view in retrospect was somewhat different. “If he had had a clean trip, he would have won for fun,” said Phelps.
“He just exploded,” said Davis.
A win is a win is a win, but there are always those nagging couldhavebeens.
“It would have been fun to beat him (the defending champ),” said Phelps. “I don’t know if we would have, but it would have been fun.”
OVERHEARD ON THE TURN FOR HOME
When it was announced that Scott Stevens would ride in the $1.25 million Metropolitan Mile on the Belmont Stakes card, his brother Gary wondered if the prospect made him nervous.
“The race itself doesn’t make me nervous in the least,” said Scott. “Getting to the racetrack does, though.”
Even that is no longer a concern.
Thanks to Gary.
“He’s arranged for a car to pick me up and take me where I need to go,” said Scott.
Stevens will ride Broadway Empire in the Met Mile for trainer Robertino Diodoro. Stevens has worked the horse for some time in Phoenix and rode him to an allowance win there.
Now the 53-year-old rider has the mount in the richest race of his career.
A CAMERA FOR THE AGES?
There is a camera, an icon really, stationed against a wall in the press box, on which a folded placard rests with this message:
“This camera, an Ikegami HK 355A, was used to film the 1973 Belmont Stakes. It was later purchased at auction in Schaghticoke, N.Y., and transported to Canterbury Downs.
It is a camera to be revered, approached as any sacred vessel, for, after all, it reputedly recorded one of the most magnificent events in thoroughbred racing history, Secretariat’s immortal triumph in the Belmont Stakes that wrapped up the Triple Crown.
Press box visitors have been known to touch the camera gingerly, as if it still held Big Red’s immortal strides that memorable afternoon.
Now, sadly, rumor has it that the camera will be sold to the highest bidder at an auction to be held at a later date, along with a piece of fossilized dung from the great horse himself.
by Jim Wells