1953: Turf writers vote on Belmont Stakes winners most likely to gain “immortality”

“A month ago Alex Robb, secretary of Belmont Park, mailed out ballots, asking turf writers to name ten horses that would still make the news years from now like Jack Dempsey and Babe Ruth. He asked specifically which of the winners of the Belmont Stakes would be newsworthy.

One of his questions was “Can you ever tell while a star is still active that he has that trace of immortality?” Robb says 95 ballots were returned (about 75%), and here’s the result:

Citation …… 94
War Admiral …… 91
Count Fleet …… 90
Whirlaway …… 90
Man o’ War …… 89
Gallant Fox …… 84
Assault …… 71
Twenty Grand …… 66
Zev …… 63
Omaha …… 43

This observer voted for the first nine, did not name Omaha, which turned out to be a failure in the stud.

Robb adds that Bimelech received 28 votes, Johnstown 25, Blue Larkspur 23, and that in the less than 20 votes category were Grey Lag, Shut Out, Crusader, Counterpoint, One Count, Middleground, Pavot, Capot, American Flag, Granville, Phalanx, Hurryoff. Eight Belmont Stakes winners received no votes.” (Paul Lowry / Los Angeles Times, 05/14/1953)


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