THE GREAT MATCH RACE
July 23, 1988
History was made at Ak-sar-ben on Saturday July 23, 1988, as Who Doctor Who and Explosive Girl squared off in the first major match race in America since 1975.
It was the first match race in Ak-sar-ben
history....and a moment to remember.
Match races were very popular in the early 19th century. The very first match race occured on November 20, 1822, in Washington, D. C., with
American Eclipse winnning over Sir Charles.
Perhaps the most famous match race of all was that between the great filly Ruffian and Kentucky Derby winner Foolish Pleasure.
It occured on July 6, 1975, at Belmont Park. It also is the most tragic match race in Thoroughbred history as Ruffian broke down. She later had to be destroyed, despite tremendous efforts to save her.
Who Doctor Who-Explosive Girl match race purse of $50,000 was the richest offered in a match race since Ruffian- Foolish Pleasure purse of $225,000. The richest match race of all time was
between Chris Evert and Miss Musket at Hollywood Park on July 20, 1974. Chris Evert humiliated her rival by 50 lenghts and earned $350,000!
The Who Doctor Who-Explosive Girl match race received the most national attention for a match race since the Ruffian-Foolish Pleasure match race.
However, there had been one other North American match race since 1975. That occured at Centennial Race Track in Denver, Colorado on June 7, 1981 and was between Keen Traveler and Graphic Miss. The purse was only $6,000.
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