Contrary to popular mythology, the racing world does not end after the Belmont Stakes. Our greatest champions are not all Kentucky Derby winners. Heck, some of the best horses of the last decade didn’t even win an Eclipse Award! Starting today, I will profile a terrific, but sadly, Underrated racehorse each week(or as often as I get around to it). Maybe someone out there will see the true grit, talent and beauty of these forgotten horses and appreciate them as much as me. First up is a Triple Crown winner, in fact!
He was a South American Triple Crown winner.
He was imported to the US by big-time owners with BCClassic hopes.
His trainer is a magician with mysterious foreign-breds.
IS it Invasor (Arg)? NO! The underrated horse is LIDO PALACE (Chi)!
The son of Rich Man’s Gold first came to my attention with his 3rd place finish in the 2001 UAE Derby, much like the more famous Argentinian. Lido Palace ran well in his first start as a four year old, but wasn’t a threat to Godolphin’s stars Express Tour and Street Cry, who were both three and on the Kentucky Derby trail. Lido Palace was allowed to enter the UAE Derby because he was from the southern hemisphere, where horses turn a year older not on Jan. 1, but on Aug. 1. Though he was a newcomer to me, Lido Palace was famous in his home country, Chile — he was their 2000 Triple Crown winner.
Amerman RAcing stable imported the Chilean star in 2001. Trained by Bobby Frankel in the States, Lido Palace won 3 Grade 1 stakes in the US, including the Whitney at Saratoga. He defeated Albert The Great and E Dubai, two awesome handicappers in their own right and scored a 114 Beyer. Lido Palace is also the last horse to win the Woodward in back-to-back years, in 2001 & 2002. He ran Beyers oer 100 in both of those wins as well. In the 2002 Whitney, Lido was a just-beaten 3rd to Street Cry in the race where Left Bank equalled the track record. Later that same year, he won the Gr2 Clark Handicap at Churchill, soundly defeating Najran, who had equalled the American record for the mile.
Lido Palace retired with 11 wins in 23 starts, and over $2 million in earnings. Nine of his victories were in Graded stakes.
I always enjoyed the show when Lido Palace was in the race. He was Invasor before that horse was born, and just as talented. He was not nominated to the Breeders’ Cup, and his owners did not want to pay the $800,000 supplemental fee to run him in the Classic. I always thought that was a mistake. If he’d raced, I think he would have put up a good fight with Tiznow or Volponi. Today, he stands at stud in Florida at Lambholm South.