On This Day...
Date Posted: 2/23/2004 1:31:40 AM

Chateaugay peering off.
Photo: The Blood-Horse Library
Feb. 23, 1963
Chateaugay at Hialeah

Chateaugay's 3-year-old debut was largely overlooked because it came on the same card in which Beau Purple beat the mighty Kelso in the Widener Handicap at Hialeah. But it was on that Feb. 23 afternoon that Chateaugay gave an indication of things to come.

Chateaugay, pronounced SHAT-ah-gay by residents of the northern New York lumber town after which he was named, pressed the early pace in the seven-furlong race, moved to the front on the final turn, and withstood the charge of Pack Trip to win by three-quarters of a length.

A son of Kentucky Derby winner Swaps, Chateaugay didn't start again until the Keeneland meeting in April, and this time he led all the way in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race. After that came a triumph in the Blue Grass Stakes nine days before the Run for the Roses.

For the first time in its history, the Derby attracted two unbeaten runners, Candy Spots and No Robbery. The former had not run since winning the March 30 Florida Derby. No Robbery went into the Churchill classic off a win in the Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct two weeks earlier.

The Derby also attracted the previous year's champion 2-year-old male, Never Bend, but it was Chateaugay catching that pacesetting colt in the stretch and winning in the same 2:01 4/5 time in which Swaps scored. Chateaugay ran second in the Preakness and came back to win the Belmont Stakes.

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