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Photo: The Blood-Horse Library
Temperence Hill at Oaklawn Park
March 15, 1980
Temperence Hill in the Rebel Handicap

Temperence Hill stamped himself a classics contender with a big closing effort in the March 15 Rebel Handicap at Oaklawn Park.

Temperence Hill, who was a maiden entering his 3-year-old season in 1980, won his first two starts of the year going into the Rebel at a mile and 70 yards. Sent off at 16-1, he lagged 17 lengths behind the leader in the early going and still trailed by four lengths at the eighth pole before high-tailing it to the wire and winning by 2 1/4 lengths.

It was more of the same two races later in the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) at 1 1/8 miles. Temperence Hill trailed by 18 lengths and got up to win by 1 1/4 lengths.

Temperence Hill, who wasn't nominated for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), also didn't run in the Preakness (gr. I), but gave it a try in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). The Belmont shaped up as a rubber match between Kentucky Derby winner Genuine Risk and Preakness winner Codex. Lost in all the excitement and outfitted with mud caulks, Temperence Hill stayed closer to the pace than usual and got up to win at 53-1 over Genuine Risk, with Codex back in seventh.

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