There's nothing trivial about a $1-million race, but the Santa Anita Handicap, which will be run Sunday for the 50th time, is chockablock with lore and perfect for trivia.
So here, then, is the 50th anniversary Santa Anita Handicap trivia quiz--50 questions with answers to follow. Get 40 or more right and go directly to the Racing Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; 30 to 39 right means you probably work for the Daily Racing Form; 15-29 correct gets you a seat on a bench at Santa Anita Sunday, providing you arrive before 10 a.m.; get fewer than 15 right and you watch the race from the arboretum across the street from the track.
1. The winning jockey in the 1948 Big 'Cap said he couldn't have won if his horse hadn't taken off after being struck by another rider's whip. Who won, and who were the riders involved?
2. Bedside Promise's owners, not having nominated their horse, are paying a $25,000 supplementary fee to run Sunday. What horse is the only supplementary entry ever to win the race?
3. Name the two horses who won the race and were disqualified, and which horses wound up winning?
4. Darrel McHargue rode Vigors to victory in 1978, but what else did the jockey accomplish that day?
5. The Charlie Whittingham-Bill Shoemaker trainer-jockey combination will be trying for a fifth Big 'Cap win Sunday with Ferdinand. Name the four Whittingham-Shoemaker winners.
6. Name the Big 'Cap winner who later became a champion in England.
7. Royal Glint won in 1976. Name his sire, who also had won the Big 'Cap.
8. Who was the horse who won the San Fernando Stakes for his 14th straight victory, then missed the Big 'Cap because of a hoof injury?
9. What was the biggest crowd ever to watch the race?
10. What year did they bet the most money, and how much?
11. A filly or mare has never won. Who are the two distaffers that finished second?
12. Herat, at 157-1, almost won last year's race, finishing second to Greinton. What was the biggest payoff for a winner?
13. What was the smallest win price?
14. Which was the only horse to win the Big 'Cap twice?
15. What horse has run the most times without winning?
16. First trick question: Who won the race in 1942?
17. Skywalker, before he was injured, was going into Sunday's race off a grass prep. What Big 'Cap winner had run on grass for the first time just two weeks before the race?
18. Who was the first Kentucky Derby winner to also win the Big 'Cap?
19. What other Kentucky Derby winners have won the Big 'Cap?
20. Seven winners have carried 130 pounds. Name four.
21. Who was the fastest winner?
22. How about the slowest?
23. Name 5 of the 10 foreign-breds that have won.
24. What horse finished second twice, then won in the final race of his career?
25. Who carried the most weight in the race?
26. Charlie Whittingham is starting three horses--Ferdinand, Epidaurus and Bruiser--Sunday. What trainer once saddled four starters?
27. Name the first and last of Bill Shoemaker's record 11 winners.
28. What horses were involved in the only dead heat for second place?
29. Who was the oldest winner?
30. And the youngest?
31. Who was the Big 'Cap winner who carried only 100 pounds?
32. Don Pierce won four Big 'Caps, but he likes to talk about one in particular. Why?
33. Second trick question: How many horses running this year also competed in last year's race?
34. In 1946, with a record 23 horses running, several starters were lumped into the pari-mutuel field. Who was the field horse that won?
35. One of the owners of a starter Sunday had a brother who won the Big 'Cap. Name the winning brother and his horse.
36. What was the biggest margin for a Big' Cap winner?
37. Name three of the six Big 'Cap winners who won by a nose.
38. Ferdinand (Kentucky Derby) and Snow Chief (Preakness) give the Big 'Cap field two Triple Crown race winners for the first time since 1950. Who were the two that ran that year?
39. Charlie Whittingham has saddled seven winners, more than any other trainer. Three times his horses ran 1-2. Who were those horses?
40. What was the smallest field?
41. Eleven horses have won the Triple Crown. Which is the only one to win the Big 'Cap?
42. Which of Sunday's starters has earned more money than the entire field of 20 horses that raced in the first 'Big Cap?
43. Who got seven mares in foal the year before he won the Big 'Cap?
44. Who got bumped at the start, fell 18 lengths behind and still won?
45. Lord at War and Gate Dancer were co-high weights at 125 pounds when Lord at War won in 1985. How many times has the high weight won?
46. What year was the winner's circle presentation made the day after the race, on a day when Santa Anita wasn't racing?
47. What trainer won the race after his father had won as a jockey?
48. Who was the Calumet Farm horse who tried to win the Big 'Cap after he had won the Widener Handicap at Hialeah just the week before?
49. What owner won the race three times?
50. Who's going to win the 50th Big 'Cap?