Sunday Silence and the 1989 Preakness Negatives

6 photos

Sunday Silence might have lacked pedigree, some would say, but in 1989 he had the Cinderella story, he was the winning underdog who went on to be one of America’s greatest racehorses, and he’d probably even be a card-carrying member of today’s 99%, if he were still alive.

If you were going to bet on a horse to win the Preakness Stakes in 1989, a great bet would have been on 3-year-old colt Sunday Silence. That year, Sunday Silence won not only the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Breeders’ Cup Classic, but also the Santa Anita Derby, San Felipe Stakes and Super Derby, earning several accolades including “United States Horse of the Year.” In 1990, Sunday Silence suffered an injury that led to his retirement. Passed over by American breeders, he was bought by Japanese breeder Zenya Yoshida, and would go on to become one of Japan’s leading sires.

Inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1996, Sunday Silence never placed lower than second in 14 career starts, according to the National Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame.

Here are negatives from The Sun’s archives leading up to the 1989 Preakness. Most of the photos feature Sunday Silence with trainer Charlie Whittingham. Other notable racehorses featured include rival Easy Goer as well as Dansil, Houston and Hawkster.
Click on the negative to increase size, then double-click again to magnify image and explore.

*Story updated.
Related Reading
Los Angeles Times — Sunday Silence Lacked Pedigree, Not Results
Horse racing: Colt, who defeated rival Easy Goer to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, was one of America’s greatest racehorses.