My friend Gaylyn gave me a photo of my favorite horse of all time-Man O’War, last night. Man 0’War, or Big Red as he was called, raced in 1918-1919. He won 20 of 21 races beaten only by a horse named Upset in a race as a two-year old where he was literally backward at the barrier when it was snapped (no starting gates existing then) to start the race. His jockey got him boxed in on the rail and still he only lost by a neck in this horrible race. He didn’t win the triple crown, I think he would have, but his owner, being truly interested in the welfare of his horse, thought a mile and a quarter was too far to ask a three-year old to run early in May. He did win the Preakness and the Belmont. He was truly one of the great ones. If you have young kids that like to read, get the Walter Farley version of Man O’War. It will be a great summer read for them or you. Just be prepared for the proclamations that Man O’War was the “mostest horse that ever was” as his groom used to say.
Secretariat, also known as Red, may have been the greatest ever-I would say certainly in the spring of 1974 when it was Triple Crown time, I do not think there was a horse ever that could have beat the horse he was then. Yesterday, a decision came down that Secretariat’s time in the Preakness was officially a Preakness record. This has been debated since 1974. The official clock malfunctioned. Two track timers clocked him at the same Preakness record time but it wasn’t until Penny Chenery continued to fight for her big red horse that now, the record will stand until someone can surpass it. Secretariat broke records at all three triple crown events. His time from the Belmont (watch the movie Secretariat if you haven’t-you will enjoy it) will never be beat (or if it does that thoroughbred may be the best ever).
My big red horse, Mr. Kid, continues to be the love of my life. He is an off the track quarter horse. He was fast. He went from the track to speed events like barrels and poles. He is related to both Secretariat and Man O’War in his bloodlines, or at least that’s how I remember it. Both of those super race horses had what horse lovers call heart and I believe my horse does as well. He has certainly given me his.
The other two OTTBs, are coming along. Leo worked better today than ever since his adjustments. We made some saddle and pad changes. I think the saddle was not fitted as well as it should have been.
Caroline is doing a great job on the new horse Joey. I think they have bonded and he is lucky to have someone he trusts as he makes the transition from race horse to jumper. He is gaining weight, getting stronger and more balanced. I want to see him go over some small jumps soon. Oh, I hope he likes it!