Dixie Union was a Richard Mandella unraced colt that had been working in nearly average manner leading up to his final work over the Hollywood Park dirt main track. Being by Dixieland Band and owned by the Diamond A Racing Corporation and Herman Sarkowsky he would be a horse that would pick up our heads especially being out of the producing mare She's Tops.
In his last work prior to his June 13, 1999 debut, he worked from the gate with a R.D. Hubbard owned Seattle Slew colt, also trained by Richard Mandella. Dixie Union broke on top, opened up and won by five easily. Official clockers never saw it. The only time on the official tab was that of the, at that particular time the owner of Hollywood Park, R.D Hubbard's Seattle Slew colt. Dixie Union had worked in 1:00 flat and finished under wraps with Alex Solis on board. Huge work!
On June 13, 1999, Dixie Union was entered in an eight horse field of maidens with only three horses having raced before. The buzz around the track was that Caller One, trained by Jimmy Chapman, was the clocker play, well, not this clocker's play. Mine was Dixie Union.
Caller One opened up on the turn using his superior skills of his left lead, but when Dixie Union stretched himself, switched to the right lead at the top of the stretch he was powerful. He ran down the game Caller One and drew off to win a length and one half.
Caller One was no slouch, the Phone Trick gelding, went on to win 11 of 29, $3,249,429 in earnings, and winning prestigious events like Dubai Golden Shaheen in Dubai, not once but twice in 2000 and 2002.
Dixie Union in his career won 7 of 12 starts and over $1,233,190. He has turned out to be a tremendous stallion and is represented by Union Rags in the Belmont Stakes.
That June 13, 1999, Dixie Union paid only $6.80 but I learned something that day about Dixie Union and about horses that is priceless:
Yes, there is such things as right handed or right lead horses and left handed, or left lead horses.
Dixie Union was a right “handed” horse. He woud never make an impression on the turns with that left lead of his, but in the stretch when he did switch over, he exploded.
Read Part II Next Tuesday right here ...