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Peter Fuller lived a full life

As the horse he owned ran dead last in the Kentucky Derby, Peter Fuller stood atop his chair at Churchill Downs in 1968, pumping his fists and urging Dancer’s Image along at the top of his lungs.

 

“There you go, baby doll,” he yelled, sensing a spirit others missed. “That’s it! Push it!”

 

Threading through the pack, Dancer’s Image raced to a thrilling, come-from-behind victory that was only slightly less improbable than what followed.

 

A couple of days later, officials said the horse had tested positive for traces of an anti-inflammatory drug that, at the time, was banned in Kentucky. Dancer’s Image became the only horse ever to be stripped of the Derby crown, a ruling that survived years of legal challenges. The decision became all the more painful in 1974, when Kentucky’s racing commission sanctioned use of the drug that had prompted the disqualification.

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R.I.P.

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