The love of a horse named Damascus was the lure that brought Steve Haskin from a 21 year old stockbroker to the world of thoroughbreds. Forty eight years later, he is still going strong every week on Blood-Horse and At The Races. Haskin's description of his favorite - “Not only was Damascus durable, brilliant, classy, and one of the soundest, healthiest horses ever, he possessed the most devastating turn of foot I have ever witnessed.” The author has said that he never imagined a racehorse would pave the road he would take in life. Thank you, Damascus. http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/177542/damascus-is-most-underrated-horse-of-all-time
Jane Schwartz attributes the miserable quote to LeRoy Jolley's father Moody Jolley, Buckpasser. He was the one who picked out Foolish Pleasure for $20,000 at Saratoga. Grinning, Jolley exclaimed “First time they threw some speed at her, and the b___h comes unbuckled.” The Greer's were beaming, accepting the trophy and $225,000 for a hollow victory. The match race had proved nothing, and the finest filly in America lost her life. Jacinto Vasquez is convinced that Ruffian would have won the race.
Forego's gravestone inscription at the Kentucky Horse Park - "A towering champion, he had the speed to win at seven furlongs, the staying power to win at two miles, the strength to carry greater weight than all rivals and triumph with brilliance." One of the greatest geldings.
Exaggerator can put his stamp on the Eclipse three year old colt award with a win tomorrow. He needs a torrid pace early for his patented late run. With a triumph, Big Chief Racing will take home a gold plated replica of the Travers Trophy. Man o' War drank from this $5000 solid gold cup designed and crafted by Tiffany & Co. in 1920. Sam Riddle won it with Man o' War's victory over Sir Barton in the Kenilworth Park Gold Cup match race in Windsor, Ontario. The scene of Man o' War's only defeat could be the site of Exaggerator's greatest.
The Racing Biz article that mentions her naming defines stellar wind as “the radial outflow of ionized gas from a star.” I guess that's a mouthful. May all those gases propel Stellar Wind past the wire in front. Here's the story - http://www.theracingbiz.com/2015/04/30/for-keswick-stables-stellar-wind-is-last-hurrah/
Hope you have some stakes winners, Ruffianlover. We live 20 miles from Secretariat's foaling shed. If I won the lottery, I'd have to set up shop too, at a northern VA farm. There have been many good ones from the Old Dominion.
What a thrilling stretch drive between these two champions. Happy for the connections of this Virginia bred, the last foal from the last mare bred by Peggy Augustus and Keswick Stables. Augustus' neice is an animal communicator, and told her aunt that the then unnamed filly is “going to give you a lot of heartaches, but she’s going to run like the wind and she wants to be named after the wind.” Barbara Hough bought the filly, heard the tale, liked it and hence came the name. Looking forward to some dynamite racing this fall from Stellar Wind.
Glad you found Sun Briar and Exterminator's grave. Sun Briar's son Sun Beau is buried at Meadow Farm, next to Hill Prince and Secretariat's grand dam, Imperatrice. Kate Tweedy told me that when Willis Kilmer died, Chris Chenery leased Sunbeau from the Kilmer estate. Mangohick was an offspring and was the first stakes winner for the farm. I'll have to read the new Exterminator book by Eliza McGraw.
Exterminator, 99: 50-17-17, won his Derby in 1918 and was Horse of the Year four years later, maybe a record for the longest span between the two. I had lunch at Something Different restaurant in Urbanna, Virginia. The table was made of original green, brown and orange stable doors, the distinctive colors of Willis Kilmer's thoroughbred farm. On the wall was a huge painting from 1951 of the quarter mile indoor track that Kilmer built nearby at Remlik, now used for storing hay.
Kilmer also bred Reigh Count, who won the Derby for Fannie Hertz a decade after Old Bones. Time magazine reported in 1929 that Mrs. Hertz had turned down an offer of $1 million for Reigh Count, saying "I think a fellow who would pay $1,000,000 for a horse ought to have his head examined, and the fellow who turned it down must be absolutely unbalanced". Had the offer been accepted, it would have been by far the largest amount ever paid for a race horse.
Clever answer Mary. Coincidentally, the modern Ferdinand's grandsire was the Canadian sire of sires Windfields dynamo. In 1970, the just over 15 hh Northern Dancer led the English sire list, the year Ferdinand's sire Nijinski II won the English Triple Crown.
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