Although the phrase "what a difference a year makes" is a tad trite, in the case of Grade 1 winner Karelian, it is also very much true.
The records show that the handsome bay horse retired from racing with 10 wins from 22 starts and earnings of $788,675, but that is only part of his story. In 2010, Karelian managed to make the headlines for both all the right and all the wrong reasons.
As an 8-year-old, the Bertrando gelding was experiencing his best year yet at the races. Last February, he began the season by upsetting champion Gio Ponti in the Tampa Bay Stakes and followed up that performance with the biggest victory of his career in the Grade 1 Maker's Mark Mile on his home track at Keeneland.
In what would be his final career start, Karelian got caught at the wire by Victor's Cry in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park on the last day in May. Less than two months later, he would be fighting for his life.