Archive for the ‘Living Flame and other legends’ Category

A LIVING FLAME: WILL HARBUT AND MAN O’WAR
May 13, 2013

Great article; some of the comments take my breath away…

How awe-inspiring would it be to interview someone who saw Man O’ War – and who remembers the farm the way it used to be?

Just as amazing would be to talk to Tom Harbut. I wonder if his children are interested in their father and grandfather’s rich history?

I am so envious of some of these people. *sighs wistfully*

THE VAULT: Horse racing past and present

The names and stories of the men and women who were primary caregivers to thoroughbreds, whether great champions or hard-working horses who ran on local racetracks, are largely unknown. Since many of these people were perceived as menial workers employed in the stables of the wealthy, they were overlooked by turf writers and the general public. However, even though fragmentary, a few stories of thoroughbreds and the men who loved them have come down to us from the past.

One such narrative fragment concerns Will Harbut and the legendary Man O’ War. 

The Latin “texere” from which the word “text” derives means texture and was first used to describe the process of weaving textiles. There is a kind of lovely rapport between the concept of storytelling and weaving. Both involve the choice of a pattern, colour and intricate stitchery that produces a design. And both are human endeavours that seek…

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This is how you breed a horse, folks.
May 4, 2013

A Big Red powerhouse right here. Check out all the Man O’ War affiliations, plus a few other cool characters from Racing’s glory days:

ORB:
American Flag, Speed Boat, Galleon Gold, Judy O’ Grady, Coquelicot, Baton Rouge, Hostility, Free America (Columbiana & Firetop), Warrior Lass, War Woman, Mad Hatter, Friar Rock, Display, Oval, Mlle. Dazie, Striking, Busher, Misplay, Hour Glass, Iron Maiden, In Reality, Busanda, Bee Mac, Admiral’s Lady, Upset, Wildair, John P. Grier (more than once).

Honorable mentions to Colin and Shenanigans.

Kentucky Derby 2013 and the Big Red connection
May 4, 2013

Interesting little facts on today’s runners, especially regarding links back to Man O’ War. Some sentimental choices and hunch bets as well.

Normandy Invasion: Love the name (powerful), love the story, love the fact that he has 4 D-Day veterans cheering him on, love that he has interesting Man O’ War connections in his pedigree. Not even so far back: 5th generation, there is Fairy Manhurst right there. Red’s last stakes winning progeny, or so I have read. You don’t see him too often these days.

Sadly, Normandy Invasion has only a maiden win, and has not won a race this year. This is also his trainer’s first Derby starter. A few strikes against him there. But…what a great sentimental pick he is!!

Orb: Shug McGaughey, Easy Goer’s trainer. Can’t go wrong with Orb’s trainer! Orb is also a Big Red powerhouse. Hostility is in his pedigree. So is Free America, Galleon Gold,  Mata Hari, Judy O’ Grady, and Coquelicot. It doesn’t stop there. Complete list to follow. Ruffian connections; beloved Shenanigans is in here too, via her daughter Laughter. Pretty damn impressive!

Oxbow: Good, powerful name. Calumet Farms! Seeing Gary Stevens win would be pretty nice. Oxbow has a strong name. Oxbow is trained by Lukas: Not a huge fan of his, but could be worse. Dam is full sister to Tiznow, which means a few In Reality connections there! Olden Times on the top.

Revolutionary: Powerful name.  A SUPERB looking individual. He looks like a champ.

Lines of Battle: Powerful name. Haskin says he will handle the off track. Irish horse, very nice.

Verrazano: Powerful name

Palace Malice: Nellie Flag.

Mylute: Lousy name, I’d rather he won some big stakes later on instead of the Derby. However, he will handle the slop most likely, and he does have two interesting characters in his pedigree: Valid Appeal and Believe it.  Very nice, for obvious reasons.

Goldencents: Battlefield and Seaplane. Love his sire, Into Mischief. Into Mischief has an interesting pedigree too. However, I do not like Goldencents’ trainer. Sorry. But Goldencents will hopefully go on to do great things later on, just not today.

Tracking Down a Ghost
April 28, 2013

I have spent many hours trying to find out some details of Big Red’s latter days, and now I am doing it again. I stumbled upon another blog with a wonderful post on Big Red, and some of the comments sent me onto another one of my Big Red excursions, desperately seeking info on Red’s final days and his old home and barn.

His old home, Faraway Farm, is now called Man O’ War Farm LLC, I believe. Or Mt. Brilliant. But I think Mt. Brilliant is adjacent to Red’s old home. Both are on Huffman Mill Pike in Lexington. Supposedly the grave of the great Domino is nearby, however I can’t find that either. Not on Google (blame Google)!

I’m using Google, Google maps, and Google Earth, along with info from the blog, it’s comments, and some photos by Barbara Livingston.

Still can’t find it! Can’t find his old barn – or barns. Seems he had more than one at Faraway. Can’t find his old paddock or his old grave site (prior to its move to the Kentucky Horse Park).

I’m missing a lot of information and am probably more than a little confused.

Seems the only way to find out for sure is to head a couple thousand miles out there and snoop around myself!

It is the weirdest, Ray Kinsella – type feeling I have. “Something’s gonna happen there, I don’t know what, but we’ll find out when it does!”

I think his ghost may be waiting for me.

Happy Birthday to a “fiery phantom”.
March 29, 2013

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Born just after midnight, March 29th 1917…The Flame lives on…

Big Red
January 10, 2013

The days are long at Belmont.

Speed they never learn.

And it’s many a day since Man o’ War

Has looped the upper turn.

The guineas stopped their rubbing,

The rider dropped his tack

When the word went round that Man o’ War

Was coming on the track.

The crowd was hoarse with cheering

At ancient Pimlico

The day he won the Preakness-

But that was long ago.

The dust is deep at Windsor,

The good old days are gone.

And many a horse is forgotten,

But they still remember one.

For he was a fiery phantom

To that multitudinous throng-

Would you wait for another one like him?

Be patient: years are long.

For here was a horse among horses,

Cast in a Titan’s mold,

And the slant October sunlight

Gilded the living gold.

He was marked with the god’s own giving

And winged in every part;

The look of eagles was in his eye

And Hastings’ wrath in his heart.

Young Equipoise had power

To rouse the crowded stand,

And there was magic in the name

Of Greentree’s Twenty Grand.

And Sarazen has sprinted,

And Gallant Fox has stayed,

And Discovery has glittered

In the wake of Cavalcade.

We watch the heroes parading,

We wait, and our eyes are dim,

But we never discover another

Like him.

A foal is born at midnight

And in the frosty morn

The horseman eyes him fondly

And a secret hope is born.

But breathe it not, nor whisper,

For fear of a neighbor’s scorn:

He’s a chestnut colt, and he’s got a star-

He may be another Man o’ War.

Nay, say it aloud–be shameless.

Dream and hope and yearn,

For there’s never a man among you

But waits for his return.

-Joseph Alvie Estes, Blood Horse, October 23, 1937

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Pierce College Drill Team
April 24, 2012

The drill team consists of members of the Pierce College herd school horses. Most are quarter horses, a couple are mustangs, all are geldings.

Tommy the mustang. You can see his BLM tattoo.

This pretty paint is named Mac.
Mac has been with the Pierce herd for years.

Farm Walk at Pierce College: Equine Performers!
April 24, 2012

Dancing horses, dressage horses, minis and more!

Farm Walk at Pierce College
April 24, 2012