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.

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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