An Arm And Four Legs: A Journey into Racehorse Ownership

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Art Sherman and Shared Belief's trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer , were longtime friends and rivals from the Northern California racing circuit, and each anticipated the rivalry between their two horses. Sherman said, "I just want both of us to be at the head of the stretch with no excuses and then it's who gets to the wire first.

Sherman noted that his horse ran wide on the turns but said, "He tried every inch of the way.

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There's nothing wrong with finishing second in this type of a race. Martin explained, "I was trying to think in terms of what's best for the horse. It was my decision to send him to Newmarket. It's a beautiful place, with trees and pastures for gallops It's good for his mind.

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I know Art didn't take the decision well. But he'll be okay. Guest stated, "He's been X-rayed and there's no damage. He has the early signs of bruising to the bottom of the cannon bones The return rate for horses with this problem is very high Martin originally intended for California Chrome to be retired to stud at the end of the year. He's just now getting his first break from training. Martin's plans for the horse in included a return to the Dubai World Cup, and ultimately another try at the Breeders' Cup Classic.

He faced a seven-horse field that included a former rival from the Derby trail, Hoppertunity, and older foes Imperative and Hard Aces. It was just what we needed. I am so proud of him. American Pharoah and California Chrome are too hard to compare, so I won't. Entering the Dubai World Cup, California Chrome had the number 11 post position in an international field of He faced both old American rivals in Hoppertunity and Candy Boy as well as three younger horses who had challenged American Pharoah the previous year: Keen Ice , Frosted , and Mubtaahij.

After the race he said, "I just kept looking forward and thinking 'where's the wire? It was not coming fast enough. California Chrome tracked behind Dortmund until the far turn, then moved to the front. Dortmund fought back and the two dueled down the stretch, with California Chrome prevailing by half a length while carrying five pounds more than Dortmund.

Most notably, Chrome met the champion mare Beholder for the first time. Beholder, third favorite on the morning line, had won the previous year in her debut against male horses, the only female horse to have ever won that race. I don't think he really let him run. That's scary to think about. Art Sherman commented, "You're looking at maybe the best horse in the world right now. Chrome led from the outset, tracked by Arrogate. The two horses engaged in the homestretch and in the final yards, Arrogate surged ahead to defeat California Chrome by a neck at the finish. The two horses dominated the remainder of the field by over 10 lengths.

In a race of a mile and a sixteenth against light competition, where he was as much as 6 horses wide, he won easily by 12 lengths and set a track record. He drew the far outside post and ran a surprisingly poor race, was eased in the stretch, and finished ninth, well behind the winner, Arrogate.

Arrogate's jockey, Mike Smith , commented, "Chrome just didn't fire his race today at all. It's too bad. Frank Taylor explained that no one knew what exactly happened, "We don't know if he just wrenched it or strained it, but it had a little filling, fluid and heat in it. Clinical signs of injury went down, and he was shipped to Taylor Made Farm the next day, Sunday.

By Monday he was allowed to go out and exercise in a paddock. Although the Pegasus World Cup was only three weeks prior to the start of the Thoroughbred industry's breeding season, Taylor Made stood California Chrome at stud for the season. Mark Taylor quipped, "He's going to have like two weeks to go from the playing field to the penthouse. In March , Taylor Made announced that they had brokered with Sullivan Bloodstock and arranged for California Chrome to shuttle for part of the year, to stand at stud in Chile at the Sumaya Stud , owned by Oussama Aboughazale , who also owns an American horse farm on the former Belvedere Farm property by Paris, Kentucky.

The agreement is for the horse to ship each July to Chile for the southern hemisphere's horse breeding season, then return to the US. Staff from Taylor Made will travel with the horse and remain with him in Chile while he is there. His first reported foal, a colt out of the mare Pay the Man, was foaled on January 20, His first crop will be of racing age in California Chrome won many honors in A concurrent resolution in the California State Assembly recognized the "outstanding performance of California Chrome" and all of his connections including not only his owners and trainers, but also Willie Delgado and groom Raul Rodriguez.

It was the first time that the California Legislature had honored a racehorse. California Chrome won the Secretariat Vox Populi Award given each year to recognize "the horse whose popularity and racing excellence best resounded with the American public and gained recognition for Thoroughbred racing. He was the second California-bred to win Horse of the Year, the first since Tiznow , [] the first three-year-old to be Horse of the Year since Rachel Alexandra , [] and the first Kentucky Derby winner since Charismatic.

The track created the race in recognition of the horse being stabled there as a home base since the beginning of He also was named Champion Older Dirt Male. An enthusiastic fan base supporting California Chrome became visible at the Santa Anita Derby, when someone invited the horse's supporters to join the owners in the winner's circle and over people crammed into the area, including one woman dressed entirely in metallic foil. The horse had nationwide appeal, but California Chrome's core fan base was centered in the Central Valley of California; the Sacramento television market ranked sixth in the nation for television viewership on Preakness day, [] and third in the nation on Belmont day.

Overall, the press the horse received was viewed as giving a needed boost to the sport. Jockey and sports analyst Gary Stevens noted prior to the Belmont, "I haven't heard Thoroughbred horse racing mentioned on CNN for a long time, and it was right at the top of the hour He's brought us mainstream again for the first time in a lot of years.

They've always seen what I've seen in him. Prior to the Belmont Stakes, California Chrome's owners filed a patent application to trademark his name for use on athletic apparel, [] and hired two talent agencies to help with marketing and sponsorships. California Chrome has been described as a throwback to horses with toughness and soundness. Lucky Pulpit was sired by Pulpit, who is credited with 63 stakes winners and particularly known for his son Tapit.

Indy is the sire of Pulpit, [] and in , California Chrome became the all-time leading earner from the A. Indy sire line. Indy was by Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew , and is a grandson of Secretariat on his dam's side, bringing a second cross to Bold Ruler into the pedigree. Pulpit is a grandson of Mr. Prospector on his dam's side, a line believed to cross well with Seattle Slew's breeding. Love the Chase comes from old and respected stock, [] and California Chrome was the fifth Kentucky Derby winner produced from this mare line. Prospector and out of a daughter of Northern Dancer.

Northern Dancer appears again on the distaff side of Love the Chase's pedigree. She traces to Princequillo and to the UK-bred Ribot , viewed by some as the greatest racehorse of his generation. Numbered Account was a daughter of Buckpasser , [2] who earned five Eclipse Awards between and , and was inducted to the Horse Racing Hall of Fame in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse. Kentucky Derby Preakness Stakes Owners of California Chrome. Steve and Carolyn Coburn center , Preakness Stakes. We can do it too' Main article: Art Sherman. California Chrome's racing silks.

The drama that is the Triple Crown has become more Shakespearean than anything else. California Chrome, a proven champion and formidable competitor, reminded us that it doesn't matter from whence we came but rather how we dance when we get to the ball. Furthermore, his inspiring story and engaging popularity reached beyond the racetrack stands and into the conversation of a nation.

Pasture's horse cookies. Sacramento Bee. Retrieved December 27, Retrieved April 16, Retrieved March 25, Archived from the original on April 9, Retrieved April 8, Retrieved April 10, Thoroughbred Daily News. Retrieved September 23, Archived from the original on May 28, Retrieved May 27, Harris Farms. Retrieved May 7, Retrieved May 8, Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on May 2, January Merck Veterinary Manual. California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association. Retrieved August 9, Blood Horse. November 7, Retrieved January 29, Iron Mountain Daily News.

Archived from the original on March 4, Retrieved April 20, Retrieved July 18, Los Angeles Times. Kentucky Derby Racing News. Retrieved May 5, The New York Times. Retrieved July 7, Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved June 11, Retrieved April 27, Washington Times. NBC Sports. Archived from the original on May 18, Retrieved May 19, Retrieved May 6, Retrieved May 24, U-T San Diego.

Archived from the original on April 16, Taylor Made. Archived from the original on November 22, Retrieved November 22, January 9, Retrieved January 9, Daily Racing Form. August 26, Retrieved February 16, Retrieved November 6, Retrieved May 13, Retrieved July 12, California Thoroughbred Stallion Directory.

Retrieved June 4, CBS Sacramento.


Retrieved May 30, Fox Sports. Archived from the original on May 8, Retrieved April 1, Bakersfield Californian. Archived from the original on May 13, Retrieved May 12, Retrieved May 10, Retrieved May 2, Chicago Tribune. May 2, Retrieved May 4, Santa Anita Park. Archived from the original on April 3, By the time he reached Detroit, he was drifting into the great slipstream in which many promising jockeys are lost, their talents never tried for lack of the skilled trainer, the wise owner, the gifted horse.

But in Tom Smith, Pollard met a man intimately familiar with his hardscrabble world. He was right. The lost young man and the edgy little colt took to each other immediately, and Pollard won the job riding the horse he called Pops. He had two weaknesses. One was a perpetually iffy left foreleg.


The other was an evil sense of humor; he seemed to take sadistic pleasure in harassing and humiliating his rivals, slowing down to taunt them as he passed and pulling up when in front so other horses could draw alongside, then dashing their hopes with a killing burst of speed. But in a fight he was all business. But he gets gamer and gamer, the tougher it gets. It took two months of minor-league test races and intensive schooling to get the bugs out.

In his first two races Seabiscuit ran greenly but still claimed a fourth place and a third place. In his third start he won a minor stakes race, earning back half his purchase price, then won a bigger one two weeks later. Smith sent his newly polished competitor to New York, where he won the prestigious Scarsdale Handicap in track-record time. He began at Santa Anita, where he trounced the superb closer Rosemont. Santa Anita, the track Howard had built, had inaugurated the hundred-thousand-dollar Santa Anita Handicap, the richest race in the world.

In a massive field of eighteen horses, including the favored Rosemont, Seabiscuit was crowded at the start, forcing Pollard to check him. On the backstretch he began picking off horses in a rush, moving from ninth to fourth in a few yards. As they turned for home, Pollard threaded Seabiscuit through a hole and drove him to a commanding lead.

Behind them were seventeen of the best horses in the nation. Ahead was nothing but a furlong of red soil. Pollard and Seabiscuit thought they had it won.

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Seabiscuit saw nothing around his blinker cups but the vacant track ahead. At the last moment Seabiscuit saw his rival and lunged for a photo finish. He was less than one inch too late. Though Seabiscuit had lost, he was rapidly becoming a phenomenal celebrity. Two factors converged to create and nourish this. The first was Charles Howard. A born adman, Howard courted the nation on behalf of his horse much as he had hawked his first Buicks, undertaking exhaustive promotion that presaged the modern marketing of athletes.

Grafting daring, unprecedented coast-to-coast racing campaigns, he shipped Seabiscuit over fifty thousand railroad miles to showcase his talent at eighteen tracks in seven states and Mexico. The second factor was timing. Seabiscuit, Howard, Pollard, and Smith, whose fortunes swung in epic parabolas, would have resonated in any age, but in cruel years the peculiar union among the four transcended the racetrack. The result was stupendous popularity. In one year Seabiscuit garnered more newspaper column inches than Roosevelt, Hitler, or Mussolini. Life even ran a pictorial on his facial expressions.

Cities had to route special trains to accommodate the invariably record-shattering crowds that came to see him run. But he was not named Horse of the Year. As it happened, Seabiscuit had been born just a year before an Eastern horse named War Admiral, an exquisite black colt whose talents and achievements were comparable to his own.

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Though he had never met Seabiscuit, on the strength of his unbeaten season, during which he became just the fourth horse in history to sweep the Triple Crown, War Admiral was voted Horse of the Year. The ballot did not settle the issue. The nation divided into Seabiscuit and War Admiral camps, the dispute taking on an East versus West flavor. Badly hurt, he was told he would not ride for at least a year. The son of a broncobuster and a circus rider, Woolf was a handsome, independent, utterly fearless young man. He also may have been the single greatest talent his sport ever saw.

The Iceman had only one hint of athletic mortality: diabetes. He made a dangerous habit of juggling insulin dependence and drastic reducing, running a high risk of fainting in the saddle.

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He knew the horse to beat was a colt named Stagehand. Stagehand, fresh off four straight victories, was assigned just pounds, a preposterously light load. Because every two to three pounds are believed to slow a horse by one body length at the distances Seabiscuit ran, the thirtypound difference was a massive concession, and Woolf knew it. Woolf noted the difference and suited up to chase Stagehand while an ashen, anxious Pollard left his hospital bed to sit with Marcela on the grandstand roof.

Then, as Seabiscuit broke from the gate, he was broadsided by another horse, knocking him nearly to the ground and vaulting Woolf up onto his neck. By the time the jockey shinnied back, he and his mount were trapped in a pack of stragglers. On the backstretch a hole opened before them. Seeing the white cap bobbing ahead and fearing it would be his only chance to break loose, Woolf drove Seabiscuit through the gap and into a premature open-throttle drive with six furlongs still to be run.

He ran up alongside the white cap, and the horse beneath it faltered, exhausted, and dropped back. Seabiscuit hit the stretch in front and backed off to wait for challengers. On the far outside a closer broke clear of the pack and drove toward Seabiscuit as Rosemont had done a year before. Woolf asked Seabiscuit for still more speed. Stagehand drew even, and, incredibly, Seabiscuit accelerated to match him. After a ferocious head-bobbing duel, the pair tripped the win photo together. Stagehand had outbobbed Seabiscuit by two and a half inches.

Atop the grandstand Marcela and Red wept. The desire for a Seabiscuit-War Admiral match had become an international obsession. By the summer of his body had healed, and he joined Seabiscuit in Massachusetts. One morning, fresh off Pops and in jubilant spirits, he offered to ride a colt for another trainer. Howard flew in a team of prominent doctors. They told Red he might never walk again.

Vanderbilt wanted to host a Seabiscuit-War Admiral match, but he was playing with a weak hand; his track could offer only a small purse. But Vanderbilt was a master diplomat. Riddle gave in. The mile and three-sixteenths Pimlico Special was set for November 1, , for a winner-take-all purse of fifteen thousand dollars. Each owner would put up five thousand, and each horse would carry pounds and break from a walk-up start.

Although Seabiscuit was the sentimental choice, War Admiral was the overwhelming betting favorite, and he deserved to be. The most decisive weapon of match races is early speed, and in this department the Triple Crown winner had a critical edge: While Seabiscuit liked to stalk pacesetters, War Admiral was a half-ton catapult, and he had drawn the favorable inside berth. Tom Smith had other ideas. He led Woolf and Seabiscuit to the training track. Woolf brought him back, and the drill was repeated. By the third repetition Seabiscuit was long gone before Smith could wave the whip.

The trainer then pitted the colt against top sprinters, sending them through countless walk-up starts. Between workouts Woolf traveled to the hospital to consult with Pollard. In traction the redhead was swigging bow-wow wine Yummy had smuggled in and reciting Old Waldo to the nurses; he was trying to woo one of them, a beauty named Agnes, away from a resident doctor. Pollard told Woolf to gun to the lead at all costs but to let War Admiral catch up to prevent Seabiscuit from loafing. On the eve of the match, Woolf walked onto the Pimlico track alone, flashlight in hand.

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