Since the age of 9, I’ve always been enamored with horse racing. My first contact with the sport was through Walter Farley’s Black Stallion books; I devoured each and every one of them, even discovering interlibrary loan for the books that my library didn’t carry.
At the same time, Triple Crown mania was hitting the U.S., with Seattle Slew and Affirmed taking back-to-back crowns. I began to see the horses not as animals, but as true competitors who fought with each other for the right to be great. Affirmed was great; Alydar was just really good. Seattle Slew was great; Run Dusty Run was just okay.
Each year, for 37 years, I waited for another superhorse to emerge, one that got it. I checked 2-year-olds for signs of greatness, looked at Beyer figures to spot a horse that consistently ran fast, and picked who I thought would be the next Secretariat.
Sometimes, with Real Quiet and Smarty Jones, we came so close. It hurt to see them lose in the last sixteenth mile. But this year, with American Pharoah, we finally got to see it. True greatness – something that took almost four decades to complete.
This blog covers the search for that next great superhorse, from the beginning allowance races as 2-year-olds to the major prep stakes before the Kentucky Derby, and on through the Belmont Stakes. Who knows? We might find another superhorse just around the corner.