Today is the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes. Two weeks ago we had the opportunity to witness the 140th running of the “Run for the Roses” the Kentucky Derby, “The” most sought after prize for three-year old thoroughbreds in the sport. California Chrome, born of an $8000 mare, bred to Stud, who’s stud fee brought $2500 won it handily against million dollar babies. Now, the question is, can he go the distance? Though, stepping back one eighth of a mile in Baltimore, it’s more about what it takes to win two races of this caliber in as many weeks.
Loving horses and watching them go through the rigorous training that these infant champions endure is not easy. Consider that, a horse is fully developed at age five, challenging colts and fillies to these tests is a delicate balance of training, timing and luck.
Many years ago I had the opportunity to spend some time around NY Racetracks, Belmont, Aqueduct, and Finger Lakes. Then my time in the NY Suburbs, where the Hunter/Jumper reigns, I quickly became aware of something very interesting. The Thoroughbreds that were winners, champions in any equestrian discipline, Racing, Hunter/Jumpers, Dressage, etc, always projected a larger than life persona. Hard to describe but very distinct when in the presence of a horse of this caliber. Just looking at California Chrome I see he knows he’s good!….and likes it!!