March 9

Friday, March 9, 2007 marked three events of varying significance.

March 9 was the first day this year I’ve been able to put down my top on my Miata. The day was warm and sunny and the topless ride cleared the cobwebs from my mind. It was another reminder that Spring is nearly upon us, the long winter is over, and there will be many more topless rides in that beautiful black Miata of mine.

March 9 also marked the 32nd birthday of John Henry, the oldest living champion race horse. The grouchy old equine athlete is living out his days in comfy conditions at Kentucky Horse Park, just north of Lexington. John Henry was of humble breeding for a champion racer and had many accomplishments and awards to his name. They included:

  • Oldest horse to win Horse of the Year (age 9).
  • Oldest horse to win a Grade I stakes race, also at age 9.
  • Inducted in the Racing Hall of Fame in 1990.
  • Seven Eclipse awards
  • Twice Horse of the Year
  • Winner of 30 stakes races!

I saw John Henry once while at Kentucky Horse Park. They used to parade him proudly around the walking area near the Hall of Champions. All I could do is look at this proud fellow in awe. I hear they don’t show him any more, as the old guy just doesn’t enjoy people all that much.

Finally, when I was watching the simulcasts at River Downs on March 9, I was glad reminded by a couple Race Book staffers that live racing begins April 6, a mere four weeks to the day. One guy was happily awaiting the occasion to get back outside, noting that “the walls were beginning to close in.”

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