THE OUTSIDE RAIL | by Joe Clancy

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We said goodbye to Steve Graham today. He was a neighbor, a friend, a husband, a father, an uncle, a brother and oh so much more. Today, a “celebration of life” filled a local fire hall and included people he touched from all corners of his life. Two weeks ago, when he was still alive, I wrote this. His wife Denise read it to him and posted it on a table at the memorial service today. She said it was OK to let everyone else read it too.

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Horse racing failed Change Of Command. Not because of drugs or racing surfaces or battery-powered buzzers or any other nefarious scheme on the list of the sport’s problems.

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Several stories exist in my family involving the epic failure on my part to produce entertainment from something that otherwise sounded like fun. 

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A player has a chance to think about those who matter most in his life, who’ve helped him most to get where he is – his parents, his wife, his coaches, one coach, his friends, one friend – and for that day to share the Cup with them. To thank them.

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How about this for juxtaposition? The riding horse for visitors at Jonathan Sheppard’s barn is three years younger than the Grade 1-winning champion the visitors want to see.