Horse Who Changed Everything

Hannah Ashcroft & Frankel

Hannah Ashcroft was standing by the picnic table outside of Graham Motion’s barn at Saratoga Race Course last week, rubbing conditioner into a leather halter with a sponge. From the table you could see horses galloping by on the track, and in the not-so-distant distance, the grandeur of the Saratoga grandstand presided over the entire scene.

Jude Feld & Pewter Grey

When my grandfather gave me his car on my 16th birthday it was a boon to my brother Bob and I. Ardent racing fans, we were now able to follow the Southern California circuit from Santa Anita Park to Hollywood Park to Del Mar without restrictions. We were students of the game and especially of trainers. The two we idolized most were Charlie Whittingham and Bobby Frankel.

Keith Desormeaux & Texas Red

Keith Desormeaux walked out of Thursday’s Alibi Breakfast at Pimlico and – after wondering why the ever-quotable Eric Guillot didn’t attend – started talking horses. “The horse who changed my racing life is Texas Red and there’s nobody even close,” the trainer said. “That horse was a gift from God ever since the hammer dropped at the sale.”

Artie Magnuson & Foolish Pleasure

Say, write or even think the name Foolish Pleasure and it’s a safe bet the first thing that will pop into the mind of a racing person is the name Ruffian. The names are forever linked because of the highly publicized “Great Match” between the two star 3-year-olds of 1975 on that disastrous early July afternoon at Belmont Park.

Arthur Hancock & Sunday Silence

Ask a silly question . . . You don’t need to be Carnac The Magnificent (look it up, kids) to guess Arthur Hancock’s Horse Who Changed Everything. The Kentucky horseman foaled, raised, owned and raced Hall of Famer Sunday Silence, whose 14-start racing career included nine wins and five seconds (with four of those runner-up efforts coming by less than a length). Sunday Silence changed the lives of plenty of people – some who knew him and some who only saw him.