Three Strikes

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Main Sequence is retired with a bowed tendon. California Chrome is about to be retired because of a bruised cannon bone. Lady Eli stepped on a nail and has laminitis. Good thing bad things come in threes or I’d be worried about Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Tough game.

As an owner, you spend most of your life waiting for bad news and then trying to digest the bad news. It’s simply part of the deal. Cell phones have helped, you see the trainer’s name on your phone and you know it’s coming, at least you can take a deep breath before taking the punch.

Two of my friends who train horses studied under the tutelage of Jimmy Murphy. Or, at least, they listened when the former jump jockey turned flat trainer spoke. Part sage, part realist, he knew how to deal with bad news.

“Tell your owners immediately,” Murphy advised. “Don’t wait, it will eat at you and make it worse. When something happens, call them, right then and there. Get it over with.”

Graham Motion, Art Sherman and Chad Brown made tough calls this week.

Thoroughbreds are fragile. Humans are fallible.

As one client/friend always says, “Sean, our best quality is our resiliency.”