I had a conversation with my coworker Amidala the other day. She and I talked about how once you are in the Thoroughbred industry, it is tough to get away from it. Sometimes even if you try.

See, I never paid any attention to the industry or noticed the equine world prior to my introduction to this industry. Now that I am in the know, it seems everywhere I go I find new people randomly that are well connected into the industry.

So it is a small world, and it is interesting to discover how my circle of friends, family and acquaintances are connected. Granted I do live in Lexington, the horse capital of the world. But sometimes meeting people connected to the industry is just so random.

This past Monday, I had a dentist appointment (return visit to fix a filling) and next door I hear the words, "So I hear you will be getting a star soon." Though my mouth was being ravaged by drills on one of my very back molars, I could still hear bits of the conversation.

The star turned out to be Big Brown. My dentist was asking the timing of when Big Brown was coming to stay. The lady on the other side of the wall said probably after the Breeders' Cup. So I can only gather she is working with Three Chimneys in some way. If I remember correctly, she had a proper accent. Maybe a she was British, but then again, maybe the drill in my ear was misleading.

Point Given
Caption: Point Given
Photo:Anne M. Eberhardt

Two days earlier, I had another random encounter, but more direct. I was meeting some close friends at their house to see an old friend from Pennsylvania. Late in the night two ladies arrived, and we stayed up talking a long while about life. Along the way there were some mentions of horse related items.

One of the girls seemed to have answers that would not be common knowledge for your every day person, let alone a race fan. So eventually I flat out asked her "How do you know so much about the horse industry?"

She replied by asking her friend, "Should I tell them?" and her friend said, "Yes."

They were concerned how I would judge them for some reason, but I said definitely I would not. So it turned out she was a granddaughter or somehow related to the family that bred Man O' War and was connected to Faraway Farm. I thought that was very cool.
She then explained how she has received grief from people in the past for that historical aspect of her family.

Whether I go rock climbing, eating at Applebee's, driving back from a Florida convention, or at a bar with many friends, this industry is deeper than the high dive at Beijing, baby.

This industry sticks like fly paper you are trying to shake off. Maybe even like a piece of plastic with static built up on it.  I continue to learn more and more on how far reaching and how rich the history of the Thoroughbred industry is.

Those are just two of many experiences I have had involving the Thoroughbred industry and randomness. So what is the most random experience you have had involving the horse industry?


There is one story from the last two weeks I left out about meeting random people with connections to the horse industry. A new friend, Aayla Secura, asked me to share our encounter. Though it is a new co-worker story, it is deemed random enough = ).

One day while working on web stuff (or maybe the Data Digest), Aayla walked into the "fish bowl" or "command central" or the "web pod" as my co-workers and I call our work space here at the BH. After talking for a long while about design, school, and various other interests like soccer...she seemed obsessed with soccer, but anyway...she started talking about an upcoming trip to Santa Anita. So after further proding, it turns out she is related to Bruce Levine.

Some of you ask who is Bruce Levine? Well, check out the horse Bustin Stones. He is a hot horse right now, and Levine is a very successful trainer. Aayla is not only related but actually his niece.

If you want to know more about who Mr. Levine is, you need to read the feature article of The Blood-Horse from July 12, 2008.


Leave a Comment:

needler in Virginia

While probably NOT unexpected, this one will resonate for a long time. Husband and I go to the KHP to see John Henry last year......we knew he was fading and wanted to visit him one last time.

We had dinner at The Mansion that night...in the small front dining room.....Steve Cauthen was there, with several biggies after a "do" at the KHP, and when leaving I just HAD to say "hello" as the husband rolled his eyes and tried NOT to crawl under the nearest table (he knows me too well). But I did behave and did NOT tell Cauthen that he rode the wrong horse.......I LOVED Alydar. Nope, I was proper and met a really nice man who was gracious and kind to a racing fan.

Not the most amazing chance encounter story, but one that will stick with me a long time.........

Cheers to all.

15 Aug 2008 11:05 AM
Rebs Policy

This was both random & unbeknownst to me a famous person.

I was a 9-y-o in the summer of 1971 and was hanging out in the clubhouse at Hollywood Park. (I was one of those many backstretch brats whose parents let us run wild at the track.) I recognized a name on one of the boxes: M/M Buddy Fogelson. They had purchased Ack Ack just a few months before. I was clueless/fearless at the time and introduced myself to them and told Mrs. Folgelson how much I loved her horse. One of the day's races was about to run but she kindly chatted with me for a few minutes and then excused herself to do an errand. A few minutes later I saw her in the winner's circle and track announcer Harry Henson announced that a famous movie star who was about to present a plate to the owners of the winner. Suddenly Mrs. Fogelson stepped forward and he announced her as Greer Garson. I looked at what was going on and asked someone next to me who Greer Garson was. When I told my mom she was dumbstruck at the time. Here was her kid getting to meet one of the great stars of Tinsel Town's golden era and all I cared about was talking about with her was Ack Ack's upcoming race itinerary.

The love of Thoroughbreds and this great sport they inspire trumps so many obstacles of class, age, nationality, race and the like that I have always been in awe of it's power to bring people together.

15 Aug 2008 1:56 PM

I live in Columbus, Ohio. I was at work one morning & a FedEx (UPS?) delivery guy noticed I had a photo of Repletion (c 89 Alydar-Full Tigress) in my office. I took the picture at Keeneland when I was living in Lexington in the early 90s. He asked me about the picture. It turns out that the guy was a small time trainer, working the delivery job on the side, who ran horses at Mountaineer, Ellis, and the Ohio tracks. He introduced himself & told me about a horse named Little Hoppy he had recently claimed. Although Columbus is not far from Lexington, I have not had the fortune of meeting many people here to share my interest in racing, so I thought it was a neat chance meeting.

15 Aug 2008 2:02 PM

Back in the early 90's I went to the Upperville Horse Show to see the TB breeding classes.  As the colt class was proceeding I moved around the edge of the ring to get a better look and I noticed out of the corner of my eye a tall man doing the same thing. We came to stand side by side, watching.  He said he really liked the next horse to jog, and I agreed, it was the one I had come to see.  When I turned to look at my companion on the fence my judgment had just been verified by non other than Paul Mellon, one of the finest gentlemen and horsemen I've ever met. Talk about a confidence booster for a young horse person.......

15 Aug 2008 3:02 PM

hi i was at the benefit for the john henry acution at the ky horse park and it was my birthday and they were selling horse books and there was smarty jones owner, sunday silence and gato del sol owner. and i told them it was my birthday and they started singing happy birthday to me right there it was awsome.

15 Aug 2008 3:20 PM

Hey Adam finally made it down to see my in-laws and of course Larry. He says hi and I'll try and get a good picture of him for you. He looks awesome for 11 years old!

16 Aug 2008 12:15 AM

Hey, Arrrr is entered in the 6th race at Saratoga today, hope he wins again.

16 Aug 2008 9:18 AM

Hey Wanda,

If you send some pictures, I will post some on here and of course give you credit for them =)

Thanks Huh,

I have been real excited about this race. I have anxiously awaited his next run and hope he wins as well. I'll post on it.

16 Aug 2008 4:02 PM

I also wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your stories everyone, thank you for sharing those.

16 Aug 2008 4:17 PM

Adam: I'll get back to you later in the week about those pics. Got some decent pics but Larry's no Paris Hilton so he's not camera savy. Got to head to work and get caught up so I can take a week off.

18 Aug 2008 10:23 AM

I was at Freestate Raceway, which was located in Laurel Md,. We used to go to the gym and play racquet ball. I got there early one day and while waiting this little rugged looking guy walks up and starts talking to me, real nice guy, a little arrogant . corky, sure of himself, it turned out to be the leading apprentice jock, Ken Desormeau, boy was I pleased and surprised, you knew he was going to be very good. Sharp as hell, apparently he came and worked out everyday before reporting to the jocks room for his racing, after that we all looked forward to seeing him and listen to him.

26 Aug 2008 12:41 PM

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