The Loss of a Thoroughbred

Invisible Ink died today at Pin Oak Lane Farm in New Freedom, Pa. at the age of 13. Although he was far too young, every day of his life was a miracle. His owner, John Fort of Peachtree Stable, has built Peachtree into a successful operation, with dozens of stakes winners, and this year has one of the leading sprinters in the country in Flashpoint.

But it was Invisible Ink, or Inky as he was known, who launched Fort into national prominence by finishing second in the 2001 Kentucky Derby at odds of 55-1. It is worth noting that the winner, Monarchos, ran the second fastest Kentucky Derby of all time, behind only Secretariat.

I came across the amazing story of Invisible Ink about a week before the Derby and wrote a story about it and the horse, which is reprinted below.

One of my fond recollections was of Fort, who was looking to get a halter and nameplate made up for Invisible Ink, and I suggested he leave the nameplate blank. When anyone asked Fort why there was no name on it, he would reply, “The name is on there; it’s written in invisible ink.” It was meant as a joke, but that’s exactly what Fort did, and he still treasures that halter and blank nameplate today.

I watched Invisible Ink graze each afternoon and could see his coat blossom more by the day. He had finished third to Monarchos in the Florida Derby, so it was no stretch by any means to consider him a live longshot. I wound up betting a $2 exacta of Monarchos over Invisible Ink in the Derby and cashed the largest ticket of my life. It was the only time I had to fill out an IRS form.

Over the years, Invisible Ink’s name still brought back wonderful memories of a very special Derby. Those memories were rekindled with sadness earlier today when a grief-stricken Fort called to inform me Invisible Ink had died of a neurological disorder. Most of Fort’s words were indecipherable, as he tried unsuccessfully to get them out through the tears that flowed freely and the distinct quaver in his voice. Finally, he was forced to end the conversation. Fort truly had lost a member of his family.

He now has to decide whether to try to find a suitable resting place in Kentucky at a place of prominence that would be willing to memorialize the horse with a proper monument or just keep the horse close to him at his home in South Carolina.

Here then is the incredible story of Invisible Ink, as written on April 29, 2001.

Inky’s Return From the Dead


No matter where Invisible Ink finishes in the Kentucky Derby, he will depart Louisville a winner. Just the fact that the son of Thunder Gulch, nicknamed "Inky," is here and considered a legitimate contender is enough of a miracle to those who stood by this colt and never gave up hope when all seemed hopeless. By all rights, Invisible Ink should be nothing more than a tragic memory in the hearts and minds of the people who raised him and broke him and treated him. Instead, he is at Churchill Downs, about to run in America's greatest race. And all because he refused to die, thanks to a handful of people who refused to let him die.

In March of his 2-year-old year, while being trained at Bryan Rice's Woodside Ranch in Ocala, Invisible Ink developed a superficial cut on his ankle, which didn't heal as quickly as they had hoped. To stave off infection, he was treated with antibiotics and a small amount of butazolidan (Bute). But the colt began eating and drinking less and less, and eventually developed colitis. Rice decided to send him to Peterson-Smith clinic in Ocala. Something was spreading throughout the colt's body, and his condition continued to deteriorate. Eventually, he couldn't eat or drink at all, and his blood and body functions broke down. His blood protein levels dropped so low, all the fluids he was being administered flushed into his body and he developed edema.

"You could barely tell where his head and body joined," owner John Fort said. "His stomach area and testicles were the size of a beach ball. From the appearance of the throat and stomach, it was as if somebody had poured battery acid down this horse's throat. It completely stripped the skin and ulcerated the horse's stomach to the point where it hurt him so badly, he couldn't swallow water. His whole insides were like raw meat. The poor thing couldn't even pick his head up. He'd accumulate all this saliva and would drink that. The vets had never seen anything like it before. One thought was that someone mistakenly had given him a massive overdose of Bute, thinking they were helping him."

The colt was sent to Peterson-Smith, where he deteriorated so badly, he went from weighing 900 pounds to 500 pounds. It finally reached the point where the insurance company gave permission to have him euthanized. But Fort and veterinarian Carol Clark, with the help of Dr. Robert Copelan, wouldn't give up hope. Fort went to see the horse, and he and Dr. Clark and Dr. Copelan discussed on a conference call just what actions they could take. Fort assured Clark that they would try everything possible to save the horse.

"You can't imagine what this horse looked like," Fort said. "I was in Viet Nam and I've seen creatures who were dying, whether it was a bird or a dog or a person. You know when someone or something is beyond hope. I had never seen a creature sink this low. He was virtually on life-support system. We were giving him plasma at a rate of $1,000 a day. It was hour to hour, trying to save his life. This horse was dead."

Clark would spend nights with Invisible Ink, coaxing him to eat. She would hold dissolvable food pellets called Purina Equine Junior in her hand, one at a time, trying to get him to take it. They also treated him with medication to help stop the acids from flushing back into his throat.

Dr. Copelan finally suggested they give him buttermilk that was left out in the sun to reintroduce bacteria and help restore the colt's immune system. They found an old-fashioned farm in Ocala where the owners made their own buttermilk, and left it out in the 90-degree heat. After it became, as Fort said, "filthy and disgusting," they fed it to Invisible Ink through a tube inserted in his stomach. They combined that with stomach medication. Soon, the colt began to respond. Once they were able to stabilize his manure and got him to where he could drink and eat on his own, the horse was on the first step to recovery.

By Memorial Day, Invisible Ink had turned the corner, and by mid-July he had regained the weight he had lost. Soon, he began to blossom, and eventually was sent to trainer Todd Pletcher. Now, he is a week away from running in the Kentucky Derby. Before the Blue Grass Stakes, Dr. Copelan paid a visit to Invisible Ink and told Fort, "I can't believe it. I'm treating this horse for the Blue Grass, and a year ago I was trying to save his life."

"With Dr. Copelan's consultation and the inspiration of a young girl named Carol Clark and her traditional medicine, we were able to virtually bring this colt back from death," Fort said. "People frequently give up in the things they try to do, but nature never gave up here. Nature was trying to restore this horse's body back to health. Once we got out of nature's way, it was able to succeed. That this horse was able to survive is one of the most miraculous things I've ever seen.

"Winston Churchill once gave a famous speech to a group of youngsters at a boys school in England, in which he concluded, repeating over and over for several minutes, 'Don't ever...ever...ever...ever give up."

61 Comments

Leave a Comment:

MIRAMARTZU

Thank you Steve for a wonderful farewell to one of my all time favorites. I'll always remember his heart and courage to overcome all. Its a sad day and to lose him so young.Rest In Peace Inky.

07 Jul 2011 11:03 PM
BlueHen

What a wonderful/sad story (can that be said in the same breath?).  I loved the blank nameplate idea! :)

07 Jul 2011 11:13 PM
Karen in Texas

I feel badly for Mr. Fort. He was cheering vigorously for Inky during the stretch drive of that Derby and was virtually in tears at the success of a second place finish. I thought his love for the horse was almost palpable that day. To lose him at such a young age must be extremely painful. My condolences to Mr. Fort for the loss of his Inky.

07 Jul 2011 11:14 PM
marcy

As a fan, I can only imagine my grief 1000 fold. God Bless.

07 Jul 2011 11:16 PM
qb1dan

 My condolences to Mr. Fort and all that were associated with Invisible Ink . May he rest in peace while his Sons and Daughters keeping his memory alive forever .

07 Jul 2011 11:39 PM
Tairaterces

Rest in peace Inky . . . .you did good!!!

07 Jul 2011 11:53 PM
JK

From the moment I heard the news, I knew trying not to cry would be a lost cause. Reading this article opened the floodgates. I had a pet die from a birth defect in Jan and 2 more from old age in the last month. The pain of losing and having to bury animals you look upon as members of your family is excruciating. I was already attached to Inky from your original story, but recent events just make it that much harder to read about for me personally. I can only imagine what John Fort is going through. I'm sure he treasures every day he had Inky, and my thoughts are with him.

08 Jul 2011 12:19 AM
Will

Remarkable persistence by Fort and Clark. They just simply would not let Invisible Ink leave them. The treatment by Dr. Copelan was a stroke of simple genius. Having lived out such an act of love and devotion to save Invisible Ink from a condition that seemed so impossible to recover from, it's not surprising to hear that Fort could barely get the message of his untimely demise out to Steve before being to overcome with grief to continue the phone conversation. The two should never be far apart. Fort should inter Invisible Ink near him in South Carolina. The bond between owner and horse would best be memorialized in that way.

08 Jul 2011 1:03 AM
Forthehorses

Steve, once again you have squeezed our hearts, expanded our understanding, and lifted our spirits with your tribute to a wonderful horse and his people.  I celebrate his life and mourn his passing in the same heartbeat.  I give thanks for you, and all you do for us.

08 Jul 2011 1:29 AM
Primadex

How tragic to lose Inky so young.  Thank you, Steve, for reprinting your wonderful original article about this big-hearted little horse.  My heartfelt condolences to John Fort and his family.  

08 Jul 2011 2:56 AM
spitting the bit

Once again Steve, a wonderful and sad tale of our wonderful relationship with the horse, the battles, and heart-wrenching endings; but you present it always through the lens of love.  Thanks.  And my thoughts of sympathy to Mr Fort for the loss of his "Inky".

08 Jul 2011 5:53 AM
Janey1

Just a wonderful tribute--to the horse, and, incidentally, to the owner.  Condolences to Mr. Fort.  Thanks to the Creator for the horse.

08 Jul 2011 6:01 AM
Dawn in MN

Mr. Haskin,

Thank you for sharing the story of Invisible Ink.  

to Mr. Fort,

If you read this please know that this fan is truly sorry for your loss.  When a person truly loves an animal, not everyone understands.  Those of us who have loved a horse know that they leave hoof prints in your heart.  

08 Jul 2011 7:16 AM
Dutch

I remember the Derby TV coverage that year, when NBC showed John Fort with Invisible Ink before the race was run. Fort had tears in his eyes and was so proud of that horse, just thankful to be in Louisville. For Invisible Ink to finish second in the Derby was incredible after all he went through. RIP.

08 Jul 2011 7:20 AM
Victoria K

Invisible Ink was very lucky to have been owned by Mr. Fort.  I'm very sorry for his pain.  Best wishes to him and all who are grieving over the loss of Invisible Ink.

08 Jul 2011 7:28 AM
Fran Loszynski

Oh Steve, leave the nameplate blank because his name is "Invisible Ink" Awesome story, Hard not to shed a tear. Yes even if a racehorse is a contender he is a true champion for the fact he got there. His name will never be erased from the hearts that loved him. This is what horseracing "is".

08 Jul 2011 8:27 AM
monica

A sad ending, for sure, with the loss of Inky. But at the same time wonderfully inspirational! Thank you so much for reprinting. It's amazing what we humans can learn from animals. I had a terrific cat once who had cancer. With his tremendous fighting spirit and the help of a combination of traditional and natural medicine, he lived 3 GOOD years post-diagnosis, when the vet gave him 4-6 months!

08 Jul 2011 9:01 AM
Anne in SC

Thanks so much for starting my day with laughter and tears and memories!!

08 Jul 2011 9:07 AM
jill786

Dear Mr. Haskin--thanks for this wonderful story, hitherato unknown to me, of INVISIBLE INK.  The turf abounds with stories like this one; too bad they are not more well-known. If they were, it might inform more people about the nicer side of the folks in the game, and awaken more awareness about horseracing and the "Romance of the turf".  

08 Jul 2011 9:14 AM
Agnes

Monarchos' 2001 Derby is my favorite race and he is my favorite horse.  I was glad to see he was recently restored to health and is back covering mares.

So I was especially sad to read that Invisible Ink had gone.  He was part of a spectacular Derby and nearly caught Monarchos even at that blistering pace. May he rest in peace.

08 Jul 2011 9:20 AM
oso7

The indomitable will to survive is not the singular domain of mankind, it extends far and wide.  Thank you, Mr. Haskin, for another of your superlative treasures.  And thank you to those who fought to save Invisible Ink and mourn his loss today.

08 Jul 2011 9:29 AM
TBDancer

Those of us who love horses understand the pain of losing an equine friend. Few of us are fortunate enough to have such a special horse as Invisible Ink, but we know how Mr. Fort feels. Thank you for sharing the "backstory" to this special horse and his special people. Your suggestion for the "Invisible Ink" halter plate was masterful.

08 Jul 2011 9:30 AM
Rachel NH

A lovely horse with a champion's story.

08 Jul 2011 9:32 AM
DebbieJRT

Thank you for sharing this story.  My sympathies to Mr. Fort.  To lose a friend is hard and my heart goes out to him and those connected to Inky.

08 Jul 2011 9:40 AM
edrul427

What a magnificant story about this horse.I can really understand the sentiments of Mr.Fort and we certainly share his sorrow for this coreageous horse.

08 Jul 2011 9:56 AM
Linda in Texas

Steve, thank you for your story of "Inky," i have a cat named Inky so now every time i call his name i will think of Mr. Fort's "Inky" and his strong will to live thru his gut wrenching illness. I would have bet him had i been at that Kentucky Derby, 55-1 though i am not a bettor.

And your winnings on that day you will never forget.

Invisible Ink brought hope to Mr. Fort and i am sure he feels much grief as he has truly lost a special friend.  

So Rest in Peace Invisible Ink, you are now free to run with the greatest and i am sure your halter identifies you now as "Invisible

Ink" as it was on earth.

May Flashpoint and Plum Pretty continue to bring Mr. Fort success, they are both favorites of mine. And Flashpoint you know,  is a gray, and i hold a special fondness for all of them.

Thank you Mr. Steve Haskin and thank you Mr. John Fort for your devotion to the greatest sport of all, Thoroughbred Horse Racing.

08 Jul 2011 10:14 AM
Don in Massachusetts

Steve, Thanks for the wonderful tribute to Invisible Ink and Mr. Fort's love of this courageous Thoroughbred.

My sympathies to all associated with Inky, and may he rest in peace.

I have a suggestion where Inky could rest and be remembered, and that is, at the Kentucky Horse Park.  I am sure they would love to have him, to rest near Princess Rooney.

08 Jul 2011 10:17 AM
'Biscuit Fan

A great tribute to a remarkable life. My condolences to Mr. Fort and all those touched by this great competitor. May he rest in peace.

08 Jul 2011 10:32 AM
calico cat

This is so very sad. My heart goes out to Mr. Fort and all those associated with Inky. To lose him at such a young age, after seeing him through a terrible illness earlier,is a true heartbreak.

Rest in peace Inky, we were dearly loved by Mr. Fort and all those who helped you survive earlier. Your story was the most uplifting of that memorable Derby. Your will to live and your courage in the race of your life will be forever in our hearts and minds.

Thank you Mr. Haskin for sharing this with us and for reprinting this most touching piece.

Mr. Fort, I grieve for you. All horses should be as lucky as Inky was to have such a caring and dedicated owner. You are a shining example of what is right with this world.

08 Jul 2011 10:51 AM
Linda in Texas

Steve, just a mention here, hope your bloggers will find a video of The 2001 Kentucky Derby. I just rewatched it. Quite an exciting race.

Did not know Monarchos won that derby as fast as Secretariat did.

So with Invisible Ink coming in second at that pace and amazing speed, no wonder Mr. Cort is mourning his death and taking it hard as we all do when we lose a pet. Inky was all heart.

08 Jul 2011 11:14 AM
Jon Tucson

Most people can't see and don't understand the bond between an animal and his/her person. We don't really own animals per se, but we can and do be one with them.

I knew the minute I began reading your story about John Fort and his Inky, I would be in trouble. That was such a great tribute to both of them.

That was one special horse and one wonderful "person" to be such a friend to his Inky.

Many tears.

08 Jul 2011 11:25 AM
Gary Tasich

Thanks Steve...what a heartwarming story on what is otherwise a tragic day....I liked Inky and bet him in the KD....didn't do as well as you but I collected place $...thanks for the memories Inky!

08 Jul 2011 12:11 PM
Ranagulzion

Steve, this is a story that genuine horselovers would not get tired of reading.  Its a wonderful part of the Kentucky derby lore and brightens up the blog space, notwithstanding the sadness of Inky's passing, during this 'lull season' (after all of the drama of the last two seasons with Quality Road, Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra and Blame).

I'm a big fan of Flashpoint and admire the sporting approach to the game by Mr Fort.  Best wishes to him for the remainder of the season.  

08 Jul 2011 12:43 PM
genie918

I am saddened to hear of the loss of Invisible Ink.  The horse reminded me of Wanderin Boy, who also weathered a number of medical issues before his sad demise a few years ago.  These horses embody the toughness and spirit of this noble breed.  RIP Invisible Ink.

08 Jul 2011 1:20 PM
deb

what an amazing story. wow.  thank you for sharing this story.  it is the best.

08 Jul 2011 1:28 PM
longtimeracingfan

Steve, you and all the above posters have all pretty much said it all...

Inky was a favorite for me... I was so pleased to see him finish so well in the Derby. He really showed his huge heart. And Mr. Fort had already shown his, with the care he and his vet team provided.

Not much is sadder than losing such a wonderful horse. He was part of a very special community and now a piece of "us" is gone. But certainly not forgotten... here's hoping Mr. Fort can find an appropriate resting place for him that is permanent--- and I know it will be well done. Mr. Fort is definitely a class act. As Inky was all heart.

******

PS on an earlier but distantly related topic, a friend drove up to Grass Valley to the Loma Rica Ranch and was able to see the track and take a couple of photos. It's getting overgrown but the surface is still rideable, and the setting is very rural and appealing--- for now. She saw what appear to be the markers but did not go to look.

08 Jul 2011 3:11 PM
Runfast159

I know that I have read about Invisible Ink before.  His story touched me as much today as it did years ago.

It is just as much of a story about the love and dedication of John Fort.  I'm always encouraged when I hear about people like him.  Someone that loves his horses like that can be nothing but good for the sport.  

Godspeed Invisible Ink, and condolences to Mr Fort on his loss.

08 Jul 2011 4:20 PM
Alex'sBigFan

What an amazing story Steve, thanks for writing it.  What a tremendous will to live Inky had and the dedication of John Fort and the vets is unparalleled.  Mr. Fort is everything an owner should be and my heart goes out to him on the loss of his Inky.  Those of us that have that unique, special bond with animals know all too well the depth of his pain.  Mr. Fort gave Inky back his quality of life and for that he should be so proud.  I can't imagine what Mr. Fort went through during that time of Inky's illness, Inky not eating yet swollen from the edema and the raw insides, absolutely horrible. It was very interesting about the buttermilk, I know in humans that plain yogurt has the cultures to put back some natural bacteria in the body.  For Inky to have run in the 2001 Derby was truly a miracle and I must go find a video and watch it again.  And Steve the idea you had to not put his name "Invisible Ink" on his halter was priceless.  There is nothing anyone of us could say that would console Mr. Fort but he should be so proud of all that he is and stands for and has done for his horses.  I just love Plum Pretty, she was my Oaks pick.  Best of luck to Mr. Fort with her and Flashpoint.  Don't worry Mr. Fort your Inky runs free in heaven now and is probably having a conversation with Secretariat right about now saying, "Hey buddy, I ran just about as fast as you did!"

08 Jul 2011 8:54 PM
Mike Relva

Extremely sorry to hear of Invisible Ink's passing. Mr. Fort my thoughts are with you.

08 Jul 2011 11:32 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Linda in Texas,

Speaking of your beloved grays (Pirate Queen), check out Zenyatta's website.  ESPN is doing a piece on Zen this Saturday to be shown during  the Hollywood Gold Cup and Zenyatta is stopping over by your Pirate Queen to tell her the news!  Photo of it on Zenyatta's website!  Too cute!

At least that helped me with the tears about Inky.

08 Jul 2011 11:58 PM
Delrene

I learned of Invisible Ink after reading the story of Monarchos written by Mr. Squire.  I have watched that video of the 2001 Kentucky Derby endless times.  Invisible Ink was such a courageous horse.  Heartfelt sympathies to Mr. Fort and all those who were close to this incredible horse.  Thank you for your article and learning more about Inky's background.

09 Jul 2011 12:33 AM
Linda in Texas

Oh thanks a million Alex'sBigFan, i go on Zenyatta's website but haven't in a couple of weeks. i wondered if Pirate Queen had had her foal and how she was. i will go there right now.

And the photo of Paddy O'Prado on  bloodhorse.com today is one of my favorite photos.Just look at his face with that great big serving of

determination written all over it. Would love to hug his neck and give him a couple of love pats.

I download every single photo of every horse and write why it is being featured. Someday my son will come across them and wonder what in the world was his mama doing with so many pictures. He knows i am nuts for all animals and the bigger they are the bigger fool i am. It has rubbed off on him too.

And aren't we all crazy about them. I know from the super folks who post here they are no different. And my heart hurt to know that Mr. Fort was so upset Steve could not understand what he was saying. God Bless him and Inky.

Sounds like when my father lost his Champion Chesapeake Retriever which he had acquired from some people who abused the dog. They were inseparable. Sloe Gin Fizz was his name. I have his trophies

and Blue Ribbons from field trials.

He lived to be 13.

Thank you Steve. Have a great week end everyone and don't forget to watch the races on Saturday, i guess i should say today. It is 12:30 am cst. Saturday!

And good luck to Zookeeper for

*****R U N F L A T O U T*****

09 Jul 2011 1:35 AM
Needler in Virginia

If reading Steve's column today left ANY doubt about how Mr Fort feels about his equine friends, read Jim Squire's book (he bred Monarchos) called Horse of a Different Color. Mr Fort and his horses are a continuing thread through the entire book, and his devotion and love for them shines through as very real and not at all foolish. Since Inky and Monarchos will forever be linked by that amazing Derby, you'll love the read.

Mr Fort, our hearts hurt with yours. Take him home to South Carolina; he truly was special.

Cheers and safe trips.

09 Jul 2011 10:48 AM
Holy Bull Fan

I was so sorry to read the news about Inky. We saw him race in the Bluegrass (shortly before which a plane flew over with a banner reading "Go Inky." We rooted for him in the Kentucky Derby, too, during one of the few years we've had Derby parties. He was a favorite among our partygoers.

09 Jul 2011 6:13 PM
Paula Higgins

I am heartbroken for Mr. Fort over the loss of his beloved Inky. I am sure he is beside himself. What a wonderful horse he was Steve. Thank you for this story. I had no idea he was so sick. It is amazing they were able to save him and he went on to place 2nd in the Derby. I think it is a testament to what a wonderful person Mr. Fort is that he was thrilled with 2nd place. I would have been too. A true sportsman. My dog Ralph's nickname is "Inky" so this really hits home. What a moving tribute to his amazing horse Steve. P.S. I started sending my donations this week to Old Friends for Noor.

09 Jul 2011 8:49 PM
Paula Higgins

JK I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved pets. You are right the pain is excruciating. They are truly family.

09 Jul 2011 8:55 PM
Sue MacGray

Steve, what a wonderful, moving story about Invisible Ink and his owner. I haven't owned horses (yet), but I know from my own experience with my cat (the best pet ever) Columbus how close we get to our animal friends. My heart goes out to Mr. Fort for the tragic and early loss of his Invisible Ink. He definitely must keep him close by somehow I think, where he can visit him now and again.

09 Jul 2011 9:38 PM
Slew

Nothing speaks more strongly to the champion and the hero than the words, "I survived!"  It's a halo for Invisible Ink, and wings for the love of Mr. Fort.  There are no adequate words to explain the empty spaces left by the loss of a loved one.  Perhaps it's in how we persevere afterwards that defines us...but it's never easy.  I wish Mr. Fort joyful memories, and satisfaction with love well spent.  I wish Inky green pastures...forever.  

10 Jul 2011 9:25 AM
Danette

Thank you Steve for a very moving and heartfelt story. My condolances to Mr. Fort on the loss of his most precious friend. Invisible Ink left a most visible mark on those who loved him as well as the many fans who remember him dearly. Rest in peace Invisible Ink.

10 Jul 2011 1:40 PM
Susan from VA

Just when I am starting to get bored with the Bloodhorse website, you come up with an article like this!  Condolences to Mr. Fort.

13 Jul 2011 1:35 PM
Linda in Texas

Where is everybody. I am having

withdrawals! :(

Hellllllo

Helllllllllllo

Anybody home??????

Steve Haskin, Slew, Dr. D.. Deacon,

Alex'sBigFan, Zookeeper (seeing your name on Marquis's re:movie), Paula Higgins, Needler in Virginia, Mary in Vermont, sweet Oldie, Fran Loszynski, et al????

And cannot forget Zen's Auntie,(how about Rattlesnake Bridge and Irrefutable, both grays doing well)?

Is everyone on a summer sabbatical except me??

13 Jul 2011 1:41 PM
Barbara W

RIP, beautiful boy. Mr. Fort, Our hearts are broken for you and with you. I am so thankful he was so well-cared for by you and your team.

13 Jul 2011 2:34 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Linda in Texas,

I'm still here don't worry.  I went over to Jason's Guest Blogs this week.  There are 2 good articles from Gun Bow and Keelerman.  So I've been immersed in the one about the decline in California racing.

I will be seeing this Rattlesnake Bridge because I just read he's entered in the Haskell against Shack and ROI!!!!!  Cool! And remember I mentioned a JJ's Lucky Train way back at the beginning of the TC, he's in the Haskell too.

And the girls run tomorrow at Delaware Blind Luck and Havre de Grace, should be a thriller.

Hope Mr. Fort is feeling better at this time.  

Where's Steve?  He must be cooking up a good article for us..............................

15 Jul 2011 11:21 PM
bellesforever

Thank you for the loving tribute..we all want to hear these heart warming stories..it is awesome to hear about people who do care about their horses so much..so sorry for their loss but so happy that this horse had a band of folks that cared so much for him.

16 Jul 2011 12:41 PM
Slew

Still here, Linda...but since I don't have to shovel the sunshine, I'm out enjoying it.

19 Jul 2011 10:47 AM
Woodland Dash

I bred my mare, Ashton Ridge by Pentelicus, to Invisible Ink during his first year at stud and had a wonderful colt named Legends Echo. So much like his father that we also nicknamed him Inky. So much potential from that breeding but unfortunately injuries from a bad trainer resulted. He could have followed in his father's footsteps to the Derby. I loved Invisible Ink from the first day we saw him. He was all personality and then some. RIP my favorite one. You live on in Legends Echo.

20 Jul 2011 2:21 AM
greatbigbubby

it's always a very hurtful thing when a horse passes on, wether it's your child's pony, the neighbor's faithful companion or a million dollar thoroughbred. horses have a special place in our hearts.

23 Jul 2011 4:09 PM
Cris

Whatever brings his owner the most comfort is what he should do. If he is still raising "inks" the story is not yet complete. There may be more comfort knowing he is just outside rather than hundreds of miles away. There are no words to say that will make Mr. Fort feel better. Perhaps just comfort in knowing so many care.

22 Aug 2011 7:47 AM
susan in tn

I am so sorry, Mr. Fort, for your loss.

13 Sep 2011 7:35 PM
Lori M.

Thank you, Steve, for another provocative story- but a sad one this time for sure.

 I am so touched by the love Mr. Fort had for his horse.  Your blank nameplate suggestion was so perfect, and Fort's taking you up on it was so sporting and fun.

My husband and I both love Monarchos, and visit him often.  One of the very first Thoroughbreds I ever saw was Monarchos- standing under a golden-leafed tree, just like a dappled statue, at Claiborne.

Now we will have your story - of the heart of the horse who came in second - Invisible Ink, who was truly all heart.

And what a handsome individual he was!  This link is from the Ky Horse Park's press release of Sept. 12th- Inky walking - what grace he had:  

www.youtube.com/watch.  

Here is the link to the press release- there is going to be a memorial service there for Inky open to the public:  the Forts show much we really can love our animals.

view.exacttarget.com

Thank you to Needler in VA for reminding me that Inky and his connections are threaded thru Mr. Squires book!  And thank you to Holy Bull Fan for mentioning that awesome banner a plane was pulling across the sky saying "Go Inky!" before the Blue Grass S.  OMG Mr. Fort adored his horse.  

And they say that real men don't cry.   Guffaawwww- Fort is a REAL man- who loved w all HIS heart, so much so as to bring Inky back, w the steadfast vets, from almost graveside - ohhh incredible, incredible tenacity and care!  RIP Inky.  I will look for you at the KY Horse Park in November.  Even more love Mr. Fort had for Inky - made sure he was buried with honor and distinction at a place where his fans could visit and tell their racing tales to him.  May God bless Mr. Fort and all the owners like him...he is a credit to the sport, and to animal lovers everywhere.

14 Sep 2011 1:59 PM
JoyJackson21

Re-reading Invisible Ink's story brings back so many memories for me of this lovely, courageous son of Thunder Gulch.  Inky grabbed a hammerlock on my heart the very first time I heard his story, told every eloquently and emotionally by his owner, John Fort.  I rooted for him to win the Kentucky Derby, and had boxed him in the exacta with Monarchos, and had placed $20 tickets on Inky to win, place and show.  That's how much I believed in him.  I knew he couldn't have fought so hard to live for nothing.  Some wonderful destiny had to have been planned down the road for him, I was sure of it.  

When I saw Invisible Ink streaking up the track after the blazing Monarchos, I was so happy.  I screamed and screamed for Inky to hurry up and make it to the wire because he still had a chance to win the race.  Inky did not lose that Derby by very much.  He gave it everything he had in him and just missed winning the race by a short distance.  If Monarchos ran the second fastest Derby in the history of the race after Secretariat, that also meant that Invisible Ink ran the third fastest Derby, because Inky was a very close second in that race.  I think Inky's half brother, Point Given, was in that Kentucky Derby too, if I'm not mistaken.  Inky outran Point Given, the eventual 2001 Eclipse Horse of the Year winner that year.  

I was so proud of Inky.  It was the race of his life.  Invisible Ink had saved the greatest performance of his life for the greatest race of them all - the Kentucky Derby.  

As I write this, I smile with love and great fondness for Invisible Ink.  I miss him, and I am thankful Mr. Fort chose to have Invisible Ink buried where his fans can always go and pay tribute to him.  Inky still has many fans out there, including me.

Rest in peace, Inky.  You made a wonderful impact in your short life.  You were loved and you are missed.

16 Dec 2012 10:30 PM

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