The Amazing Broad Brush Leaves Mark on the Derby Trail

Looking over the past performances of Derby hopefuls, I couldn’t help but make a connection between Louisiana Derby hopeful Ground Transport’s name and the colt’s broodmare sire, Broad Brush. That connection will become apparent as you read on. Just seeing the name Broad Brush brought back a flood of memories, evoking images of one of the toughest racehorses I’ve ever been around, and in many ways the most remarkable. It is safe to say there has never been a horse quite like Broad Brush, and it was a sad day when he was euthanized in 2009 at age 26.

With his grandson one race away from making it into the Kentucky Derby field, as tough a task as that is going to be, I thought this would be a good time to rekindle some of those memories, not only to share with readers, but just to make me feel good. That’s the kind of horse Broad Brush was. So, let’s begin in the early morning hours of Oct. 19, 1986, and when I say early, that can be interpreted as very early or very late.

It was around 1 a.m., about an hour and a half after Broad Brush's resounding victory over older horses in the $500,000 Meadowlands Cup. It was the colt’s 14th start of the year, all stakes, at 11 different racetracks. Included among his seven stakes victories were the Jim Beam Stakes (now the Spiral), Wood Memorial, Ohio Derby, Pennsylvania Derby (one of the wildest, craziest victories you’ll ever see), and Meadowlands Cup. He also placed in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, and finished second in the Travers, beaten a head, only to be disqualified to fourth.

In Barn 4E, trainer Richard Small had just finished fixing the colt an early breakfast (or late dinner) of oats and bran before chauffeuring him back home to Pimlico, as he always did. Small brought the feed bucket over to Broad Brush's stall and said to me, “Put your hand in this feed tub; I bet you can’t touch it.” The feed was so hot, I could barely hold my hand over it, never mind touch it.

“Watch this; you're not going to believe it,” Small said. As soon as he walked into Broad Brush’s stall, the colt came charging at the tub and buried his head in it before Small could hang it on the wall. He then proceeded to devour the scalding mixture without even flinching.

“He’s incredible,” Small said. “Half the horses in this race wouldn’t eat anything right after a race, but he doesn’t even wait for it to cool off. He’s so tough and durable. He’s made of the right stuff. I’ve never been around a horse like this.”

It was funny listening to Small describe a horse as being tough and durable and made of the right stuff. This is someone who used to go out on suicide missions in Vietnam while serving with the Green Berets.

One of the reasons Broad Brush was always so willing and enthusiastic was his relationship with Charles Turner, who was the colt’s security guard and traveling companion. Turner had been on the racetrack for 50 of his 57 years, and was a groom, licensed trainer, licensed owner, entrepreneur, hustler, and mentor. He helped teach a 14-year-old kid named Bill Hartack the tricks of the trade, along with other riders at Charles Town.

“I’m so proud of this horse,” Turner said, as he began making preparations for the van ride home. “I just think the world of him. He’s young, playful, and feeling good, and around the barn he’s a perfect gentleman. He has his own personality, his own character, and we just accept him. I’d never been to the Kentucky Derby before, never been to Saratoga before, but thanks to Broad Brush, now I have. He’s made my 57 years complete.”

Broad Brush, as mentioned earlier, was unlike any horse I have ever been around. When it came to sheer toughness, he was in a class by himself. He thrived on work and could not get enough of it. Small said the horse knew exactly when the track opened in the morning, and if he wasn't the first one out there “you couldn't deal with him.” The day after the 1987 Preakness, the Pimlico track was closed for clean-up and Small had to van the 4-year-old Broad Brush to Laurel just to gallop. In the winter of 1986, prior to the General George Stakes at Pimlico, all the Maryland tracks were frozen on the day Broad Brush was scheduled to work. Small put the colt on a van and drove him to his father's farm, where he worked him up a snow-covered hill. Three days later, Broad Brush won the General George.

The horse had such incredible recuperative powers, no ailment ever kept him out of training. He ran down badly in the '86 Travers , but two days later, to the amazement of Small, the injury was completely healed. He loved riding in vans and Small would often just take him for rides around the Maryland countryside to alleviate any boredom. In his 14 starts at 3, he raced at Pimlico, Laurel, Latonia, Aqueduct, Churchill Downs, Thistledown, Canterbury Downs, Monmouth, Saratoga, Philadelphia Park, and Meadowlands, and vanned to every race but one, logging 5,000 miles on the road. How appropriate to have his daughter produce a foal named Ground Transport.

The only problem Broad Brush caused Small in the mornings was his unwillingness to gallop or work long distances by himself. He thrived on competition and loved running alongside other horses. If Small sent him out by himself he would get bored and start playing around. Unfortunately, Small had no colts who could gallop with Broad Brush without getting knocked out for a week. Small said he just “overpowered and intimidated them. It was like they went through the wringer.”

Fortunately, Small had a claiming filly named Flow and Flux who had no speed, but was so tough and had so much stamina, she could gallop with Broad Brush and stand up to the pressure. Small had gone through a number of horses until he lucked out finding her. She became Broad Brush's galloping companion and traveled with him everywhere, including California in 1987, when he made three separate trips there, culminating with a heart-pounding nose victory over Ferdinand in the Santa Anita Handicap. Flow and Flux became so valuable to Small he couldn't even run her for fear of losing her. This is a filly who won one of 14 starts, a $14,000 maiden claiming race at Philadelphia Park. Of those 14 starts, she was out of the money in nine of them.

“She’s worth a fortune to me,” Small said in 1987. “There is no way we could have gotten Broad Brush to this level without her. I put her in a couple of allowance races this year, but I don’t dare run her at her own level because I can’t afford to lose her.”

In addition to his Santa Anita Handicap victory, Broad Brush at 4 won the Suburban, John B. Campbell, and Trenton Handicaps. He was third, beaten three-quarters of a length, in the Met Mile, conceding 18 pounds to the 3-year-old Gulch; was second by a nose to Waquoit in the Mass Cap, giving the big gray nine pounds; and was third in the Whitney, giving 14 pounds to Java Gold and 10 pounds to Gulch. In his Suburban victory, he was conceding 14 pounds to runner-up Set Style.

The day before the ’87 Preakness, Broad Brush went out for his 6 a.m. gallop, as usual accompanied by Flow and Flux. As important as Broad Brush’s works were, his gallops were even more important, which was the reason Flow and Flux was so valuable. As Small explained, the works were for wind exercise and the gallops were for muscle exercise.

Small leaned over the rail and again said, “Watch this, you’re not going to believe it.” In a few minutes, two figures came bounding out of the turn, so close together they seemed to be joined at the hip. Technically, they were in a gallop, but it was so vigorous it gave the illusion they were going much faster. Here was this big, dark bay colt on the inside, striding out powerfully, trying to keep up with the smaller light bay filly alongside him.

“She’s actually above him in the pecking order,” Small said as they charged past us. “She sets the pace of the gallop. He’ll slow down or go faster depending on what she does. Sometimes, she’ll just say to him, ‘What’s the matter, can’t you keep up?’”

Moments later, the pair came rolling by once again, still at a strong gallop and still eyeball to eyeball. Any other horse in Small’s barn would take several days to recover from such a gallop, but Flow and Flux did it every day for a year and a half.

“She’s got so much guts and heart, damned if I know where she gets it,” Small said. “She has one lick but she can carry it five miles. They’ve become real buddies. It’s like a human runner who likes to have a friend along to talk to.”

Several days before this gallop, “Brush” and “Flow” were out for a similar gallop, going at a two-minute lick. Shortly after, Kentucky Derby winner Alysheba went out for his two-minute lick, but covered only half the distance. And that was considered Broad Brush’s day off. Small even brought Flow and Flux to California with Broad Brush and worked them a mile together.

Broad Brush’s exercise rider, Frank Gerkin, said, “On the track he doesn’t pay any attention that she’s a filly, but once in a while walking to the track, he’ll give a little nicker.”

Small said he hoped that when Broad Brush was retired, owner Robert Meyerhoff, who owned both horses, would breed them just to see what happens.

After Broad Brush retired, Flow and Flux became a jumper, and in 1988 set a course record at Grand National for two miles. As Small had hoped, Meyerhoff did breed her to Broad Brush, and in 1993, she produced a filly named Cobber, who sold for $20,000 at the OBS Fall Mixed sale. Cobber ran 30 times, with three wins, three seconds, and three thirds. He finished first in another race, but was disqualified.

And finally we come to Broad Brush's most infamous moment -- his you-had-to-see-it-to-believe-it victory in the Pennsylvania Derby, in which he not only bolted all the way to the outside fence nearing the quarter pole over a very sloppy track, he headed directly toward it at full speed, looking as if he were going to either crash into it or jump over it. It was only the frantic waving by the track veterinarian standing at the rail that prevented Broad Brush from winding up in the picnic area and jockey Angel Cordero from bailing out. Broad Brush quickly straightened himself out, angled back in, and miraculously came charging down the middle of the track to win the race.

Yes, this horse was one of a kind. After a stud career that saw him sire 86 stakes winners and top the leading sire list by progeny earnings in 1994, Broad Brush retired to a well-deserved life of leisure in 2004. When I visited Kentucky shortly after, I was driving down Old Frankfort Pike when it dawned on me. If I see a van with a dark bay horse peering out the window, I better give a friendly wave just in case Broad Brush was starting to get bored again.

64 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Lydia

Terrific story.  Broad Brush doesn't get enough press.  Thanks for this!!

20 Mar 2013 6:44 PM
Fortune Pending

Wonderful memories.  Thanks for sharing.  Broad Brush was one classy horse.

20 Mar 2013 6:50 PM
trackjack

What a great story, Steve.  The unique quirks and fascinating traits that you weave into the story of Broad Brush are priceless.  Reading and enjoying your stories help me and I'm sure many other racing fans realize why we love these beautiful animals.  Thanks!

20 Mar 2013 7:06 PM
tanja

www.youtube.com/watch

I was standing at the gap at the head of the stretch watching this race. As Broad Brush was coming around the far turn, we saw him flick his ears forward and switch leads to the outside. We all said...uh oh...and darned if he didnt try to make the gap to go home. He thought he was done.

20 Mar 2013 7:08 PM
Dutch

Great article, Steve. Thanks for another enjoyable trip down memory lane.

For those who haven't seen Broad Brush's win in the 1986 Pennsylvania Derby, go to youtube.com. I just watched it again for the first time in ages, and seeing that crazy but spectacular victory put a smile on my face. Brilliant stuff.

20 Mar 2013 7:31 PM
trackjack

tanja--

Thanks for posting the video.  What a character!

20 Mar 2013 7:32 PM
carol in utah

There is a mare born 2006...Celtic Woman...she great grand daughter of BB and F&F...9 races one win...

20 Mar 2013 7:38 PM
foxhunter

Great story Steve, and thanks for the video Tanja!

20 Mar 2013 7:44 PM
livewire

I am so grateful to see this story regarding Broad Brush.  Every once in a while there is a racehorse who never quite does enough to receive the eclipse award but becomes a horse you cheer for.  Broad Brush was such a horse.  I remember that Pennsylvania derby as I was watching it on TV when it occurred.  I don't think I have ever seen anything like it, before or since.  He should not have won but did anyway.  I hope you can dig up the video for others to appreciate.  

20 Mar 2013 8:27 PM
TripleCrownKaren

Would just have LOVED to see BROAD BRUSH up against DR FAGER and DAMASCUS.   Now wouldn't that have been a race for the ages!    3 of the toughest runners going head to head.....you pick the distance, Steve!   :)

20 Mar 2013 8:40 PM
Bill Rinker

Thanks Steve, I really loved that story, hope to see you in April at Charles Town.

20 Mar 2013 9:01 PM
Terlingua

Steve, Thank you so much for this fantastic remembrance of Broad Brush, one of my personal favorites.  When I learned he was still alive at such a great age, I asked a friend to arrange with his relative at Gainesway to get some tail hair from Broad Brush.  It is the only hair I have from any race horse and is truly treasured.  He was a great, tough horse.  They don't make them like that these days.

20 Mar 2013 10:01 PM
kincsem

Wow. Love his son, Include as a sire. Although there is Nearco and Phallaris in three branches of the family, it is refreshing to see a successful sire line that does NOT include Mr. Prospector, A.P. Indy, or Storm Cat...great story!

20 Mar 2013 10:49 PM
greengirl

I cared for Broad Brush when he spent some time at the clinic... 2004 I believe, maybe 2005.  He was an absolute gentleman the entire time and such the handsome fellow.  I was fairly new to the industry at that time but boy did I fall in love with him.  I love the story of Flow and Flux, too!  Very neat.

20 Mar 2013 11:17 PM
Debbiek

What a great story, Steve.  I just watched the video of the Pennsylvania Derby.  I've never seen anything like it.  What an amazing horse!!  Do you know whatever happened to Flow and Flux?  

20 Mar 2013 11:26 PM
Karen

Thanks Steve for the great stories about one of my all-time favorite horses. And thanks tanja for the link to that crazy, wonderful race.

21 Mar 2013 1:20 AM
Peg

I was one of the grooms for Broad Brush's dam, Hay Patcher.  I closely followed her foals, but Broad Brush was definitely special. Hay Patcher exuded class from every pore. She captured my admiration and my heart. I went to Gainesway in 2006, after calling and explaining how much it would mean to me to be able to see Broad Brush. They would not allow me to see him when I got there. I'm rather envious of Steve that he was allowed to see him. Such a disappointment!

Thanks for the story, Steve. I love the behind the scenes info!

21 Mar 2013 6:54 AM
john francis

Broad Brush forever!!!

21 Mar 2013 7:25 AM
Tommyboomer

Thanks for this Steve. As a recent fan of TB racing, it's easy to learn about Secretariat et al, but I find these stories fantastic. The video of the Pennsylvania Derby is something else!

21 Mar 2013 7:36 AM
Steve Haskin

It's always so great to hear from people who have personal connections to the horses that are written about. Just think of the vast number of horses and all the people who cared for them or had some kind of relationaship with them. That's what makes racing and horses so wonderful, even if it's rekindling memories of horses and certain incidents, like the Pa. Derby. Thanks for all your comments.

21 Mar 2013 8:13 AM
peggy conroy

Thanks for the inside info on this wonderful horse. I acquired my newest mare because Broad Brush is her broodmare sire and hoping her Silent Name foal takes after him!

21 Mar 2013 9:35 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

tanja

   Thanks for the link. I don't remember seein that race, and you'd think if I saw it I'd never forget it. I can just see someone with a big bet on Broad Brush storming away when he veered out and was seemingly out of the race, then after the race his friend walks up to him:

"Your horse won."

"What horse?"

"Broad Brush"

"Get the hell out of here."

21 Mar 2013 9:36 AM
Pedigree Ann

His sire Ack Ack was always 'workmanlike' about his spectacular wins. Plus durable. He raced 8 times in his abbreviated Horse-of-the-Year campaign, cut off by colic that nearly killed him in August. Won at 7f, 1 1/16, 9f and 10f on dirt, 5.5f and 9f on turf. Carried 130 lbs to victory in the Big 'Cap, 134 lbs in his romp in the Hollywood Gold Cup. We will not see his like again, the way the racing and breeding industry is going these days.

21 Mar 2013 9:59 AM
Cris

I was pregnant with my son when I went to see the newly retired Broad Brush at Gainesway. I brought a large bag of carrots. It was a awfully hot summer and they had the fountains turned off due to lack of water. Blushing Groom had been operated on the night before and things were a little grim. After visiting with Riverman for a while I walked over and spent the rest of my time with Broad Brush. He was a very smart horse and you could tell he really liked people and liked to spend time with them. He went on to become a force in the stud barn like he did everywhere he went.

21 Mar 2013 10:12 AM
Shelby's Best Pal

I really enjoyed reading about Broad Brush.  Thank you.  I wasn't attending the races during his glory years but one of his sons captured my attention and admiration in the 90's--Concern.  He was a very interesting horse too.  He would be so far back in a race you would think he had no chance.  Then he would swallow the field.  Amazing.  I still smile thinking about him.  Thanks again for the interesting story.  Smiling.

21 Mar 2013 10:24 AM
mz

When I started getting interested in pedigrees, I grabbed onto Broad Brush because he was an Ack Ack and went back to Domino.  I love that he became such a good sire and kept that line alive.  

Thanks, Steve.

p.s.  I note that Flow and Flux traced back to Maud Muller and has some additional Domino waaaayyyy back.

21 Mar 2013 10:33 AM
Wrensflight

Love these stories, Steve. You really make the horse behind the scenes come to life. I also just watched the YouTube video of the 1986 PA Derby. Broad Brush looked like he was about to lift off during the final strides. Thanks for keeping us in touch with the classic horses of the past.

21 Mar 2013 10:36 AM
Jeff Scott

Terrific piece, Steve. No one puts together this kind of story better than you do. And thanks for bringing some much-needed attention to this one-of-a-kind horse. May the Broad Brush/Domino line make it into another century -- somehow.

21 Mar 2013 10:48 AM
deb

this is always one of my favorite stories you tell. Do you have one about Black Gold? That was an interesting horse!

Thank you for running it again, between you and Cot's stories, the blood horse is a great fun to read online.

21 Mar 2013 12:24 PM
Rusty Weisner

I seemed to see a lot of Broad Brushes in Maryland when I used to play there a decade ago.  They were always coming off the pace.

21 Mar 2013 12:45 PM
Susan from VA

I always liked Broad Brush, and after reading this I like him even more.  Thank you, Tanja, for posting the link to youtube.  I had no idea that race was up there.  After watching the video, I am of the opinion that Broad Brush thought the race was too easy, and he just wanted to make it a little more interesting, you know, turn it into a real horse race!

21 Mar 2013 1:23 PM
peck farm

I have a wonderful Broad Brush gelding, Big Board. Was a Champion in Chile. Came back to Santa Anita to run, bowed. Good now. Gives lessons. Jumps. SUCH a gentleman! Loves women! And loves babies! Can wean colts and fillies with him. Really a caretaker with the other horses as well. So that story about Flow and Broad Brush made perfect sense.

21 Mar 2013 2:33 PM
longtimeracingfan

This is precisely whay I am always delighted to see (all too rarely, alas!) the names of Broad Brush and his sire Ack Ack in today's pedigrees. And they wonder why horses now are too often flimsy and fragile... we need more like BB and his ilk. Thanks, Steve!!

21 Mar 2013 2:34 PM
Kathy Weightman

THANK YOU so much for this article, Steve.  Broad Brush was my absolute favorite in his day and I'll never forget that PA Derby! Was lucky enough to visit him a few times at Gainesway, back when Marion was there.   It's not the same there without Marion, Broad Brush, Arts, Riverman, Lyphard, etc.   That was an incredible crew and such a special place to visit.

21 Mar 2013 5:33 PM
ceil rock

Steve, this is one of your best pieces. So much fun to read. Broad Brush was lucky to have an owner who believed in him and bred almost of his own mares to him. Hopefully, Include will be able to carry on the line for him. (Broad Brush is also the broodmare sire of Fort Larned).

21 Mar 2013 5:36 PM
Gulchfan

It wasn't just the track vet waving that got Broad Brush back on track in the PA Derby, it was Cordero beating the crap out of him (there's 'corrective' sticking, then there's what Ahn-hell did that day).  I hate Cordero.  He also hit Gulch AFTER the wire in a race, unforgivable.

21 Mar 2013 6:37 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Wow!  What an amazing animal Broad Brush was!  Steve this is a classic article from you!  It's just great.  I never saw that Pennsylvania Derby until now, thank you so much Tanja for posting the link.  It's unbelievable how he composed himself enough to get back to the pack and win.  I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I thank you for it Steve.

As far as Cordero whipping him, well in general I'm not for whipping, but I think in this case it may have averted disaster.  Both horse and rider could have been seriously injured had they gone over the rail or crashed into it.  When I watched the vido someone posted below it that this feat and the one in Preakness 2005 with Afleet Alex were the most amazing comebacks.  In that case, the darn whip caused the entire Preakness incident, whereby Scrappy T got left whipped and instead of veering right like he should have, veered left, straight into the oncoming path of Alex who went down (the two heel clipped) to almost his knees and got up to win.  Before we crucify Cordero to Mr. Ed's "Wild Jockey Division of the ASPCA" I think his actions may have saved two or more lives that day.  I'd rather have Broad Brush that day with slightly sore flanks than the alternative outcome had the whip not been used.

Dr. D. too funny.  Who ever would have believed Broad Brush won if you walked away before it was over or covered your eyes afraid to watch the ending!  

21 Mar 2013 7:47 PM
Bill Two

Never seen another like him.  Tough as nails. That PA Derby was the mind blower of all time.  How in the hell he won that race after Cordero all but pulled him up at the grandstand fence is just crazy.  I can still see Jimbo Bracciale with his legs splayed out of the stirrups atop Broad Brush during many a post parade at Pimlico or Laurel or Bowie.  He looked so laid back.  The horse was a throwback to an earlier time.  Unforgettable.

21 Mar 2013 7:54 PM
anita b

Hi Steve,

Thanks for another great article. I always liked Broad Brush--would have liked to owned one of his daughters/granddaughters. And thank you Tanja for the video about the Pa Derby.

Gulchfan--I never liked Cordero either.

21 Mar 2013 7:57 PM
supacoo

You tell a great yarn, Steve.  Thank you. Richard Small trained and was co-breeder of Alpha Mike Foxtrot, a promising three year old who broke down in this year's Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel.  The colt was by Two Punch out of a Broad Brush mare.  I was at Laurel to watch him win the 2012 Maryland Juvenile Championship Stakes.  That race was something to witness - Alpha Mike had the Broad Brush guts and a lot of talent, winning that race despite a bad trip and a sloppy track.  Alpha Mike's breakdown early this year was a gutpunch for me, because it seemed he had such potential.  Now I can see why he was campaigned so hard, maybe in the hope he had inherited his grandsire's resiliency as well as his speed.  

21 Mar 2013 8:22 PM
kmdreamweaver

we have a son of BROAD BRUSH,"GOLD BRUSH. standing at dreamweaver quarterhorses here in oregon.we purchased some very nice mares,thanks to mr.brown to breed to him.ben a long road and quite the story of how it all came about.

21 Mar 2013 9:19 PM
Cassandra.Says

Gulchfan:

I wouldn't mind if they took the damned sticks away from them since they rarely learn to use them, but I've gotta say . . . when a mature, highly experienced horse pulls that kind of caper with no excuse whatsoever except bloody mindedness, punishment should be quick and thorough. The horse's response was cool, and acknowledged the message. If he'd gotten away with that, he'd have fallen in love with his new game. It might have gotten him ruled off; wild swerving has cost lives, human and equine.

22 Mar 2013 1:24 AM
Cassandra.Says

The Domino line has always hung by a slender thread, but once again it looks like it's on thin ice.

(Someone recently seems to have stirred up in me with a craving for mixed metaphors and cliches.)

Concern is, thankfully, retired after failing totally at stud.

Mongoose is at stud in Peru, leaving nothing to speak of behind.

Mabry's Boy has had two crops to race, 5 foals each, with 3 winners so far, one a colt who is making a lot of hay in the New York program.

Include has had several first class fillies but not an outstanding colt as he hits his upper teens.

Include colt Redeemed, Oklahoma Derby winner and G2-placed, has just retired to a good stud in a good region. If everyone who is sentimental about Domino sent him a mare good enough to be a dam of sires, maybe we'd stagger on to one more generation.

Prom Shoes is standing for free in the U.S. southwest.

A Broad Brush son has gone to stud in Russia this year. It would be a blast if the Heir to the Line, whose existence fewer than 10 people in the West even suspected, suddenly imposed on our consciousness by showing up in Dubai.

Anybody keeping an eye on some forlorn hope I've missed?

BTW, for Domino blood I'd bet on Deputy Minister as having the biggest concentration in prominent modern pedigrees.

22 Mar 2013 5:07 AM
yani

I love reading about Broad Brush, even though our entrance into racing as fans of racing was not until 1989. The personal connection you have to these greats make the story even more compelling.  Thank you so much for the memories.

22 Mar 2013 9:34 AM
Linda in Texas

Broad Brush no doubt was making sure that Flow and Flux wasn't in the grandstands waiting for him to ask her to come run alongside of him when he detoured to the rail on the sloppy day.  

I loved this story more than any you have written Steve, Hooves Up, the best yet, give me 5! :)

And one thing more, i am glad i am not the only one who thinks horses think! His trainer Mr. Small knew he liked to ride around in the van and took him. I loved that part the bestest! Broad Brush, you were one of a kind. Rest In Peace.

Safe trips to all this week end and

may the horses be ready when the gates open, may the jockey's saddles not slip and they keep their boots in the irons til the wire and may all horses not have a career or life ending injury. Thank you Racing Gods, just my wishes.

How nice to read all the comments from people who have Broad Brush's off spring and knew him, i did not realize Fort Larned nor Ground Support were related and i Like them both and hated it when Fort Larned stumbled in his last race.

Safe racing and happy trails to everyone and thanks Steve. You are

the best story teller since Will Rogers. And that's the truth.

And with races at Sunland this week end i will be watching the highway thru my town for fancy vans. Don't be startled if i escort you past the hideout of the DPS Troopers going west, hint, it is usually at the bottom of a hill out of Brownwood whether you go 279 or 67/84. Comanche County has diligent ones also. Drive Smartly and Safely so i can watch everyone on HRNTV this week end.

Thanks again Steve.

Linda

22 Mar 2013 1:56 PM
sceptre

Lovely article; one of your best. Broad Brush deserves to be remembered. And, this piece may prove to be timely-i.e. Ground Transport...Several years ago I was high on the Broad Brush son, World Light, but he was later castrated and became a pleasure horse.  

22 Mar 2013 3:55 PM
poormansracehorse

It seems to me that BB is up close as the broodmare sire of some pretty nice horses. I'd love to see Alan Porter or Avalyn Hunter write him up. It's great to see a successful stallion (in North America anyway) that isn't a direct Mr P. or Northern Dancer line horse, so it would be interesting to get an opinion of what line he and hopefully his sons cross best with.

22 Mar 2013 3:57 PM
joe c.

Steve,  I remember his Campbell win so well; I drove up from D.C. in wet weather but the sun came out as Broad Brush entered the stretch. Seeing him was worth the bad weather and a near collision in the traffic leaving that day.  In 1999 I saw him UP CLOSE at Gainseway-the staff was great and BB showed me what a character he was.  Broad Brush, Gulch, Snow Chief...those and others danced every dance, and didn't stay in the barn, racing every two or three months.  

22 Mar 2013 6:35 PM
bigred

Steve, Great article, ironically, i was discussing some of the all time great victories by thoroughbreds about a month ago and of course i told my friend to youtube  bb's penn derby win. I'm guessing he gave up 5 to 10 lengths from the quarter pole and still won going away. Angel Cordero just shook his head after the race , he could not believe what had just transpired and to this day will say that was one of the most remarkable wins he had ever ridden! BB went on to have a successful breeding career[ especially in his early years} and was a successful broodmare sire as well. A great story about Richard Small also, his training  is a bit unorthodox but he has trained some nice horses including the great filly Ceasar's Wish. Thanks again Steve

22 Mar 2013 8:45 PM
Mike Relva

Steve

No one brings a story to life better than you. Another great read,thanks.

23 Mar 2013 1:20 AM
CharlieCigar

Great trip down memory lane!  The 87' Santa Anita Handicap would have to be near the top of Broad Brushes greatest races.

http://youtu.be/pAEZ-QRAts8

23 Mar 2013 3:07 AM
Love 'em all

Love this story and all its wonderful characters.  Yes, I agree with others, it's right up there with the best of the best from Mr. Haskin!

How lucky for BB to have Richard Small and Charles Turner; they obviously knew he was 'something special' ... and was treated as such ... and kept happy.

Cheers to 'Ground Transport' ... whose name has such a wonderful story behind it.  And what a perfect name for the only offspring of BB and FF ... "Cobber"

Noun 1. cobber - Australian term for a pal

buddy, chum, crony, pal, sidekick, brother - a close friend who accompanies his buddies in their activities

23 Mar 2013 11:00 AM
Bill Two

Pay particular attention to any horse with BB in their pedigree on off tracks.  Reminds me of Carson City in that regard.  Speaking of Dickie Small his uncle was Sid Watters of Hoist The Flag fame and he lives in beautiful Monkton which also is the home of Tommy Voss and other noteworthy horsemen. This is Maryland horse country and it's not unusual for the horses to be "hacked" through the woods and up and down hill and dale.  Horses must love it.

23 Mar 2013 1:31 PM
Freetex

What a great story and what a horse.

Thanks for posting the race, Tanya.  I can't believe Broadrush outran the whole pack after bolting off.

Amazing.

23 Mar 2013 6:13 PM
sysonby

ATTN- Domino groupies...If you live in or near Lexington,or when you visit, you can pay your respects Just by driving out the Russell Cave Pk and turning on Huffman Mill......His wonderful headstone with it's famous passage has been preserved all these years...You can stop your car and stand on the rise and touch the monument....no admission, no tour group.....you're welcome.....of course, you're also next to  Man-o-War's adult home and the original site of his statue. Maybe you can stop in and ask 'em who in the hell stole the statue

23 Mar 2013 10:09 PM
Matthew W

The 87 Big Cap. Two Preakness winners,and a Derby Winner. Snow Chief, the skinny black aardvark, under pace pressure never stopped trying, finally wilts, and it's down to Ferdinand and Broad Brush, and they threw down like warriors! Do they run them like that, anymore?

24 Mar 2013 3:07 AM
Matthew W

Oops! My bad, I thought Broad Brush was a year younger than Ferdinand/Snow Chief, I thought he, too,won The Preakness....but what a Threesome! Broad Brush, by Ack Ack, and what a year he had in '71, sprint, dirt, mud, turf, 1 1/4, HIGH WEIGHTS---it didn't matter, Ack Ack wired them, by open lengths! What a training job by The Bald Eagle, Charlie Whittingham, the best there ever was.....

24 Mar 2013 3:29 AM
Woodswoman

What a horse. I love this story, reading it over and over. Thanks, Steve, for bringing the individual horses and their connections to life in a way that is not possible just through watching race videos.

24 Mar 2013 11:55 AM
Susan from VA

You have to love youtube!  I never thought I'd get to see those old races!

24 Mar 2013 2:29 PM
Chiefs Crown

Thanks for the wonderful memories of Broad Brush.  He was one of the first horses I fell in love with when I first became a racing fan in the mid 1980's.  I've not seen anything like him since. His PA Derby, I have that on some VHS tape somewhere...is indeed the most entertaining race one will ever see. What a race horse and character he was.

24 Mar 2013 6:02 PM
classic go go

I have read a lot a your articles and this has to rank as one of the best . Excellent and fun !

25 Mar 2013 12:01 PM
joe c.

Broad Brush's owners, Robert and Jane Meyerhoff of Baltimore, were great art collectors-Andy Warhol, Lichtenstein, Johns...  Some have gone to the National Gallery/D.C.  I recall the late gallery director John C. Brown said in the mid 80's he was a real Broad Brush fan!

25 Mar 2013 5:31 PM
Linda in Texas

After a week end of watching the races i think the Racing Gods had zeroed in on Bob Baffert, The Pegram Racing Group, and their two horses. (Shakin' It Up stayed home and he is another viable candidate.)

Midnight Lucky a daughter of Midnight Lute (Real Quiet RIP) was awesome, my word she ran the race and won by at least 7 lengths in a saunter. Watched her as she exited the gate and she looked ahead getting her bearings as to where she was going and took off and followed closely the pace setter then dusted them all. Bajarano nice effortless ride.

And Governor Charlie, a son of Midnight Lute also (Real Quiet RIP) won his and now i see it was a record time. Nice week end of racing for Midnight Lute and California Trainer, Bob Baffert, he reminds me of The Quiet Man. Nice ride by Martin Garcia. So congrats for sure to the Pegram, Watson and Weitman Team. That was a rewarding day to remember i am thinking.:)

Midnight Lute is a wonderful big tall morsel who looks like a giant mound of muscled chocolate to me. Not a drop of vanilla on him. And i loved his sire who was lost when he had his accident but he lives on in his progeny.  

Shakin' It Up i see is also owned by Pegram with Cardoza. Would that be a kick or what for Mr. Pegram to have 3 in the Kentucy Derby at the same time! Throw the dice, maybe 3's will come up at the table! I'd finally bet on a race if that threesome happened.

Thanks Steve, this was off topic but i had to get my 2 cents in on the Sunland Races in our sister state.

Now what is the list going to look like? This is getting interesting

and i am sticking with Itsmyluckyday and his connections.

Add him to the three above and i guess i would have to bet on 4 to be on the safe side.  

I wrote this around 8:30 this morning. I always wait to post them. I know i get carried away. But i just love the horses and their families 2 and 4 footed!

Now i see you have posted a new post and i will go ahead and send this. Cannot wait to read your newest post about Mr. Nerud whom i totally respect.

Thanks so much Steve.

25 Mar 2013 8:59 PM
markcash

Steve,  I saw Broad Brush run in the Travers and in Mass Cap.  Two great efforts.  Next time I saw him was as a 19 year old Stallion at Gainesway Farm.  He was still commanding over 100K per live foal.  However his libido had decreased so that he was now placed in an observation stall in the breeding shed to pique his interest in the ladies.  Ironically on this date I was there his fellow Maryland Star Smoke Glacken was the horse put to his task.   You could say the two of them were a One Two Punch as sires that day.  All at Gainesway loved him.  markcash

27 Mar 2013 1:28 PM

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