08 October 2007

A legend is gone

We've just returned from a weekend at Keeneland -- our third visit since being bitten by the racing bug. It's a long drive from Pittsburgh, made longer by the fact that we prefer the rolling highway of West Virginia's Technology Corridor to the flat, monotonous, and seemingly endless route through Ohio. Three trips, and after each, we always say that on the next visit, we'll make time for the Horse Park. We'll go say hi to those living legends Cigar and John Henry next time.

As it turns out, though we'll continue to have reasons to return to Keeneland, John Henry won't be one of them, as he was euthanized earlier this evening. Fran's got the press release posted at Hoof Blog, and there's similar coverage at Bloodhorse and Thoroughbred Times.

Stories about the irascible gelding abound, and Steve Haskin tells a number of them in John Henry, one of the Thoroughbred Legends series of books from Eclipse Press. Mary Simon summarizes the high points of his career in Racing Through the Century, and his inaugural Arlington Million win is described in Horse Racing's Top 100 Moments, where it ranks #30.

In the coming days, it's likely that well-known journalists and lesser known bloggers will publish their memories of John Henry, but here at Turf Luck, we'll have nothing to say but that sad old racing adage, "Woulda, coulda, shoulda."


Rising Rainbow said...

I'm sorry, I know what that is like. I've missed a couple of Arabian horse legends that I'm still kicking myself over, one of the the great Khemosabi. But I think you got close to the location of John Henry than I ever did to Khemosabi. I will always wish I had seen him at least once before he died. Truly great horses are so few and far between.

Rising Rainbow said...

I just stopped by to look for a new post and to see tell you, You've been tagged with the Eight things you don't know about me tag.