Mine That Bird’s Kentucky Derby 10 Year Anniversary Party at Ruidoso Downs…Bird Looking Good in the NM Mountains!

By InsightAnalytical-GRL

On Saturday, July 13, I drove up to Ruidoso Downs to see Mine That Bird. The track appearance was to celebrate his Kentucky Derby victory 10 years ago!  The previous evening Bird was inducted into the Ruidoso Racehorse Hall of Fame.  Bird was making an appearance on behalf of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund to raise funds for this worthy cause.  While Bird is a gelding and can’t produce offspring, he still is out there raising money for charities such as Wounded Warriors, the PDJF, cancer charities, etc.

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I donated to the Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund again…this time I got poster but we also go our pictures taken with Bird! I could have gotten a cap but went for the poster since I don’t wear hats, but now I have to find a place for this poster…it is HUGE!!

Three years ago in May, I went up to Roswell to meet Bird at the Double Eagle Ranch. At that time, my friend and I celebrated Bird’s birthday with a card, carrots, and singing “Happy Birthday.”  Dr. Blach, his co-owner and vet, gave us a tour of his office full of memorabilia including the blanket of roses that was draped on Bird’s whithers.  At the track, I reconnected with Dr. Blach, and also met co-owner Mark Allen for the first time.

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Bird looks INCREDIBLE, almost better than when I saw him 3 years ago in May.  He is now 13 years old!  He was so patient, standing for 1 1/2 hours to have pictures taken.  I got some great ones as I hung around.  I got to stroke his nose and look into his eyes and talk sweetly to him. I am in LOVE! Many people came very long distances, out of state to stay a few days just to meet him!

Then I had my poster signed (Mark actually did include my name and started to sing GLORIA, that old song spelling it out!)

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Dr. B was wearing his Derby ring so I was able to take a picture of that close-up. Nice chunk of gold, there!

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Dr. B also did a little Q and A ….I found out that Bird eats rolled oats 2x a day and alfalfa for roughage.  He is no longer going out for trail rides;  he is just hanging out with a small pony for company.  He said that most of the events in the movie “50 to 1” were actually true…the problem with getting the license, the pre-race party…hanging in the  tap room because they were basically ignored…He did talk about how jockey Calvin Borel really hit that rail (I have recently seen a photo showing the paint dust flying off!) and he said that while Calvin spotted the hole, it is true that Bird, who is VERY SMART, picked up on it and knew exactly what to do!

Between races 5 and 6, Bird and Mark Allen paraded to the cheers of the big crowd.

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Then, he exited the track to go home to Roswell, about 2 hours away….

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As I was waiting to meet Bird again, I had a nice chat with a trainer who looked exactly like a cowboy…grizzled face, black hat, with a slow drawl.  He was there to run his 8-year-old mare named No Mires a La Luna ( Translation: Do Not Look at the Moon) who came in second in race 2) and he said he considers his horses to be his babies. When they are born, he immediately hugs them close and from then on, they have little fear. He said after they retire, they become cattle horses….they are quarter horses, built for that sort of thing!

The first races were quarter horse trial races (440 yards) which were then followed by thoroughbred races of 5 or 5.5 furlongs …..a great combination for a fun day!

Here at Ruidoso Downs, our lead ponies definitely do not look like what you see at Churchill Downs or Ascot!

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But we do have glorious scenery and delightful weather, about 20 degrees cooler than where I live 3,000 feet lower in the desert…

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It’s a 226 mile round trip up to Ruidoso from my house, but it’s a gorgeous ride up from the desert floor up into the cool mountains.  Can’t wait to go up again!

WINX…THE MIGHTY MARE RETIRES WITH 33 CONSECUTIVE WINS

By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Winx after Cox Plate 2018 after swim

Winx at the ocean Put on a show girl on more day

WINX by NM-GRL

She walked on the sand and gazed out at the sea
She faced infinity before her, felt the waves at her feet
She arrived at the course time after time
With the sea in her heart, she skimmed the ground
The waves of sound from the stands filled her soul
A sea of emotions carried her on
…She gazed at infinity, she brought us along….

Thank you, Winx

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In 1973, the times were dark.  Then came along a horse named Secretariat, who lifted the nation’s spirits.

George Plimpton commented at the time:  “He was the only honest thing in the country at the time, this huge magnificent animal that wasn’t tied up in scandal and money.”

As others said:  “Secretariat restored our faith in humanity.”

We have just witnessed the last race of Winx, the Australian super mare.  The statistics are easy to find, but she also has given us light during difficult times.

It is fitting that the 2018 Vox Populi Award, which was created by Secretariat’s owner, the late Penny Chenery,  was awarded to Winx.  This award “annually recognizes the horse whose popularity and racing excellence best resounded with the general public and gained recognition for Thoroughbred racing. Winx was the top choice among U.S. voters as well as international fans representing a record 60 countries.”

She never raced here, but she touched the hearts of legions of fans who stayed up late many Friday nights to see her race on all those Saturday afternoons in Australia.

She retired sound, strong, and at her peak …You could say that she also had  “TWICE THE HEART….”

Born September 14, 2011; Retired at 7 + sound;  NO MEDICATIONS

Final Race: April 13, 2019 at Royal Randwick, Sydney, Australia

See:

Winx wins like a queen to complete career that was so much more than numbers

Youtube:  Winx Farewell Race – 2019 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Weekend King Racing…     Full Race Coverage/Telecast from Channel 7 pre-and post-race

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Visit www.secretariat.com

https://twitter.com/winx_horse

http://winxhorse.com.au/

https://twitter.com/DKepitis

https://www.facebook.com/pg/winxchriswallerracing/posts/