Year before last as everyone was gearing up for the KY derby. I advised everyone to watch the undercard. As it might be the last chance that you would ever have to see a true champion run. His name is Wise Dan and to no surprise he won going away in the woodwork reserve classic. An amazing feat cuz you see Dan was 7. In horse years that's like 80 and in race horse years it might as well be 180.
Dan was magnificent. I saw him win on dirt,. Win when the turf was like quicksand and most others scratched. He won from the front, the middle and dead last. And he did it all while facing the very best. He danced all the dances. Although, he never got the chance to match up to John Henry's feats but only cuz his owners wouldn't let him.
I have loved Dan since before he could stand up straight. Then after the derby Dan came down with colic and they rushed him to rood and riddle to operate. Didn't look good cuz when a horse gets colic the intestine ruptures and all that fecal matter enters the abdominal cavity causing sepsis and the only human thing to do is euthanize them, so me a few other who knew fretted through the night and after he was opened up his intestine had untwisted on its own. Dan had lived but would he race again was the question when it hit the news the next day.
About 9 weeks later was the shadwell turf mile for the first time a million bucks at keeneland. Dans home base , so why not give it go and see what the old boy had. This is his race and it's one for the ages. He's the six horse, yellow silks with copper stripes and he breaks badly and is last.
I wrote that first time if I ever had to run against him I'd scratch. After the shadwell Dan took a bad step and fractured his cannon bone. It was non displaced so although it was a year later he was due to start back. I had never dreamed he would pick the race I'm entered in, I was horrified. As I fought with my client and told him this would be easy money just a few weeks earlier. There is no way in hell we can beat Dan unless he falls down. So after careful thought and probably losing my client I scratched my horse yesterday morning. Of course he picked that race for the same damned reason I did.
But I scratched after catching the live stream of Dan working a bullet at keeneland. I have a very good horse but Dan is a great one. I had no way to know that after dans work that his ankle would fill up with fluid. He's eight now, he also won at least 8 million or more and his owners and trainer decided to retire him. Which is the right thing to do.
American pharaoh has a title but wise Dan is a true champion. I hope you watch the video and see what a real one looks like.
So watch and look at a real champion. No he didn't win a triple crown. He did a 100xs more. This was by far the best race of 2014 in the world.
I'll be seeing him again but not on the track.