I was born during an exciting time for horse racing, with three Triple Crown Winners within the first six years of my life - Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed – and me being born a girl did not need much prompting to fall in love with horse racing.
But it was a different horse altogether with which I actually fell in love with – Ruffian. The perfection of beauty, she was magical to me, a once in a lifetime thing. Ruffian won every race she ran, save her last, including the Triple Tiara of Thoroughbred Racing (the Filly Triple Crown equivalent) in 1975. If you’ve never seen her run – winning by 15 lengths in her debut race – you can take this opportunity to watch her here, here and here.
I can’t help but imagine, if destinies had be different that day, what greatness might have come of a Secretariat and Ruffian combination… but, I digress.
Today is Preakness Day and I will be watching with interest to see if thus far undefeated Big Brown will put himself within winning distance of the Triple Crown, something that hasn’t been done since 1978. The possibility excites me. But really, since the Derby and Eight Belles' nightmarish accident I have been thinking more of Ruffian and the short life that touched mine so long ago. Sir Winston Churchill once said that "there is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man..." I don’t know if it can be said better than that.