Thursday, February 21, 2008

Winning Colors

I had Forty Niner in the Preakness. From my vantage point behind my terminal at Pimlico, I had a great view through my pari-mutuel window at a TV screen. I knew that Winning Colors would not be able to hold off my boy this Saturday. I thought she was lucky to get to the front in the Derby and was luckier to hold on for the win. As we know, she finished third on Preakness Day but she really showed me something. Forty Niner went after her and was not going to let her shake loose to an easy lead. While he faded badly in the stretch, she fought hard but couldn't catch the flying Risen Star who would impress even more three weeks later in the Belmont. She held for a game third and proved herself quite a gutsy competitor.

In another non-winning effort, she probably ran her defining race - the 1988 Breeder's Cup Distaff. She went to the lead and it looked like a winner until the undefeated Personal Ensign nipped her at the wire before retiring. Again, she was gutsy and a real fighter.

Sadly, as a broodmare she was unable to pass along these traits to her offspring. She had 10 foals, 7 to the races and only one stakes placed runner. But while she wasn't successful in the shed, she was an inspiration on the racetrack. Fittingly she is buried nearby the legendary filly Regret, the first filly to win the Kentucky Derby 73 years before Winning Colors' effort.

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