Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Broad Brush - Racing in Heaven at 26

Broad Brush was euthanized on May 15th at the age of 26. Old and feeble, life had come to be a chore not a joy to the old man and he was succumbing to the infirmities of old age at Gainesway Farm.

Broad Brush has a special place in my heart. He was my pick to win the 1986 Kentucky Derby when I was in college. He came in third. I went to see him run in the Preakness that year and, again, he came in third. Although he won the Wood and the Meadowlands Cup that year, he really didn't come into his own until his four year old season when he won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap, the Grade 1 Suburban Handicap and the Grade 3 Trenton Handicap - setting a track record in the process.

I don't know what the appeal of Broad Brush was to me in those days. I was impressed by the Wood win and I was a very parochial East Coaster in those days. I'm sure I thought that there was no way he would lose to Ferdinand and Shoemaker - those inferior Californians! You can't prep in Cali and win the Derby!! I obviously have grown up since then and know better, but it was the passion of youth. He was handsome and strong and graceful and athletic.

Maybe it was because he was the first horse I ever went to go see specifically to see run. Sure it was the Preakness, but it was the Preakness with Broad Brush running!

I hadn't thought about Broad Brush in years. Every once in a while I'd see him on a pedigree line in the past performances of some racehorse somewhere (usually as sire of the dam) and I'd think back. But it had been a while since I'd thought of the old man. It all came rushing back this morning, though, when I read the news.

Thanks for the memories.


Steve Zorn said...

I loved Broad Brush, and his pedigree was wonderfully free of multiple -- in fact of any -- crosses of Northern Dancer and Raise a Native, as well as Bold Ruler. He was inbred 3x3 to Turn-To, and descends from the once dominant, but now marginal Domino tail-male line. A tough performer -- he started 27 times -- and a useful stamina influence in pedigrees. We'll miss him.

Sandra Warren said...

It was very nice to see how long they supported him after his retirement. So often it seems that stallions are euthanized "due to the infirmaties of old age" within a few months of declined fertility. This horse had a wonderful career, was an impressive sire, lived his life in a great place, and was owned by responsible people. A horse can't ask for more than that. I salute the owners!

Teresa said...

Great post, Ted. I wasn't paying much attention to racing when Broad Brush was running, but he clearly inspired affection in a lot of people. Thanks for sharing your memories.