Tuesday, June 23, 2009


On a bleak day in January 2004 I met a blue-eyed gal who would change my life. She didn't live in a fancy place. Actually the place was a dump, but I could see everyone was cared for with love and cost-consciousness. The labor was cheap so the tenants reaped the rewards from the greater quantities of time and lesser amounts of money spent on them. The place, just down the road from Emerald Downs, had a deep quarter mile track that had seen years of use and very little repair.

Her name was "Trooper Blue" and she was a bright bay lady, a granddaughter of the famous "Trooper Seven". The senior Trooper had written the book when it came to excellence in Thoroughbred racing in Washington State, winning the famed Longacre Mile (Grade 3) not one year, but two. In his career he'd garnered earnings in access of $371,000. That wasn't too shabby back in the early '80s. His real talent, though, was passing his speed to his offspring.

She stood before me, my first racehorse. Pretty suiting everyone thought, me being a cop and she being a "Trooper". I didn't care what her name was, she was mine. She was the answer to a dream.

There wasn't "fire" in her eyes and she was a finger nibbler. She knew a good scratch when she got one and she insisted they be paired with snacks, mostly carrots.

Sheepishly, the agent told me it might be hard to get exercise riders or jockeys for her because of a tiny superstition. What? The superstition said racehorses with blue eyes couldn't see well and since her right eye was blue --- it would be hard for her to keep track of competition coming up on her right side. Horse-pucky! We'll get riders and we'll get jocks. Once they see how well she does they'll be begging for a chance to ride my filly.

She shipped over to eastern Washington late that spring for training at a private race stable. I got a call from the manager after she arrived. During the trip, she had kicked the van wall so hard she had injured herself. A hairline fracture of her back right leg would end her racing career before it had begun. She'd be sold and retired. Retired to do what fillies do if they can't race --- carry on the genes. The genes of her prepotent grand sire.

In time "Trooper Blue" apparently had other ideas of what retirement was all about. Strangely enough, she moved to New Mexico, the same state I had chosen for retirement. It was there, in the spring of 2006, "Trooper Blue" broke her maiden (won her first race)! She continued to race, soundly. Last I heard of her she had run 3rd in the 9th race at Albuquerque Downs on May 20, 2006 -- paying $4.20 on a $2 bet.

That finger-nibbling blue eyed gal introduced me to horse racing. Not as a spectator, but as an owner. The thrill, although brief, was her pay off to me. I will always, always be indebted to her.


Folks following my blog...


Copyright © 2017 by Sandy Carr. No words or images may be copied from this site without express written permission of the author.

Visit my country life (labels)...

  © Free Blogger Templates 'Photoblog II' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP