Saturday, November 12, 2011

Meeting Blind Luck

If you’ve never been to Taylor Made Farm, you cannot possibly understand the beauty of the farm. I can attempt to describe it, but I will not be able to do the splendor of Taylor Made justice. Set in the beautiful rolling hills outside of Nicholasville, Kentucky, Taylor Made captures the essence of a Thoroughbred farm. As you drive through the many roads that wind through the farm, you can see many elegant broodmares and foals that hopefully have bright futures ahead of them. While you’re there, you might as well schedule a tour so you can drop by the stallion complex to say hello to the likes of Unbridled’s Song, Eskendereya, and others.
Taylor Made is known for its tremendous sales agency. If you look through the catalog of an important sale, such as a Keeneland sale, you will find many top class horses consigned by Taylor Made. At the recent Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, one of the biggest names Taylor Made consigned was Eclipse champion and six-time grade one winner, Blind Luck. The filly was bought for $2.5 million by Mark Dedomenico, who had owned 50% of her during her racing career, and will be bred next year.
Blind Luck will likely find herself in the Hall of Fame someday, but she is so much more than a champion to me. She is one of my absolute favorites of my lifetime. In fact, she probably sits third behind Zenyatta and Smarty Jones. Blind Luck has brought me along on a thrilling ride and I will never forget supporting her throughout her career.
The filly captured my attention when she won the Oak Leaf Stakes (GI) as a two-year-old. With that win, the chestnut daughter of Pollard’s Vision became my favorite two-year-old of 2009. I’ve kept close tabs on her ever since.
Blind Luck in the 2010 Breeders' Cup
Ladies' Classic
Photo: Terri Cage
While others supported horses such as Devil May Care and Havre de Grace over Blind Luck, I stuck on Blind Luck’s side. I looked forward to all of her races and was absolutely thrilled when she won the Kentucky Oaks (GI). I watched all of her races, but the only race of hers I saw in person was her second place finish in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (GI). I was devastated when she finished a weak last in the Lady’s Secret Stakes (GI) and continued to follow her closely, hoping to hear news about how she was doing. When it was announced that she would sell at Keeneland in November, I was worried that the wrong person would buy her, but at the same time I was thrilled to know I would get to meet her.
On the second full day of my trip to Kentucky for the Breeders’ Cup this year, I dropped by Keeneland to meet Blind Luck. As mentioned earlier, I’d seen her race in person in the 2010 Ladies’ Classic. Yet, that was the only time I’d seen her in person. I was dying to meet her. I just wanted to touch my fingers to her soft chestnut coat and tell her how much I love her. Now was my chance.
I’d looked through the catalog already and had specific horses I wouldn’t mind seeing, ones who had been spectacular on the racetrack or had very impressive pedigrees. However, most of those horses were forgotten when we arrived at Keeneland. There was just one thing on my mind: Blind Luck.
My mother and I strolled through the immaculate barns, arriving at the Taylor Made barn Blind Luck was stabled in. We walked through the barn, reading the signs on each stall that indicated the horse’s hip number and name if it had one. We’d walked through nearly the entire barn and I still had not spotted Blind Luck. I searched frantically for 210A (her hip number), but I was having no luck finding it. My mom told me to calm down, reminding me that there were still a few stalls left on the shedrow. Sure enough, at the very last stall, I spotted the sign that read 210A. Inside the dark stall, I saw a flash of mahogany, my chestnut blur. Those of you who have read my blog know that my nickname for Blind Luck is the “Chestnut Blur.”
I could no longer breathe. I was standing outside of her stall, looking at her. As I grasped the mesh of her stall door, she sniffed my fingers, her small, velvety nose touching my hand. I was touching Blind Luck. Well, actually, she was touching me.
My mom stood to the side, watching me with the filly I loved so much. Repeatedly, I whispered to my mom that I couldn’t breathe. I wasn’t exaggerating; Blind Luck was making me hyperventilate.
“I love you, Blind Luck,” I murmured breathlessly to the chestnut filly.
Her handler soon brought her out of her stall and I gazed at the filly as her lanky frame graced my vision. Her long legs supported her beautifully-built frame and though she needed to put on more weight, she was a striking specimen. She lifted up her refined head, stretching out her perfect neck as she pricked her ears and gazed around at the other horses. I was left breathless by her beauty. Yes, I was starstruck by a horse.
Blind Luck
Photo by Mary Cage
Meeting Blind Luck was an experience I’ll never forget. Every time I go back and watch her exciting races, I can look back and remember when my fingers brushed her smooth coat. When I see pictures of her standing in the winner’s circle, I can recall her standing before me, her exquisite face gazing around the Keeneland backside.
I’d like to thank Taylor Made for that wonderful day, as meeting Blind Luck wasn’t the only experience that involved Taylor Made that day. Other experiences included revisiting Eskendereya, Pepper’s Pride, and Hotlantic (Beautiful Bluegrass: Day Two). Taylor Made will always be dear to my heart. And of course, Blind Luck, I love you.

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful experience. I would love to meet Blind Luck someday!! I just have to let her know that she filled the empty spot in my heart that Zenyatta left when she retired!! I was also devastated to see her finish last...I was hoping she just didn't feel like racing that day and it wasn't something medically wrong with her. I was worried when they said she was going to the auction then I was so relieved when Dr. Dedomenico bought out the other partners!! She will have a wonderful life on a beautiful farm here in the US...I am so very happy!! I believe that Blind Luck is the 2011 HOTY!! Thanks again...I absolutely love Blind Luck!!

  2. I never got to follow Blind Luck's career as most did. I didn't hear about her until the close of her career, but she has still made an impact on my life. She is the one I got the horse racing bug from. Before, I was just a casual fan - watching the Triple Crown races only because that's all I knew about - but Blind Luck is the one who did it for me. After 25 years of watching the TC races I attended my first horse race, the 2011 Breeders' Cup. I thought she was going to be there and that I'd get to see her, but it wasn't meant to be. I'll get to meet her some day. That's one of my life's goals :-)

    1. I, too, fell head over for heels for Blind Luck. She is absolutely charismatic! I hope that you do get to meet her someday!