Friday, December 6, 2013

HRN: Ponies of the Track - Road to Slew: From Racehorse to Pony

Each time I post a new article on my Horse Racing Nation blog, I post a notice on this blogThese notices include an excerpt from the beginning of that article and a link to the piece. My latest Horse Racing Nation article is. . .

Ponies of the Track - Road to Slew: From Racehorse to Pony

There are many forgotten heroes at the racetrack of the human variety: grooms, hotwalkers, EMTs, veterinarians, and jockey valets among them. But there are also equine heroes outside of the obvious racehorses: the outrider horses and lead ponies. They are kicked, they are bit, they are slammed into, and they are pushed around. They tolerate the immature two-year-old, the testy mare, and the lazy gelding. Their riders often endure the same difficulties. But these horses also provide guidance and comfort for many racehorses, as well as a best friend for many young children and loyal racetrackers that visit the track.

For racing enthusiasts that frequently watch racing on television or visit the track regularly, a pony horse may become familiar in appearance, but it is rather unusual for a pony horse’s name to be known. The name of the racehorse alongside the pony is in the program, on the television monitor, and in pedigree databases, but the pony is largely anonymous. But for hours upon hours – whether it be in the morning or afternoon – the pony works tirelessly, often encountering unruly racehorses and unpredictable weather. It is time to shine a light upon these hard workers.

Please enjoy my second installment of a new series featuring these horses, called “Ponies of the Track.”

Road to Slew: From Racehorse to Pony

Road to Slew has been a fixture at Santa Anita Park since 1998. A California-bred son of Slewpy, the gelding made eighteen of his twenty-five lifetime starts at the Great Race Place, earning his biggest victories with the San Gabriel Mountains as his witness. Now, the easily recognizable flaxen chestnut – lovingly called “Roady” – can be seen most mornings at Santa Anita, ponying young Thoroughbreds as the sun begins its ascent into the sky. . ."

Click here to read the rest of my newest Horse Racing Nation article.

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