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Special Derby Post!!

Dad & Shelley Groom & Orzel

Secretariat painting by Shelley

For the 2023 we have a special guest post about some of the GREATEST horses of all time!! By our friend Tobi Lopez Taylor.
Thanks for Reading … and writing!

Remembering Two Racing Champions:

Secretariat and Orzel

Guest Post by Tobi Lopez Taylor

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Secretariat’s triumph in the 1973 Kentucky Derby, which he would soon follow up with victories in the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes, making him the first Triple Crown winner since Citation in 1948.

As we remember this Thoroughbred champion, nicknamed “Big Red of Meadow Stable,” it’s also appropriate to celebrate another chestnut racing phenomenon—an Arabian stallion named Orzel, who was a favorite of Walter Farley.

Orzel and Secretariat shared a number of characteristics. Like Secretariat, Orzel (who name means “eagle” in Polish) was tall, flashy, and charismatic. Both were well-bred sons of two bay parents, both had stakes-winning older sisters (Syrian Sea and Orla), and both were famous for their come-from-behind running style. Each colt won on dirt tracks and the turf, beat older horses, defeated his archrival (Secretariat’s was Sham, and Orzel’s was Kontiki), and was associated in the public eye with a lovely blond woman—Penny Chenery Tweedy was the owner of Secretariat, and Shelley Groom Trevor showed Orzel to many victories after he had retired from the track.

While Secretariat’s Triple Crown consisted of wins in three icon races, Orzel won his own kind of Triple Crown in three different disciplines: first, as a stakes winner on the racetrack; and then as a halter champion, with wins at Scottsdale, Santa Barbara, and the Arabian National Show; and last, as a performance horse, winning in English Pleasure at venues like the Cow Palace in San Francisco, and then becoming the first horse to win the Arabian U.S. National Champion Ladies’ Sidesaddle title.

Walter Farley first saw Orzel when Shelley Groom Trevor rode him in racing tack at the 1972 Arabian National Show in Oklahoma City. He was so taken with the big chestnut that he later wrote to Orzel’s owner, Ed Tweed, that “if you take Orzel, paint him black, add a little high and speed, you’ll have my Black Stallion.” High praise indeed!

Later, after Orzel’s retirement, his measurements were taken by a company called Computer Horse Breeders, and his conformation score was said to be second only to that of Secretariat in terms of form to function.

As we celebrate Derby Day this weekend, and look back on Secretariat’s accomplishments fifty years ago, we should also remember Orzel, the Arabian racing legend. His triumphant story is recounted in a book by Tobi Lopez Taylor published by The History Press: https://www.amazon.com/Orzel-Scottsdales-Legendary-Arabian-Stallion/dp/1626199620

Don’t forget Saturday May 6, 2023 at 6:57est on NBC

1. Hit Show (30-1)
Trainer: Brad Cox
Jockey: Manny Franco

2. Verifying (15-1)
Trainer: Brad Cox
Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

3. Two Phil’s (12-1)
Trainer: Larry Rivelli
Jockey: Jareth Loveberry

4. Confidence Game (20-1)
Trainer: Keith Desormeaux
Jockey: James Graham

5. Tapit Trice (5-1)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Luis Saez

6. Kingsbarns (12-1)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Jose Ortiz

7. Reincarnate (50-1)
Trainer: Tim Yakteen
Jockey: John Velazquez

8. Mage (15-1)
Trainer: Gustavo Delgado
Jockey: Javier Castellano

SCR. Skinner (20-1)
Trainer: John Shirreffs
Jockey: Juan Hernandez

10. Disarm (30-1)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Joel Rosario

11. Jace’s Road (15-1)
Trainer: Brad Cox
Jockey: Florent Geroux

12. Sun Thunder (30-1)
Trainer: Ken McPeek
Jockey: Brian Hernandez

13. Angel of Empire (8-1)
Trainer: Brad Cox
Jockey: Flavien Prat

14. Forte (3-1)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

15. Raise Cain (15-1)
Trainer: Ben Colebrook
Jockey: Gerardo Corrales

16. Derma Sotogake (10-1)
Trainer: Hidetaka Otonashi
Jockey: Christopher Lemaire

17. Rocket Can (15-1)
Trainer: Bill Mott
Jockey: Junior Alvarado

18. Cyclone Mischief (30-1)
Trainer: Dale Romans

19. Mandarin Hero (20-1)
Trainer: Terunobu Fujita

20. King Russell (50-1)
Trainer: Ron Moquett

FREE fun event! Ocala, FL

Should be a GREAT evening!!

The Black Stallion Challenge Cup; A Salute to Literacy.     

Come join us as all five Marion County School Board Members, the Superintendent of Schools, The Mayor of Ocala, and the Sheriff of Marion County compete for the Cup.    Coached by world class professionals.  Free Admission!

It is a night of community fun designed to showcase literacy.     It is part of the Black Stallion Reading Project, a five-year partnership program between the Ocala Horse Alliance and the Marion County Public School System, now in all 31 elementary schools in Marion County.  The program uses the power and magic of the horse to promote reading and inspires children to set goals and develop pathways to achieve.   All schools have an equestrian farm partner.
Be a winner – wear your lucky necklace!
See you soon!

Belmont 2022

Rich Strike

Can Rich Strike do it again? Or is it We the People – political favorite! Or Mo Donagal?
You gotta watch to see the action – c’mon you can spare the two minutes!
Post time Saturday June 11  – 6:45 NBC – TV coverage starts at #

Here’s the line up;

1. We the People (2-1)
Trainer: Rodolphe Brisset
Jockey: Flavien Pratt
2. Skippylongstocking (20-1)
Trainer: Saffie Joseph Jr.
Jockey: Manuel Franco
3. Nest (8-1)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Jose Ortiz
4. Rich Strike (7-2)
Trainer: Eric Reed
Jockey: Sonny Leon
5. Creative Minster (6-1)
Trainer: Kenny McPeek
Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.
6. Mo Donegal (5-2)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.
7. Golden Glider (20-1)
Trainer: Tim Yakteen
Jockey: Dylan Davis
8. Barber Road (10-1)
Trainer: John Ortiz
Jockey: Joel Rosario
Need some luck? No problem … pick up a lucky charm at the shop! 

Bucephalus Silver Pendant
Bucephalus Silver Pendant

Derby Day 2022!!


Watch the race HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCk0P92uoXc

Who’s it gonna be? Zandon? Epicenter? Taiba? Messier?
They all got a shot in this big field with lots of outsiders that haven’t been proven!
Watch at 6:45 for the Classic.
And pick up a little luck at the shop – the Black is always a winner!


NBC sports – coverage for the Kentucky Derby begins at 12 p.m. ET on May 7, and the main event race

is expected to start at 6:57 p.m. ET.

1Mo DonegalTodd PletcherIrad Ortiz Jr.10-1
2Happy JackDoug O’NeillRafael Bejarano30-1
3EpicenterSteve AsmussenJoel Rosario7-2
4Summer Is TomorrowBhupat SeemarMickael Barzalona30-1
5Smile HappyKenny McPeekCorey Lanerie20-1
6MessierTim YakteenJohn Velazquez8-1
7Crown PrideKoichi ShintaniChristophe Lemaire20-1
8Charge ItTodd PletcherLuis Saez20-1
9Tiz The BombKenny McPeekBrian Hernandez Jr.30-1
10ZandonChad BrownFlavien Prat3-1
11Pioneer of MedinaTodd PletcherJoe Bravo30-1
12TaibaTim YakteenMike Smith12-1
13SimplificationAntonio SanoJose Ortiz20-1
14Barber RoadJohn OrtizReylu Gutierrez30-1
15White AbarrioSaffie Joseph Jr.Tyler Gaffalione10-1
16CyberknifeBrad CoxFlorent Geroux20-1
17Classic CausewayBrian LynchJulien Leparoux30-1
18Tawny PortBrad CoxRicardo Santana Jr.30-1
19ZozosBrad CoxManny Franco20-1
20Rich StrikeEric ReedSonny Leon80-1

Kentucky Derby 2020!

Who’s it gonna be? Belmont winner Tiz the Law? Thousand Words? Honor A.P.?

Gotta watch to find out; Saturday, Sept. 5 (7:01 p.m. ET post time, NBC)

Pick up a little luck at the shop!

This is the strangest triple crown EVER!

Post position Horse Jockey Trainer
1   (scratched) Finnick The Fierce Martin Garcia Rey Hernandez
2 Max Player Ricardo Santana Jr. Steve Asmussen
3 Enforceable Adam Beschizza Mark Casse
4 Storm the Court Flavien Prat Peter Eurton
5 Major Fed James Graham Greg Foley
6  (scratched) King Guillermo Samy Camacho Juan Carloa Avila
7 Money Moves Javier Castellano Todd Pletcher
8 South Bend Jose I. Ortiz William I. Mott
9 Mr. Big News Gabriel Saez Bret Calhoun
10 Thousand Words Florent Geroux Bob Baffert
11 Necker Island Miguel Mana Chris Hartman
12 Sole Volante Luca Panici Patrick Biancone
13 Attachment Rate Joe Talamo Dale Romans
14 Winning Impression Joe Rocco Jr. Dallas Stewart
15 Ny Traffic Paco Lopez Saffie Joseph Jr.
16 Honor A.P. Mike Smith John Shirreffs
17 Tiz The Law Manny Franco Barclay Tagg
18 Authentic John Velazquez Bob Baffert