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A horse is a horse, of course, of course

Spring is truly sprung only when the Kentucky Derby has been run. They say you can’t wear white before Memorial Day? Wrong-o. The Derby is an occasion for many things: mint juleps, ridiculously large hats of all colors up to and including white (which of course includes all colors of the spectrum itself — for more information ask Science Resource Center, and (so they say) gentlemanly betting.

Not being invited to Millionaire’s Row this year — clearly our invitation was lost in the mail? — we, like most databases, will be forced to cheer from the sidelines in our living room. On the plus side, this leaves approximately 1437 minutes left in Saturday to occupy ourselves with something else. We like to leave a little padding on each side of the two minute race to allow for bathroom breaks.

As for Derbylicious Biography Resource Center content, as always we are here to serve up something tasty. We have made a major exception to our policies to allow Secretariat into our vault, even though he was equine,  not human. (Internal debate still rages as to the appropriateness of adding Morris the cat to BioRC — if you have an opinion on the matter, please use the link in the left sidebar to contact us.) We have two very fine biographies on him — do you know where he was buried?

He was buried in an oak casket lined with orange silk (the official racing color of Claiborne Farms) next to his sire, Bold Ruler. Summarizing Secretariat’s mystique, a Detroit Free Press editorial stated: “Mere references to his winning of racing’s Triple Crown in 1973, as awesome an achievement as that was, don’t convey the full effect he had on the Sport of Kings and its fans. His combination of speed, beauty and personality earned him a public following that few other athletes, on four or two legs, could claim….A nation sick of Watergate and Vietnam turned to Secretariat again and again for inspiration, and the big burnished chestnut didn’t disappoint.” As Sosby concluded in People, “He’s the yardstick they measure all horses by.”

Other Derbyites in BioRC include winningest jockeys Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack, inaugural winning jockey Oliver Lewis, and composer Stephen Foster, who wrote “My Old Kentucky Home.”

We also have a biography on Mr. Ed — but in this case we refer to one Edward Ball, a Southerner who built an empire of banks.


“Secretariat.” Newsmakers 1990, Issue 1. Gale Research, 1990.
“Edward Ball.” Almanac of Famous People, 9th ed. Thomson Gale, 2007.

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Posted on: May 1, 2009, 3:49 pm Category: Factoids Tagged with: , , ,

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  1. eras » Blog Archive » Northern Dancer linked to this post on June 6, 2009

    […] A horse is a horse, of course, of course […]

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