by Trey Nosrac
Above my desk is a poster of The Dude in his bowling shirt. The caption reads,” Well, yeah, you know, that’s just like your opinion, man.”
Duct-taped to the poster is a file card with a list of six racehorses. They are not hot prospects for wagering. I have no financial investment in these horses. Each horse listed on the file card has a unique backstory that makes them stand out from the herd for me. Modern technology makes it easy to see when these horses are in the box. Following them is enjoyable.
Every horse is a story. These horse tales can lead to riches, or they may never approach a starting gate. Each story is unique, and, for many of us, these individual stories against daunting odds are what keeps us in the sport.
The thrill of buying a yearling and watching the young horse race is difficult to explain to people not immersed in our sport. Money invested increases the excitement, especially when the funds are hard-earned or in short supply. However, having cash on the line is not mandatory for enjoying a horse race.
In January of 2017, HRU hosted a poetry contest (full story here). The ever-innovative Diamond Creek Farm sponsored the contest. Whether or not the poetry contest was a business success is debatable, but one thing that is not subject to debate is that we had fun. More than 50 readers showed the courage to write an original poem and expose themselves to having their submission published.
The contest was legit; unbiased judges evaluated each submission. The top prize was a breeding voucher to Creatine. The winner was Lisa Dunn (full story here).
Colorful, hoof-pounding excitement,
Racing the wind, start to finish.
Equine grace at its finest,
Amazing athletes, none can diminish.
The Call to the post invites us
In this graceful sport we love.
New hopes, new dreams, new promises,
Each foal a gift from heaven above.
Lisa used the breeding she won for her mareChaka Khan. All went well. Chaka Khan gave birth to a filly that Lisa named Pure Poetry. Last season as a 2-year-old, Pure Poetry raced on the Pennsylvania fair circuit, which limited me to reading the race results. This year, as a 3-year-old, Pure Poetry has trotted in a trio of pari-mutuel races. I faithfully watched them all. You may think, what fun is that? To me, and perhaps also to you, it is a lot of fun. A teensy part of the Pure Poetry story is all I need to feel emotionally involved. The same scenario applies to all my file card horses.
Recently, Lisa emailed with more details of the unique story of Pure Poetry:
I get a lot of compliments on her name. It’s catchy even if you don’t know the back story. As a side note, I always name foals out of her dam with an alliterative verse. Pure Poetry’s siblings include Redder than Red, Rockin Redford (both chestnuts, of course), Tough Tootsie, Man of Many Muscles, etc. The list is long as Chaka Khan has been quite a prolific producer! I never miss an opportunity to explain the source of her name. It is such a great story!
Pure Poetry’s barn name (nickname) is Maya, inspired by the poet Maya Angelou.
She was tough as a 2-year-old. She more than once went on a bucking jag and at least once bolted off the track with me in Hawkinsville, GA. She was stubborn on the track, although she has always been even-tempered around the barn. Her ground manners are wonderful.
When we came north in Spring 2020, I qualified her at the end of June. Then she got a little sick. It hung on for a while, so I sort of quit with her for almost a month. I raced her lightly on the PA Fair Circuit. She was on the small side and with being sick early, I didn’t want to race her over her head. I wanted to build her confidence, which we did. In nine starts as a two-year-old, she had three wins and hit the board eight times. It was a productive season.
She grew quite a bit over the winter. She’s a beautiful filly. Her mane and tail are the envy of others. Ha ha.
She finished a good third in her first start of this season after winning her qualifier in 2:00.4. We wanted to race her easy because it was her first start at the pari-mutuel track. It was a learning experience for sure because she had to use the lightning lane and we definitely don’t have one of those at the fair tracks.
She is back in to go on Thursday in the maiden trot (she finished second). I am pleased with her progress and expect to have a successful 2021 with her. She will race at both the PA Fairs and the pari-mutuel tracks. Hopefully, we will be good enough to race in the Stallion Series races, specifically the ones closer to home.
Thanks again for proposing this great idea for a poetry contest that led to Pure Poetry ❤ My long-term plan is that after her racing career she will join our broodmare band to replace her mother. Chaka Khan is now 18 and is in foal to Andover Hall with her 11thfoal. Every foal has made it to the races and all but one took a record. Not bad for a mare that never raced. My dad was a genius on knowing what mares to keep for broodmares. My two best broodmares never raced but have been incredible producers.
You might want to make a list of “story” horses. Following them is fun, easy, and cost-free.
The section of Lisa’s note that intrigued me the most is that Pure Poetry’s future will be in the broodmare band. How cool. The story of Pure Poetry may be a long one. You can log in, do a search, and watch Poetry In Motion.