Tuesday, September 23, 2008
A horse by any other name couldn’t possibly be Secretariat – could it? Actually, yes, as we saw in a whimsical flight of fancy that took place Saturday in Paris, Ky., on a rolling wave of chestnut red.
Imagine 19 chestnut Thoroughbreds impersonating Secretariat. Geldings, horses, fillies, and even one yearling brought in from Pennsylvania vied for a $3,000 winner’s purse and the distinction of looking the most like Big Red.
Elvis indeed was in the house, as it turned out. The first-ever Secretariat Look-Alike Contest resulted in a Secretariat sighting: a 4-year-old colt named Trolley Boy who won partly on the merit of wearing only minimal makeup to help him look like the Triple Crown winner.
With the irony of some mystical force at work, it turned out the winner had the genes of the Great One coursing through his bloodlines. His grand-sire, Gone West, was out of a Secretariat mare named Secrettame. “The blood runs through him,” said his owner, Angela Walker of Smithfield, Ky. One perk for the winner: Walker received congratulations from Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery.
Chenery had watched the judging from a gazebo at the center of the competition ring at the Bourbon County Fairgrounds. “I was afraid it might by hokey but it isn’t,” she confided. “It’s very serious.”
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