Monday, January 23, 2012
Jess Jackson’s Equine Legacy
SALEM, N.H., January 22, 2012-Crack open a bottle of Kendall-Jackson’s finest wine.
Send congratulations, and a big basket of apples and carrots, to Rachel Alexandra and Curlin, for they are now the proud parents of a healthy, 125-pound colt born at Stonestreet Farm in Kentucky at exactly 2:40 on the afternoon of January 22.
By coincidence, and perhaps as a portent, Sunday was also the date of the National Football League’s AFC and NFC Championship games, with the winners advancing to the Super Bowl.
Could this beautiful bay colt, who has a white star on his forehead and is said to look like a mini-me of his mother, be a future Eclipse Award winner?
Or perhaps even a Triple Crown champion? After all, he is the product of a pair of champions and they both have victories in the Preakness (and the Woodward) on their resumes.
Even better, Rachel Alexandra was the 2009 Horse of the Year and Curlin won the honor in 2007, and in the business of Thoroughbred racing, it is about the bloodlines.
“For me and my children, this colt represents Jess’ dream- to raise and race the best. Co-owner Hal McCormick and I look forward to watching him develop and are excited to see him carry the Stonestreet silks as his Mom and Dad did before him.”
The colt arrived just as Banke, the wife of the late Jess Jackson and a devoted fan of the San Francisco 49ers, was getting ready to watch her favorite team take on the New York Giants in the NFC title game. After losing in overtime, the Niners won’t get the chance to play the New England Patriots and capture it all this time around. But Banke still has an awful lot to be happy about when considering the future in this sporting life.
Stonestreet Farm Manager Gary McGibben reported that Rachel and her foal are doing just fine. “Rachel is a natural mother and she took to the colt immediately,” he said.
There are certainly lofty expectations for this as-of- yet unnamed little horse. With his outstanding pedigree, he’ll one day be sent to Steve Asmussen, also an Eclipse Award winner who trained both Rachel and Curlin.
Like father, like son or like mother, like son? If the colt has inherited any tendencies, idiosyncrasies, or simple quirks, Asmussen will know them cold. It’s a safe bet that Steve, and everyone who works in his vast operation, is pretty excited as well about this colt’s birth and good health.
Of course, racing lore is filled with stories of extremely well-bred, highly-anticipated and/or very highly-priced horses who never even made it to the races, let alone were voted as the Horse of the Year. An awful lot can go wrong between now and then, and it takes a great deal of skilled horsemanship and a barrel of luck to hold them together and get them into the winner’s circle.
Nevertheless, it certainly is nice to have a very special foal who is packed with potential to dream about.