Sunday, December 14, 2008

All Hail the Admiral!

I love war horses. The horses who are throwback to a different time. It is no secret that Admirals Express is one of those horses. He is soon to be 13 years old. He's raced 317 times and has 82 wins. He's made $2.2 million. He set the Woodbine track record about four years ago, at age 8 or 9.

He has been slowing down some, finally. I was not sure he could get it done at the 'A' track any longer. But counting out this guy is not a smart thing to do. Tonight he won at the big track again, in 152.2, in a $21,000 conditioned race, against horses more than half his age.

Standardbreds are a cool breed. Not only do they want to work for you, they are tough as nails. Recently with the breed getting faster and faster (if you compare the leg speed of Somebeachsomewhere versus Admiral Express it is like comparing Usain Bolt to Urkel) we have lost some of that. But it is still there and on display whenever the Grey Gladiator races. We're lucky to be able to watch this horse as fans of this great game.

Photo courtesy Clive Cohen.

Note: It is Xmas time, or so the clock tells me. There is a vicious rumour that blogger people are lazy with their posts. All I have to say to that is, yes in my case you are correct. But others are not. Evidence? Dana must have been googling for racing presents for like 3 hours to get this puppy up. Nice work.

9 comments:

dana said...

317 races? 82 wins? That's impressive!

And fyi, eBay has plenty of harness racing items as well.

Anonymous said...

Also if anyone is looking to take the advice of joining a horse ownership group we have two outstanding Standardbred youngsters that would make a great gift!
Rebecca

Winston...not really said...

We have similar horses in thoroughbreds. Iron horses like Big Brown and Smarty Jones. There is this legendary horse that made 15 starts one glorious year...Curlin was his name.

Ah, the glory days.

Pull the Pocket said...

I needed a laugh today. LOL.

Jen Morrison said...

the return of the grey gladiator sparked nothing but controversy on Woodbine's website and Standardbred Canada.
What is the opinion here, I can't really gauge if you agree that this horse should have been brought back.
Sure he won, so now the owners can pay for whatever it is they needed to pay for (heat? groceries?), but this horse had a giant going-away party at Woodbine years ago, a scam put on by the owners.
I don't agree with giving them press again.

TerriR said...

If you want a real current thoroughbred Iron Horse, look at Pepper's Pride, who has won 19 straight races, setting world records. The thoroughbred Iron Horses are not usually names we recognize. They are often the low end claimers who run at the smaller circuits.

Still, there is not another like the Admiral. I went to his retirement party in 2007, and was surprised to see him back racing in 2008. I am not sure what he will do when he is forced by regulations to retire after 2009.

Pull the Pocket said...

Terri,

Thanks for mentioning Pepper. Most harness fans do not know about that tough animal.

Rebecca,

Who are the horses in your partnership?

Anonymous said...

One is a Modern Art colt out of a producing Life Sign mare.He has a 4 yr.half brother with a 1:51.2F ($163,957)mark. The other one is a Striking Sahbra trotting filly, second foal out of a young Dancer's Victory mare. They are both good gaited and like their work.

Pull the Pocket said...

Thanks! Keep us posted if you can.