all in Legends

Fair Grounds’ path to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve reaches its end Saturday with the $1 million, Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. The field will travel 1 3/16 miles on dirt in this race, making the Louisiana Derby the longest Derby prep.

After losing the first race of his career July 4, 1972, Meadow Stable’s Secretariat finished first in his eight remaining tests as a 2-year-old, although he was disqualified and placed second in the Champagne Stakes for allegedly causing interference.

Into each horse’s career comes a fateful moment, a decision or an injury or some outside force that changes the trajectory of their career. For Sir Barton, it was a cough caught from a stablemate. Gallant Fox’s came when Earl Sande agreed to ride the Belair colt in every start of his Triple Crown season in 1930.

In the long and colorful history of Thoroughbred racing there’s a wealth of heartwarming stories, but few can match the exhilarating rags-to-riches saga of John Henry.

There’s usually something special attached to the first time.

Of the numerous champions trained by Todd Pletcher, the first to enter the sport’s Hall of Fame was the sensational Ashado – an honor well-befitting one of the sport’s top fillies since the dawn of the 21st Century.

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