all in Legends

It was a couple of days before the running of the 2013 Kentucky Derby, and Shug McGaughey was trying to put into words what it would mean if he could finally capture the race that had eluded him for so long.

“This is for the Phippses and the Janneys and my people,” he said. “I come in third.”

“Bring on Kelso.”

When Stephen Sanford passed away in February 1913 at the age of 86, Saratoga Race Course in New York wasted no time creating a race in his honor, and the first running of the Sanford Stakes was conducted that summer.

It was 1973, and America was desperately looking for a sports hero. By July they had found one in the form of a flashy powerful chestnut horse named Secretariat, who was so popular he appeared on the covers of Time, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated in the same week. And this was before his iconic procession into history in the Belmont Stakes, in which he became the first horse in 25 years to sweep the elusive Triple Crown.

He came, like the fog in Carl Sandburg’s famous poem, silently. For a time he lingered, just long enough for his presence to be acknowledged. And then, like the fog, he moved on, all too soon, leaving everyone to wonder what might have been.

His name, of course, was Lost in the Fog.

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