all in Legends

The quest for perfection in professional sports is fraught with peril. An elite pitcher can be absolutely flawless for eight innings and lose a perfect game if he misses his spot by an inch and allows a bloop single, or an NFL team like the New England Patriots in 2007 can win every game in the regular season and breeze into the Super Bowl only to lose the big game in a monumental upset.

“Who is it laughs at years that flow?

Who is it always gets the dough?

Whose only creed is go and go?

Exterminator.”

The above verse, part of a short poem titled “Old Bones,” was affectionately written by Guy McGee and published in the Daily Racing Form on June 22, 1922. Through the years, relatively few racehorses have inspired people to publish poetry in their honor, but then again, few horses have ever sparked the imagination of racing fans quite like Old Bones, the legendary Exterminator.

It might seem hard to believe, but as little as 31 years ago, popular Del Mar racetrack in California lacked a signature race to define its summer stakes schedule.

There were plenty of quality races held each year at the seaside track, but none that could definitively rank as a must-watch, can’t-miss event.

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.

During her legendary 19-race win streak, the Hall of Fame mare Zenyatta had more than a few close calls where she seized victory from the jaws of defeat. It was to be expected – her late-running style usually ensured that she took the lead very late in her races, resulting in heart-pounding finishes that both concerned and delighted her numerous fans.

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