all in Legends

King Leatherbury knows how he wants his training career to be defined. He knows how he would like to be remembered.

“If I wanted something on my tombstone,” he said, “it would just be, ‘He won races.’ “

Leatherbury, 84, has won races all right. He ranked fourth all-time with 6,455 victories when he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 2015, the ultimate exclamation point to a career that has spanned parts of seven decades.

In a morning ceremony Jan. 11, Oaklawn Park unveiled a bronze statue of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

American Pharoah prepped for his sweep of the 2015 classics with a victory in the $1 million Arkansas Derby and the Rebel Stakes, both at Oaklawn.

Retired Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye will sometimes find himself tuning in to a horse racing show and watching a replay of one of the famous races he rode. His mind is flooded with good memories.

“I just miss those days. The sport has been great to me,” he said. “I know I can’t go back, but it’s fun to see those old tapes once in a while.”

Some sports records are bound to be broken; in Thoroughbred racing, we see track records fall with some degree of frequency, and inflation ensures that the prize of “all-time leading money earner” is always within reach.

But other records are so remarkable, so unprecedented, that it’s impossible to conceive of them being equaled, let alone surpassed. One that comes to mind is the record for the most wins by a filly or mare in North American racing history, a record that turned 100 years old in 2017 and which might very well stand forever.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form, and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB) announced Jan. 2 that Frank Stronach will receive the Eclipse Award of Merit for a lifetime of outstanding achievement in service to the Thoroughbred industry.

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