all in Legends

Ten years ago this summer, horse racing was at one of its periodic upticks in national exposure as fans were drawn to the exploits of an unbeaten star racemare based in Southern California, and by the time the 27th Breeders’ Cup World Championships arrived at Churchill Downs, excitement was at a fever pitch.

The best way to describe the late Bill Nack’s passion for horse racing and his beloved Secretariat is to allow the master storyteller to do it himself.

“Horses have a way of getting inside of you, and so it was that Secretariat became like a fifth child in our house, the older boy who was off at school and never around but who was as loved and true a part of the family as Muffin, our shaggy, epileptic dog,” he wrote.

Speed is the name of the game in horse racing, but fame and glory usually gravitate toward those horses with the stamina to negotiate longer distances of ground in two-turn classics.

Sprinters, the horses who can generate electrifying fractions, are usually in the background, except for a handful of champions who possessed speed so dazzling it left a lasting impression on anyone who ever watched them rocket to the winner’s circle.

Housebuster was one of those brilliant sprinters.

In its 36 years, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships has produced many stretch duels that have become part of racing’s lore, from the very first Classic in 1984 to Tiznow’s back-to-back Classic wins in 2000 and 2001, and on through Blame’s defeat of Zenyatta in the 2010 Classic and

In a way, you can argue Bert and Diana Firestone took a “genuine risk” when they elected to enter star filly Genuine Risk in the 1980 Kentucky Derby.

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