Friday, April 15, 2005

Ruffian: Burning from the Start

I just finished reading "Ruffian: Burning from the Start". Ruffian was an amazing racehorse -- big, black, beautiful, and fast. Ten wins out of ten races, always in the lead. She was easily one of the best horses to ever race-- she shattered or tied records nearly every time she ran, even when her jockey was fighting to slow her down.
During her final race, "The Great Match Race" against the colt Foolish Pleasure, she broke down-- on the lead-- her front leg snapping. Still she tried to run, and sadly she had to be put to sleep later that night....

An excerpt from the book:

"Nice race!" Dailey called. "How fast you think you ran?"
"Gee, Jim." Bracciale was still catching his breath. "I never really let her run, you know. Maybe eleven, ten and change, something like that." He shook his head. "I was strangling down on her all the way, and that would be a good race."
"It sure would." Dailey had a big grin on his face. They took their time heading back
towards the stands. Everyone was whistling and clapping and waving their
programs in the air. Bracciale had never heard a crowd so ecstatic. When they
got around the turn, Bracciale looked over at the tote board.

"That can't be right, Jim! Look at that!" Dailey just kept grinning.
"What does that say?" Bracciale demanded.
Dailey just laughed out loud. "You can read, can't you?"
"That says eight and three! How can it, Jim? You saw me, I was choking her
the last eighth! I was pulling her up all the way home!"
"Well, she fooled you, Jimbo! She sure fooled you."
"But that'd be a record! That'd be a new stakes record, wouldn't it?"
"So? What else is new? That filly's been setting records every time she runs!"

...Ruffian's 1:08 3/5 was not just the fastest time ever for the Spinaway, not just the fastest time for any two-year-old all season at the Spa-- but the fastest six furlongs ever run by any two-year-old of either sex in the history of Saratoga. That included, in chronological order, such all-time greats as Colin, Man O'War, Equipoise, Tom
Fool, Native Dancer, Nashua, and Secretariat."

If you appreciate reading about great horses, then you will enjoy this book. Read about it online here.


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