Now this entire story is written in the present, not as the preface may make you think.
Muscles rippling beneath a shiny black coat the filly stands still near the fence rail. Every inch of her body is tense as she waits for the word to go. On her back Nhyra Gordon, her owner/jockey/groom and owner, urges the black to go. Hooves driving into the dirt the small filly surges foward, her ears nearly flat against her head. She continues to pick up speed as she enters the first turn, her legs moving like well oiled pistons. She is watched, closely, by two people leaning against the white rail of the training oval. The filly and rider do not take notice of them as they gallop towards the last turn.
Glancing down at her stop watch a heavier set women says " She is one of the great one, Niels. Maybe even a once in a life time horse." Bearing no hint of emotion on his face Niels says "Don't go around sayin' that just yet Sarah. Watchem' may have won all her races as a two year old but she may not win at all in the three-year old races. Man of Treason has proven himself to throw half way decent horses that win one season but prove worthless as their career progresses." "Watchem' is different then the others Niels. She may become another Secretariat or War Admiral, not a dud who winds up spending the rest of her days teaching kids how to ride," Sarah says as Watchem' gallops past in a charcoal blurr. Turning to walk away Niels replies "Don't go around saying that either, both of those horses were beaten at some point in their careers. Good luck with her, Sarah."
Reins held tightly in one hand Nhyra leads Watchem' over to Sarah, a grimm look set on her face. " I'm scratching her from the Flordia Derby and the Wood, Sarah. Something didn't feel right out there and I just can't put my finger on it. Maybe a little time off will help out," Nhyra say as she hands Sarah the reins. Holding the filly closely Sarah says " So you're throwing away your chances at winning the colt's Triple Crown over a weird ride? What if she isn't in tune and looses the Derby?" "I'm not going to risk loosing my horse if she is any way sore or hurt, her well being comes first. If she does loose the Kentucky Derby then she can cream the other horses in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes," Nhyra says as she slides the tiny exercise saddle from Watchem's back " if you don't like it then you can leave and I will find someone who is willing to put the well being of my horse over money.," Taking the reins back from Sarah, Nhyra leads Watchem' back to the barn. The black filly perks her ears forward as a large Akita lopes towards them, a look of mischief in its eyes.
Four and a half hours away, an elderly man sits at a desk, his brow furrowed in concentration. Standing in front of the desk a man with caloused hands says "Sir, Treason is a shame to this farm. We should find another home for him, maybe a lower rate breeding farm where he can sire saddle horses. We placed a bell in the steepal above the stallion barn that was to be rung every time one of his foals won a race. If it wasn't for that puny black filly that bell would be gathering dust." Looking across the room at a picture of the tall four socked black stallion the older man, Mr. Melborne, says "Man of Treason has champion bloodlines and is a champion in his own right. Treason won twenty-eight out of the twenty-nine races he ran in, and his daughter looks to be following in his hoofsteps. Nobody wanted to sell Secretariat because of the foals that he sired, Mr. Smith." Rolling his eyes Smith says " So your saying that Treason's fate as a stud rests on the shoulders of a tiny black filly?," Looking Smith dead in the eye Mr. Melbourne says " Watchem' is proving herself to be a force of nature on the race track. She's beaten a lot of good horses already.," " Well that force of nature may have burned itself out," Mr. Smith says as he drops a newspaper on the desks and leaves. Putting on a pair of glasses Mr. Melbourne looks down at the article on the front page of the paper. It is not hard to find because of a picture of the filly galloping to victory in her first race.
Best Hope for the Crown Finished?
The most startling come from behind horse since the days of Secretariat himself. Watchem', the greatest foal of the mighty Man of Treason, might be finished. According to sources Watchem' came out of a training run at Meadow Brook Farm acting differently then normal. We've learned that Watchem' was scratched from the Florida Derby and the Wood Memorial Stakes shortly after. Rumors are starting to fly that the filly was injured or that she might be sick. This couldn't be better news for her rival, a grey colt named Ghost Runner. The era of the black filly may have come to an end, how can any horse win the Derby without any prep races? This might spell disaster for the undeafeted filly but she has made some pretty miraculous wins in the past. Lets hope her streak can hold up.
This is the end of what I have written so far, I will continue to post as more is written.