Goodbye Old Friend

by Ed Meyer

posted on March 28, 2009 in General Discussion, News | No Comments >>

On Thursday, was honored to have as our special guest Chris McCarron. We spoke about his career, what he has been doing since racing, and especially about the super horses in his career.

It was the first Saturday in May and a talented rider named Chris McCarron had a live mount. He spoke about runner and how he broke his maiden at Turfway with Don Brumfield in the irons. Asking Brumfield about the horse, “aw, he is just another runner.” This one won by 10 lengths, and went by the name of Alysheba.

He was trained by a blue collar guy who made quite a name. Jack Van Berg was once known as the king of claimers, even when he started training at Aksarben (Nebraska spelled backwards). This was a special mount that deserved the attention of one of the best.

He was the son of Alydar, and spent eight years in Saudi Arabia. Until Cigar came on to the scene, he was the all-time leading money winner. Records are meant to be broken.

It was during our interview that Chris McCarron described how Alysheba carried him to victory. He wouldn’t put the blame on Bet Twice coming over on him, and how he gave one of the most athletic rides of all time. It was at about the 1/8th pole that Alysheba looked like he was going down. But as a professional runner always does, he found a way to etch his name in the history books that sunny day.

His was the first name McCarron mentioned. I guess it would be hard to forget, but with his lengthy resume there are so many that deserve the honor. But this chestnut was first. It took me back to that maiden victory today when I read that he had been euthanized Friday. He was America’s horse. He belonged to all of us. But at 25, he joins the Hall of Champions at the Kentucky Horse Park.

It just seemed like yesterday with the sun on his back and ten ahead of the field. How he gleamed and went on to win one of the most eventful Derbies. I am glad that Chris got to tell his story, I’m glad that I was there to see the maiden victory, and I’m glad he made the game a little brighter.