A new opening has become available in the Kentucky Derby. Although this is a great opportunity for another horse to get a chance a glory, for Old Fashioned it was a lost chance at greatness.
Unfortunately for this potential legend, his dreams were cut short after his last race in the Arkansas Derby this past Saturday. After the race was called, the connections of Old Fashioned realized there was something wrong. The colt had suffered a fracture in his right knee. Although this is not a life threatening injury, it is usually a career ending one. Later that week the horse was shipped to a farm in Lexington, Kentucky to receive surgery on his knee.
"It's not life-threatening, it should be okay," Jones said. "Career-ending is a possibility just because of the type of horse he is. But we'll see. We'll let them make that call," Old Fashioned's trainer said in an ESPN article on the subject. I was not sure what to make of this statement. I hoped it was not the stereotypical call that a well bred horse automatically makes a great stud, even when untested. I am hoping that they were referring to horses usually being unable to reach the same level of greatness they had obtained when injured. Sadly we will probably never know.
Following the surgery it was decided that it was better if Old Fashioned was retired. Although he would never have recovered in time for the Derby, it is still unfortunate that he will never be able to race again. The colt was well on his way to being considered the favorite for the first Triple Crown race, but now that honor will be passed on to another horse.
Before his career could really start, it was ended. Now this young boy will never again feel the track under his hooves. He will wait in pasture until he is old enough to breed, forever passing down his untested, yet potentially amazing, abilities.