Retiring stars early like ripping magic carpet from beneath a fan’s feet
Mary Simon of the Thoroughbred Times asks the question of horse racing: “Where is the excitement now, in this year of our Lord, 2012?” She watched the excitement of barely contained crowds cheering on Affirmed and Spectacular Bid as they competed as 4-year-old handicap horses.
Every year, writes Simon, horse racing fans hope that this year is the next great prospect and will be the next to bring crowds to the track. Unfortunately, the budding stars leave too soon to have that impact. Horses that made a name for themselves as 3-year-old racers seldom race to age four now. I’ll Have Another went the way of many other 3-year-old stars. He rose to prominence with his victories as a three year old, but, because of his early retirement, will soon be forgotten.
Simon writes: “When our most promising young runners disappear in a blink, it can leave a fan staggering and confused—like having a magic carpet ripped from beneath your feet just as you think you’re going to fly. How often can this happen before one stops daring to dream?”