the three year olds prance out, nervous under the hands of strong silent trainers who have had many young thoroughbreds under their calm cautious hands. It isn't experience that makes a winner. Always some scrub is coming under the wire, some gelding with no pedigree, a dray, a drawer of carts who has nothing but heart. The fast lose their hopes of speed in the pack of horses, hooves pounding up to hit and gouge and always another challenger pulling alongside. It takes courage to keep coming on to find dreams in dust and never slow down. It takes memories of days of pulling carts to gallop through a mile and a half and never give in. It takes more than speed to win a race here. Each one is a test of gameness, of what makes a sprinter a classic. The trainers drop soft blankets on sweating backs and rub velvet-dark noses. They know about determination. They have seen many young thoroughbreds come and go.
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