Spring 2021: Turtles, the Kentucky Derby and Winx on My Mind

All winter I grew my greens and picked the “bunch of the day.” But it’s been touch and go the last few weeks while waiting for our full warm up…windy, raw, overcast…through it all, I nursed my seedling indoors, hardened them off outside and then started the work of getting them into pots and into the ground.

A few days ago we had a rain and I peeked under the new burrow I had constructed last spring for Chasca, my desert box turtle, and I saw part of the side of her shell glistening..I literally jumped for joy! She’s made it through another winter! Then, she was gone again, back buried under the soil. Turtles will sometimes appear after a rain or even during a warm February day, but Chasca wasn’t ready. Today, I can see her again at the back of her burrow with part of her shell visible! The nighttime temperatures will begin to rise and it won’t be so chilly in the mornings and today’s warmth in the 80’s will bring stability to my favorite reptile. Today is also the first day I saw a “big mama” lizard out, so Chasca will be officially out in the world soon! I can’t wait!

The Kentucky Derby is now in the record books and for once, Mine That Bird was mentioned, even to the extent that there were clips of his 2009 Derby win, his New Mexico people and the trailer they used to drive him to Kentucky.  There were more stories about the horses and the history of the race instead of the endless stream of personalities and cast members of NBC shows who have usually cluttered up the broadcast in the past.

Winx, of course, came to mind when we were told that “turf runners never win going wide” after exactly that happened in one of the turf races on Kentucky Oaks day.  REALLY? Winx ran wide nearly all the time and she won 33 straight times doing it that way on turf!

It’s already two years ago that she ran her last race on April 19, 2019.  She lost her first foal, which was stillborn, in October 2020 and there’s been no news about future breeding plans.  In March, the owner who named her passed away.  Richard Treweeke died at age 90.  As he told the story, “She’s out of Vegas Showgirl and if you have been to Vegas and watched the showgirls, they might flash some skin and the blokes will give them a wink. Try putting that in print!”

Happier Winx news was made when a statue was unveiled at Rosehill Gardens, her home track in early March of 2021. At 110% her actual size, it is situated so that it is the first thing visitors see when the enter the track.

 

Winx with Hugh Bowman in the saddle by Sculptor Tanya Bartlett

While she was racing, she may not have been the most perfect looking thoroughbred.  It’s like her front end is out of balance with her back end. Her backside slopes down.  People who know more than I know said she has terrible feet. 

She didn’t care.  She raced until she was almost 8 years old. She ran. A lot. And she won. A lot.

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The Preakness will be soon, Chasca will be roaming the yard any moment now, and we’ll be looking to see what Winx does next. It’s a good start to Spring 2021!!

WINX…THE MIGHTY MARE RETIRES WITH 33 CONSECUTIVE WINS

By NM-GRL…

Winx after Cox Plate 2018 after swim

Winx at the ocean Put on a show girl on more day

WINX by NM-GRL

She walked on the sand and gazed out at the sea
She faced infinity before her, felt the waves at her feet
She arrived at the course time after time
With the sea in her heart, she skimmed the ground
The waves of sound from the stands filled her soul
A sea of emotions carried her on
…She gazed at infinity, she brought us along….

Thank you, Winx

**********************************************************

In 1973, the times were dark.  Then came along a horse named Secretariat, who lifted the nation’s spirits.

George Plimpton commented at the time:  “He was the only honest thing in the country at the time, this huge magnificent animal that wasn’t tied up in scandal and money.”

As others said:  “Secretariat restored our faith in humanity.”

We have just witnessed the last race of Winx, the Australian super mare.  The statistics are easy to find, but she also has given us light during difficult times.

It is fitting that the 2018 Vox Populi Award, which was created by Secretariat’s owner, the late Penny Chenery,  was awarded to Winx.  This award “annually recognizes the horse whose popularity and racing excellence best resounded with the general public and gained recognition for Thoroughbred racing. Winx was the top choice among U.S. voters as well as international fans representing a record 60 countries.”

She never raced here, but she touched the hearts of legions of fans who stayed up late many Friday nights to see her race on all those Saturday afternoons in Australia.

She retired sound, strong, and at her peak …You could say that she also had  “TWICE THE HEART….”

Born September 14, 2011; Retired at 7 + sound;  NO MEDICATIONS

Final Race: April 13, 2019 at Royal Randwick, Sydney, Australia

See:

Winx wins like a queen to complete career that was so much more than numbers

Youtube:  Winx Farewell Race – 2019 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Weekend King Racing…     Full Race Coverage/Telecast from Channel 7 pre-and post-race

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Visit www.secretariat.com

https://twitter.com/winx_horse

http://winxhorse.com.au/

https://twitter.com/DKepitis

https://www.facebook.com/pg/winxchriswallerracing/posts/