The Spring Meet at Keeneland has been exciting, but the best race day of all in the Blue Grass this month was the Easter Evening Meet at Old Friends. Sunday evening’s race card featured Little Silver Charm’s challenge to all comers. The gutsy little contender strutted onto the green April turf, ready to try a match race with any who dared. No horse is too famous, no graded stakes winner too fleet, for the diminutive, but dauntless, LSC to take on.
Before post time, the spectators’ scene seethed with activity while the challenger carefully checked out the turf.
For the first race on the card, Little Silver Charm paraded to the top of the run, with Michael Blowen up. Or rather, beside (since, as Kent Desormeaux once discovered, LSC does not do “up”). There his opponent awaited him— None other than the always-game Swan’s Way. Swannie, a 25 year old bay with the formidable experience of 81 starts under his belt, was on his toes, ready for any challenge.
…And they’re off!
LSC broke sharply. Seizing the lead, he dashed down the track, mane and tail flying in the sunset.
Under hand urging from his jockey, he showed masterful turn of foot alongside Swan’s Way’s paddock until Swannie had no choice but to charge into a full trot. Swan’s Way’s longer strides swallowed the ground and he passed the mighty mini for a three length win.
Johannesbourbon, Diane, John, Laura and Beth cheered them on from their spots right on the rail.
Yet, Little Silver Charm wasn’t ready to throw in the towel. Not yet. Maybe a jump up in class was what he really needed.
What about 1989 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Prized? Would he dare to take on the Miniscule Monster at his own game?
LSC also decided a jockey change might help. So he fired Michael and welcomed John Bradley aboard. Now the star of the farm, the Chaser of Dreams was rarin’ to go again!
Not so, Prized. He turned and ran in the other direction. Oh, well.
Then, just as all seemed over, Prized revved up his famous closing style. Steadily the Breeders’ Cup Turf winner diminished the distance at a decidedly swift walk. At the very least, he was curious to see what the mini was up to.
But it was too late. Silver Charm passed the last fence post well ahead. Prized decided he was more interested in nibbling some more grass, anyway.
A Grade One Easter was had by all.
Photos by Laura