Where would any sport be without fans? And, then there are those fans that boost the sport into the skies and beyond.
Thank you for inviting us to share some of our memorabilia and stories with you and others.
We run a horse fan page for a horse named WHIRLAWAY (1941 Triple Crown Winner). We’ve been asked a number of times, why or how did you decide to pick Whirlaway as your fan page? Well, after some deliberation, we discovered that this horse didn’t really have much coverage and seemed to have almost been “forgotten”. So, we put our focus on rebuilding his story and (re)educating people about who he was and what he had accomplished. Below is a brief summary of his many achievements. And, although our page started out as a dedicated Whirlaway page, it has now evolved into a page that honors all things horse racing related, both past and present.
Whirlaway, a chestnut colt born on April 2, 1938, became our country’s fifth of (now) 12 Triple Crown Champion race horses. He is the only thoroughbred race horse in history to also merit recognition as a war hero, having raised nearly $5MM in War Bonds during WWII. In Whirlaway’s 1942 season he raced a staggering 22 times (at 12 different tracks!) and raising $5 million, including $100,000 at Aqueduct on Army-Navy Day, when he won the 1942 Brooklyn Handicap. He won 12 of those 22 races and hit the board (8 seconds, 2 thirds) in all 22 races even though the racing secretaries piled on the weight during that year. Whirlaway is noted as the only thoroughbred race horse to merit recognition as a war hero due to his noteworthy contribution to the War Emergency Relief Fund during World War II. He is also the only TC winner to have also won the mid-summer Derby, known as the Travers Stakes race in Saratoga. His quirky personality, unorthodox running style and annihilating burst of speed made him a true hero amongst Americans in that era. This horse came along at a time in history when the very fabric of our nation was undergoing tremendous strain. Yet, somehow, this horse found a way to inspire the country to push through our difficult times of World War II. They even had bomber planes with Whirlaway’s name on them! The owners, Warren and Lucille Wright, who were fairly new to Thoroughbred Horse Racing at the time, would end up creating a horse racing dynasty, with this horse as the lynchpin for the dominance yet to come. The hurdles that Whirlaway overcame to become one of the greatest thoroughbred champions of all time has never really been told…and so we felt it was our duty to keep his story and spirit alive… because history should NEVER be forgotten!
Lastly, I know that you like personal stories, so I thought I’d share this true (and also funny) story with you. Kim and I first dated at 15 years old and then we went our separate ways during and after high school. We finally reunited at one of our high school reunions a number of years later and we began dating again. Kim has a test that she has used on any person she has has been in a relationship with (unbeknownst to me at the time) and all of her closest friends know that she will immediately break up with that person if they don’t pass the test. So, after a few months of dating, her friends were saying to her “you don’t think he’ll pass the test, that’s why you haven’t given him the test yet”. You’re probably wondering what this test is… LOL. Well, it’s not the “door test” like on Bronx Tale. One day, she showed up with a movie and said “Let’s watch this tonight.” I still had no clue that this was “(the test”). We watched the entire movie and I sat there in awe and I was glued to the screen. In those final moments of the movie, yes, I admit, I cried. Since then, I’ve read the book, watched that same movie over 30 times and that is what sparked my untapped love for the horses. That movie (which was “the test”) was Seabiscuit… True story!