Thank You, Sincerely, Mr. Bush
I thank Mr. Bush every day, believe it or not. Usually, it is for some dumb thing the government has done, or for the latest war fatality. But today I learned something that I must sincerely, no joke, thank Mr. Bush for his involvement.
First, some background:
In 2000, ALYSHEBA, ’87 KY Derby and ’88 BC Classic champion , an iron horse of the 80s, was sold to Saudi Arabia to stand at stud. While his many fans were sad to see him go, it was a quiet journey to a mysterious land. Not many updates came out of Saudi Arabia, but fans were content that he was getting the best care.
In 2002, news shocked the racing world that the 1986 Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand had been murdered in a Japanese slaughterhouse. The horse was also a Breeders’ Cup classic winner and fan favorite. No one had been notified that the big red son of Nijinski II (the 1970 English TC winner) had completed his sire career. Nobody knew that he had been sold for mere pennies to the kill buyers. His American owners were outraged that they had not been given the opportunity to bring Ferdinand back to the states for a proper retirement.
Fans immediately began checking in with their favorite classic winners standing overseas. Most of them were doing fine, and the foreign stud farms were put ON NOTICE that any American horse had BETTER be returned to the US.
Many such champions were returned, like Gato Del Sol, or the stable full who have been retired to Old Friends. But still no word from Alysheba.
Yesterday’s top story was that finally, ALYSHEBA is coming home!!!
And it is all due to President Bush’s state visit to the Middle East. According to the article linked above, Bush visited King Abdullah’s stables and was shown Alysheba. Surprisingly, Bush recognized the horse’s name and accomplishment.
Bush presented the king with an ornate western saddle, which inspired his Highness to return the favor. It is an awesome gift, and a tribute to all of the fans and friends of the horse.
Oh yeah, Alysheba will live out his days at the KENTUCKY HORSE PARK, in John Henry’s old stall.
Alysheba broke old John’s earnings record with his ’88 BC Classic win, and he was ridden by Chris McCarron.
The ’88 Classic was the 2nd one in which Alysheba competed. He was 2nd in the 1987 Classic as a 3yo – the older horse who beat him was Ferdinand.
Thank you, Mr. Bush.