Arctic Dancer's next colt, Maringouin, by Turn-to, never got to the post. Enough of this nonsense, said Levesque. When Arctic Dancer made her next trip to Kentucky, she was bred to Buckpasser, a winner of 25 races and $1,462,014 in three seasons. Voil�!
La Prevoyante means a lady who foresees, unless you ask Groom Davison, who grins and says it means the provider. For Levesque, the oil well was in. Except he didn't get to see it. When she won her first race on the last day of May, he was in the hospital having a kidney operation. He missed La Prevoyante's second race, too. "That's it," he told his doctors. "Recuperating time is over. I've got to see her now."
"You can't blame him," said Davison. "She's something out of this world to watch. I love this horse as much as I do my mother. She's like a daughter to me. When she does something wrong, I give her a smack on the rear end. When she's good, I reward her."
Davison laughed and ran a hand through his wavy red hair. "I try to be as nice to her as I can. But at times I have to put her in her place. She begins fooling around. And when I smack her, does she get mad! She'll whirl around and just stare at me. But then I slip her a couple of pieces of sugar and she isn't angry anymore. You don't have any trouble with good horses. They eat well, they take to training well. A good horse is a little more intelligent. They seem to know what they have to do and do it."
A news photographer came to the barn and asked if he could take some pictures of the horse. For an hour she had been dozing inside her stall. Now she stuck her head through the open upper door and checked out the stranger. When she spotted the camera, she began to pose. Her ears leaped to attention. She turned her head one way and held; then the other way and held.
"You ham," said Davison. "She loves to have her picture taken. The other day there was a movie crew here and all the other horses were trying to tear the barn apart. Not her. She just stood there posing. She knows. And she loves strangers. And really loves Johnny Starr. She'll start moving around in her stall and I'll look out and here's the trainer coming, a long way off. I don't know how she knows. He's just got a great way with fillies. Sometimes I have to tell him to get lost. I'll have work to do and she won't stand still when he's around."
In racing for 44 years and a trainer for more than 20, Starr has had his share of good horses, and most of them have been fillies. "That's just the way they came," he said. "It's not any special skill, it's just plain luck. La Prevoyante could have been a colt. A fellow the other day asked me which I'd rather have: a great filly or a great colt." He stopped and laughed. "I told him all I wanted was a great horse." Which, of course, is what he has.