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"How can you say that?" the man argued. "Taylor was one of the greatest players who ever lived."
"You've got to remember," said Pratt, "the man is 90 years old."
The stirrings on New Year's Day in and about Walter Jeffords' Faraway Farm on a hilltop near Lexington, Ky. were reminiscent of an accouchement at the court of Louis XIV. My Card, a mare whose three foals that are racing are all winners, delivered a fine filly, a thoroughbred foal by Secretariat. Next day at nearby Walmac Farm, Secretariat's stablemate, Riva Ridge, was father of another filly.
Luck was riding with the owners of both foals. Secretariat's firstborn thoroughbred will be the oldest 3-year-old eligible for the 1978 Kentucky Derby, and Riva Ridge's is right behind. Had they been born but one and two days earlier, they would have been the youngest in the class of '77.
From the owners' standpoint both foals enjoy a further advantage in being fillies. While few colts follow in their illustrious fathers' footsteps—and therefore depreciate in value as their careers progress—because of the dominance of bloodlines in the female of the species, mares remain valuable even if they do not win many races. And as far as that is concerned, it will be two years yet before the horse-racing world will know for sure whether that old maxim holds true—like father, like daughter.
YOU COULD LOOK IT UP
The story sounded fishy, but the reporter from the Auckland, New Zealand Herald decided to check anyway. Eventually he found himself at a century-old guest house tucked away at the far end of a long beach.
"It's a pleasant place," he wrote, "run by very friendly people who have two well-mannered cats, a frisky dog and the most charming eels one could hope to meet on a Sunday afternoon jaunt from Auckland.