Guess it doesn't always take a hero riding in on a white horse and save the day. Sometimes all it takes is a horse...
This once-upon-a-time moment's hero is beautiful white horse, a Thoroughbred named INHERIT THE GOLD, who won't be in the Derby because he's 5 years old, but Breeders' Cup talk has been whispered if he keeps going like he is now.
According to my friend, Robin Roth, (horsephotos.com), the story is that his owners, Jim and Susanne Hooper, had bought a New York horse farm in 2000. Besides wanting to raise and race Thoroughbreds, they also worked on the farm with at-risk youth who were sponsored by a company in Arizona. One of the 2006 foals at Haven Oak was a grey son of GOLD TOKEN. His eyes were circled in white, which reminded Susanne of Harry Potter in his glasses, so she called him HARRY, but he was eventually officially named INHERIT THE GOLD and sent to trainer Charlton Baker. He broke his maiden at age 3 at Aqueduct.
"In the meantime, the Arizona company was having financial problems, and their funding and kids stopped coming to the farm. The rest of the economy was affecting the Hoopers too, and they couldn't afford Haven Oak any more. Not wanting to sell at a fraction of what it was worth, they cut back on their stable and sold off acreage. By last summer, they couldn't afford to pay Charlie Baker any longer, so Jim got his own trainer's license and came to Belmont Park in the fall with INHERIT THE GOLD, who was recovering from a knee injury, and a few other horses."
"Harry" made his first start for Hooper, after almost 6 months off, on Oct 21 -- and won. A month later, he finished third by less than a length at Aqueduct, then won 5 or 6 consecutive races there. On March 12, he upset the favorite in the Kings Point, and last Saturday won the Excelsior (as favorite)."
"The Hoopers say he not only saved their farm, but gave their entire business a new lease on life. They're even talking about doing a non-profit venture with at-risk kids again," according to Roth.