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|Publisher:||Random House Children's Books|
|Series:||Walter Farley's Black Stallion Series , #8|
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 7.63(h) x 0.63(d)|
|Lexile:||810L (what's this?)|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
About the Author
John Rowe's paintings have appeared on movie posters, books, billboards, magazines, and advertisements throughout the country and around the world. His Horse series inspired the publishers of Walter Farley's The Black Stallion to reissue this classic series, commissioning 24 new paintings by Rowe for the covers. His other clients include Amblin Entertainment, Kraft Foods, United Airlines, Universal Studios, Nestle, Disney, and many others.John has maintained a successful painting career for nearly 20 years. His studio is in La Canada, California, where he lives with his wife and two children. He received his art training at Art Center College of Design, and has worked with clients throughout the United States and around the world.
Read an Excerpt
The following sports column written by Jim Neville appeared in newspapers throughout the United States on November 14.
This is an obituary. There are two reasons why you read it here rather than in the special section which this newspaper devotes to the deceased. Number one, my subject is a horse. Number two, he isn't dead yet.
But for me and the millions of others whose sole contact with our racing thoroughbreds is at the track he's as good as dead. For once a racehorse leaves us to spend the rest of his life in retirement at a stock farm he's gone forever as far as we're concerned. Certainly we think of him again whenever his sons and daughters appear on the track for the first time. But his colts and fillies are distinct individuals in themselves and we look upon them as such. Never do we say with any degree of honesty, "Here he is again!"
So it was with sincere sympathy and sadness that we watched Satan step onto the Belmont Park track yesterday for his last look around before being shipped home to Hopeful Farm in permanent retirement.
Satan, sired by the Black, had a racing career that was much too short for one who had so much speed yet to give. He was unbeaten at two, three and four years of age, winning some of our greatest classics. Last season he lost only one race, the San Carlos Handicap at Santa Anita Park, California, in December. He ran that race, we learned later, with a stone pounded deep inside his right forefoot. Yet he wouldn't quit. Although he was running on only three legs it took a photo finish for Night Wind to beat him to the wire in race record time!
X-ray photographs taken after the race disclosed a fractured sesamoid, one of the small bones in the ankle. The injured leg was put in a cast and Satan was shipped home. We were sure that he had reached the end of his racing career. But during the spring encouraging reports reached us. The injured leg had healed and Henry Dailey was putting Satan back in training. By summer the burly black horse was stabled at Belmont Park, and during his works he looked as powerful as we all remembered him. But Henry Dailey wasn't satisfied. He took Satan along slowly, never asking too much of him, never quite ready to race him. Only last month did Henry step up Satan's works. And then the great horse went sore again in the injured leg. Last week it was decided that to prevent further injury Satan would be retired permanently.
Yesterday, at the insistence of the track management, Satan took his last look around Belmont Parkthe scene of so many of his brilliant wins. And for the thousands who packed the stands, it was a sad but thrilling moment when he came out of the paddock gate between the seventh and eighth races.
The weight of a rider might have aggravated his injury at this time, so he was led out by Henry Dailey, riding Hopeful Farm's gray stable pony, Napoleon. As Satan pranced there was no evidence of the leg injury that had brought his racing days to an end. He stepped lightly and a little faster at the crowd's first and most thunderous ovation. He looked very beautiful and very gay with black and white ribbons braided into his mane. He was the picture of health and energy. That he could look as he did and yet be able to race no more accounted for the wealth of feeling which moved so deeply all who watched him.
As Henry Dailey led him up the track to the far turn and then back down past the stands again, the track announcer told of Satan's achievements. But I don't believe anyone really listened. They knew all there was to know about Satan. They listened only to the beat of his hoofs as he loped beside Napoleon. And they most probably rememberedas I didhis hard-driving, blazing stretch runs down this very same track in other years.
He stood perfectly still while they took pictures of him near the paddock gate and the track band played "Auld Lang Syne." His black body glistened in waves of supple muscle. Neither the photographers, the shouts from the crowd, nor anything else bothered him or caused him to move one step from Napoleon's side. He was the picture of everything a well-trained racehorse should be.
I noticed that his hardened old trainer, Henry Dailey, blew his nose countless times. But I don't think Henry had a cold any more than I did, and I was blowing my nose too.
Finally, Satan was led away and the applause of the crowd moved with him. His last curtain call was over. For me and for most of those who have been privileged to watch him race he is gone forever.
At Hopeful Farm, Alec Ramsay put down the newspaper. He carefully clipped the sports column, placing it in the center of the huge desk before him. Henry would want to keep it in Satan's bulging scrapbook. Season after season Henry had carefully and wisely trained and raced Satan. Time and time again he had said that Satan was the greatest horse ever to set foot on any track. The world had said so, too. And Henry had cut pictures and stories of Satan from countless newspapers and magazines. He had made Satan a champion who stood majestically on top of the worldand Henry had been right up there with him.
Now it was over. Satan was coming home. Henry was coming home.