I hear lots of people say that a horse doesn’t know what they sold for. Well, I might have to disagree. If a horse goes through the ring and if they are listening to the auctioneer, they hear that final bid amount over and over and over before the gavel hits.

But, as I said, the horse must be paying attention – which is not always the case.  Sometimes they are distracted by what’s going on around them, and there is a LOT going on around them.  The auctioneer is doing his rhythmical chant and making a lot of noise, but there are also all those people looking at them, and then you  have the people not bidding, but visiting with each other…as the horse wonders, “Why aren’t they bidding on me?  Don’t they know I’m going to be a winner?  I’m the next Big One!”  But then there’s that strange person standing off to the side, gesturing wildly while telling a story to the small crowd around him and the horse wishes he could hear that tall horse tale.

Sorry, I digress.  Let’s get back to the main character of this story….”Willie”. His actual moniker until named is “Summer Soiree 16”.  That means he is the 2016 foal out of Grade I stakes winner SUMMER SOIREE (by War Front).  He is sired by WILL TAKE CHARGE, and is from Will Take Charge’s first crop.  So even before this weanling stepped into the sales ring, he had heard all about his pedigree, including that Will Take Charge earned $3,924,648 in 21 starts and was the son of Broodmare of the Year TAKE CHARGE LADY.  He was Hip # 74, selling in Book I of the Keeneland November Sale…yep, only the best are in Keeneland’s Book I.


2016 Summer Soiree colt by Will Take Charge in the Keeneland November Sales ring.

So when the gavel went down at $350,000, he was not surprised.  He was thinking, “I’ll be the top seller for dear ol’ Dad (never met the guy, but just wait to see how I beat all his stats!!!)  …And, not to get ahead of ourselves, but he was indeed the top selling weanling by Will Take Charge in the entire sale.

So, Summer Soiree 16 is led back to his stall, where he watches the guys take down his advertising sign and wonders, “What’s next?”  Soon, another person shows up and tells him they’ll be taking him to a great place not too far from Keeneland, where he is going to live for the next year or so (while he matures into a racehorse).  After a little ride through beautiful countryside, the van pulls into Rosecrest Farm.

Summer Soiree 16 is led off the van and into a stall.  He looks around and wonders, “Where is everyone?”  He’s just spent five days at the center of a beehive of activity — people swarming everywhere, popping into his stall two or three at a time to spiff him up to go out and be shown to other people, who seem to travel in packs and want to watch him walk “up and back” and “up and back” and again “up and back”.  Now he only sees two people at the barn – one who is getting him some water and a tall guy talking with the van driver, commenting, “He’s a good looking horse.”

The van pulled away, and the Tall Guy came over and was telling him, “You sure are showy with those four white socks and blaze covering your face.”

The next morning, it seemed he’d been nicknamed “Willie”, as that’s what his new people were calling him as they led him out to a paddock.  They told him, “This is where you will be spending your days.”  He could see other horses in larger fields and was curious about them.  He wondered if they knew how special he was!

Willie at Rosecrest Farm.

Willie at Rosecrest Farm.

The next day, there was another colt in the paddock next to him.  After a short bit of prancing around, Willie decided that, “Yes, I am the better looking one.”

After a few weeks of living side by side, the two colts were put together.  They were both happy to get to run and play together.  They quickly formed a friendship and became buddies.  So, every day they enjoyed each other’s company.  But they could see a big pasture where there were at least 15 weanlings all running together and having a really good time.  Sure looked like fun.

Finally, the day came when Willie and his buddy were led into a big pasture.  Soon after, Willie saw some of those other weanlings being led his way!  YES!  They were coming into this big pasture with him and his buddy!

Well, as usual when you introduce new friends, they have to show off for the new boys.  And the new boys let the old crowd know they are just as fast and can do tricks like bucking their back legs, too.  The younger the horses, the more easily they adapt to each other — unlike mares who immediately start a battle to establish a pecking order.

Willie did tell the other colts how he was special.  They wanted to know why he thought he was so special, and he told him how his sire won over $3 million and the G1 Travers S. and the G1 Clark H.  Well, they told him that not only did their sire Goldencents also win over $3 million, but he was the ONLY two-time Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner.

Willie then told them how the Tall Guy told Willie he was going to be a winner as he brushed on him, and gave him extra attention when he was in his stall. The others said, “The Tall Guy tells all of us how we are winners and that we just might win the Kentucky Derby.”

Three Chimneys ad on the back cover of The Blood-Horse.

Three Chimneys ad on the back cover of The Blood-Horse.

Then Willie said, “But I saw my picture on the back page of The Blood-Horse that I saw the Tall Guy reading, and I have a great hip and a big walk.”

At that point, Golden History and Empire Diva looked at each other, then at Willie, and said, “We’ve seen you walk and you’re about up to our strides.  Let’s see if you can run cause that’s where it counts. By the way, the Tall Guy has a name, and it’s Chuck.  And he’s been brushing on us since we were born.”

Then they allowed, “But your owners are smart and had you brought here.  Our owners love this place so much that they bought the historic farm behind Rosecrest to start a new farm that will be part of Team Rosecrest.  From what we’ve heard, they are building a new barn for us all to move into once we become yearlings.  Can’t wait for January 1st!!!!”

And yes, readers….the author knows she owes you a story about Wilshire Farm.  But people are clamoring for Lil’s special homemade Christmas Cookie trays, having Christmas parties at Lil’s and having Lil’s cater all sorts of Christmas festivities.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night… we do appreciate every one of you!