Catching Up With Spooky Mulder

IMG_6447Sally Rohrbach stands by a fence behind her sprawling house in Harwood, Maryland, a short ride from Annapolis.  Glimpses of the South River are visible down the hill from the front yard.

She whistles, looking across several paddocks, over the heads of the three miniature horses that live closest to the barn, a handful of cats lolling in the shade or following her as she walks.

At first, there’s no response, befitting, perhaps, a 16-year-old gelding who won nearly $1 million as a racehorse, doing it, as they say, the hard way, through 85 starts and 34 wins, one in stakes company.  Many of those wins came on mid-Atlantic tracks: Philadelphia Park (back when that was still its name), Delaware Park, the Meadowlands, Monmouth, Laurel, Charles Town. Though he also ventured further afield—Canterbury, Keeneland, Aqueduct, Turfway, Ellis, Keeneland, Belmont, Saratoga, Churchill, Fair Grounds, Hoosier—it seems right that he came home to the Mid-Atlantic. He worked hard and willingly in his eight-year racing career; maybe he’s earned the right to stop taking orders.

But after a second whistle, he ambles forward, his paddock buddy in tow. Five years into retirement, Spooky Mulder may no longer be racing fit, but he still looks grand, still struts like a winner, still carries himself imperiously. He takes his time, until he decides not to, breaking into a canter as if to say, “Yeah, I still got it.”

Continue reading at The Racing Biz

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