Word has come out that Frank "Pancho" Martin, long time trainer on the New York Racing circuit has died at the age of 86. I did not know Mr. Martin or his most famous client, Sham, the horse that went toe-to-toe with Secretariat in 1973. Chances are most people's incorrect opinion of Mr. Martin and Sham come via the train wreck of a movie Secretariat. In the movie, Sham, Mr. Martin, Sham's owner, and Sham's jockey, Laffit Picay, jr., were all portrayed as arrogant jerks. Sham in particular was portrayed as a horse straight from the pit of Hell. To say the movie was "Disneyfied," (i.e. watered down plot that removes complex issues from the script and not necessarily because the movie was released by Walt Disney Pictures, Inc.) would be an understatement.
Thus I present a picture of my wife with the evil that is...SHAM!
Equally short Marcus update: We are go for launch on his second race. Race #6, post position 1. Stretching him out to one mile.