Before Silver Charm…

Before HIM they were just two brothers, their lives intertwined through shared memories of racehorses. Two sons with stories of early mornings on the roof at Churchill Downs, feet gripping at the shingles between the twin spires as their father worked below. Before HIM there was a plot of land, tucked at a fork in the road amidst the rolling fields under the hot Florida sun, desperate to be developed – to be turned into the future home of legends in the making. A plot of land where a gangly, silver skinned colt learned to be a racehorse under the watchful eye of two brothers.

Before HIM they were just two brothers… after HIM they were ‘The McKathan Brothers.’

Before HIM there was just another horse trainer, navigating the world of racing one moment – one decision – at a time. A trainer who grew up in the cacti studded desert of a town where a thick black line defined the border to Mexico as far as the eye could see. A young boy who started on the back of a horse much different from a Thoroughbred; a horse that, though quick in speed, is also quick to tire and much thicker, fuller, more robust. In time he turned to Thoroughbreds, to the lean, sinewy muscle draped over a delicate frame. In time he became the snow capped man who took a chance on a gangly, silver skinned colt.

Before HIM there was just another horse trainer… after HIM there was ‘Bob Baffert.’

Before HIM there was a movie critic turned retired racehorse advocate. There was a man with a mission to provide a safe landing spot for the horses who owned our hearts. There was a quiet farm tucked away in Kentucky where a dream was being built, where long stretches of jet black fence lines were spaced just far enough apart that former rivals could eye each other still, occasionally tearing up and down the rail in moments reminiscent of their glory days. There was a haven where weary bones could rest, contented, at the end of the day; where weary bones could rest for eternity at the end of a lifetime.

Before HIM there was a dream in the making… after HIM there was Old Friends.

Before HIM there was a love of racing; there were trainers, and jockeys, and exercise riders, and fans, who just loved horse racing. After HIM life would never be the same: there were names that, once unheard of, now echo across the globe. Fans who flocked from the farthest reaching corners to catch a glimpse of the horse that spurred a lifelong obsession. The obsessed making pilgrimage to a farm tucked in Kentucky, where he turned dreams into reality.

There are people whose lives will never be the same, whose lives are so clearly divided into two: life before – and life after – Silver Charm.

Read the feature story “The Horse Of Many Lifetimes” in the Winter 2019 issue of The Thoroughbred Experience. Sign up now for a special discounted subscription price…


Article written by Eliya Finkelstein

Chief Storytelling Officer

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