So yeah, I was a big fan. McAnally called and asked my boss at the Horse Park, Kathy Hopkins, to send someone out to California to get to know the horse a little bit. John Henry liked who he liked and had the people he liked around him, so Mr. McAnally felt someone should probably get to know him before he returned to Kentucky.
Talk about an amazing experience. I was 22 and it was my first plane ride and it was certainly my first trip to California, so it was pretty exciting. So, for now, learn about the horse and get to know him.
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He still went to the track every day, mostly to walk, but occasionally jog with [exercise rider] Louis Cenicola, and it was an honor to be able to take him to the track and watch him. He loved to stand there and look around. It was amazing. McAnally and Mr. Rubin were both there and it was a good night, aside from the weather.
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And it was great for me because I spent a lot of time with John Henry; I got to walk him every morning and every night and started to figure him out. By that November, Lanter had settled John Henry into a new routine at the Hall of Champions, where visitors streamed in to see the richest racehorse of all time.
He was definitely not a royal painting. The only time he finished last I think. But he still remembered to visit his friends at the Horse Park regularly, especially John Henry, as often as he could. One of his favorite John Henry memories involves the sometimes curmudgeonly gelding giving his caregivers a hard time. As long as John Henry got what he wanted, which included his regular lengthy strolls around the Kentucky Horse Park grounds and some private time after his shows at the Hall of Champions, he was easy to work with. But once in a while he tested his people, which provided some great comic relief in hindsight.
Sometimes the only choice is the right choice. He lived 32 years and had a great life.
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I went in and said goodbye and that was it. He always acknowledged that he knew me, but he certainly knew Mr. Can you imagine, races? McAnally is a tremendous horseman and he knew great horses. Lexington, Kentucky, native Wes Lanter has spent most of his life surrounded by some of the best thoroughbreds of the last generation.
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Over his nearly plus-year career, the year-old has worked with three Triple Crown winners, both thoroughbred and Standardbred, five additional Kentucky Derby winners and multiple champions and Hall of Famers. A walking encyclopedia of most things thoroughbred racing, Lanter is sharing his favorite stories about the horses whose lives he considers himself to be privileged to have been a part of throughout his career.
Lanter also is the proud father of year-old Noah, a standout baseball pitcher and outfielder at Ridgewater College in Willmar, Minnesota. After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine.
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She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several racehorse retirement organizations, including CARMA. She counts Holy Bull and Arrogate as her favorite horses of all time. Life III. Mab v. Googe Heresbach's Husb. Restored They begin to bud and shout forth, as the Vine, Fig-tree and others then springing.
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