Today is race day for Jo’s Magic. Her first attempt to run for a purse. Her opportunity to do what she was bred to do: compete against other fast horses to determine which runner has the most talent, the best fitness, the biggest heart.

Jo's Magic

Proud owner Scot with his mare, Jo’s Magic, at River Downs in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In fact, this is also my first race as an owner and breeder.  And, frankly, I never would have guessed this is how it would come about.

When my friends and I bred our broodmare Exotic Blue back in 2006, we planned to sell the resulting foal as a weanling or yearling. The Thoroughbred sales market was still hot then, and we were confident of at least a small profit. Jo’s Magic was born in February 2007 and our expectations shifted quickly: the newborn not only had an unusually difficult time making it to her feet, but her dam didn’t want anything to do with her. An unlikely nurse mare followed initial bottle-feeding, and Jo’s Magic settled into a fairly normal life, but we were concerned that racing was not going to be a viable option, and the market for racing stock had started to tank. I held on to the big bay filly with the idea of developing her into a pleasure mount, which is whe