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Connecting Past to Present
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On Saturday, May 21st millions of people around the world will turn their attention to the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland.  I am feeling particularly eager to see the racing on that special day.  Of course, with the anticipation of hoping that Animal Kingdom will gain his second leg towards having a Triple Crown victory, I am truly giddy with excitement at the prospect of seeing my dear Shared Account run in the Gallorrette Handicap on the Preakness undercard.

In my short horseracing fan existence (did I mention, I am 14 years old), I have spent years burying myself in thoroughbred racing history. I am especially attached to any history that involves Native Dancer, the great-great grandsire of my own beloved Polka.  Learning about Native Dancer opened up multiple avenues that lead to this year’s Preakness day.

Shared Account is that link from past to present.  She represents the first breath taken by Sagamore Farm since its resurrection. Alfred Vanderbilt, Jr., owner of Sagamore Farm and the great Native Dancer, was president and owner of Pimlico for a short time during the 1930’s. In that time, Pimlico flourished, hosting the now infamous match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral.

During the 1980’s, Vanderbilt experienced financial hardship, coupled with disappointment in the direction that thoroughbred horseracing was heading. He sold Sagamore Farm to a housing developer. The farm then passed through several hands before landing in the glorious palms of Kevin Plank in 2007.

Kevin Plank, Founder and CEO of Under Armor, is dedicated to restoring Sagamore Farm so it may be part of the firm foundation that horseracing needs for its future.  A few years ago, I spent much of my time searching for anything “current-day” Sagamore.  I thought, if I could discover what color silks they had, I may be able to spot one of their horses in a race.  Looking through endless amounts of pictures on Google Images, I finally came across a picture of Shared Account, which indicated she was trained by Graham Motion. (The computer is a wonderful thing!)  Now, in my lifetime, I was able to follow a living Sagamore Farm horse!  Thus, began my education absorbing facts about Shared Account and her trainer, Graham Motion.         

Graham Motion’s Herringswell Stables website has been receiving a daily visit from me for nearly two years. Plank was putting several horses under Graham Motion’s training and I stayed diligent on devouring everything about the outstanding Turf mare, Shared Account.

Throughout my homeschooling, my parents have been adamant about the importance of learning history in order to experience the present and future with deeper understanding.  History is not my favorite subject in school, but I completely embrace this concept, for it brings such depth to my appreciation and enjoyment of thoroughbred horseracing that I know I would never have otherwise.

Consequently, Shared Account and Graham Motion, are now a part of a rich tapestry of horseracing history that ultimately connects to me, and my beautiful, 29 year old, Native Dancer, descendant.        


I will be sharing an article on Shared Account so you can follow along in her journey.

Read more at:



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