Re-posting one of my favorite post...
Flying through Louisville during Derby reminds me of the way flying used to be...People all dressed up with hat boxes in tow and a smile on their faces. But then I quickly forget the thought as I realize I have so many hat boxes to store and so little space. But something about the hat boxes puts a smile on my face. I wonder what's the color and the shape? Is it Red and Racy? Does it have Feathers or Flowers? Is it French Couture or more Plain Jane?
But this Tale is about more then
Beautiful Derby Hats...
this is the Tale of
Heber (my grandfather) & Rex Ellsworth, Mesach Tenney
and Reed Ellsworth
and a Horse
that won the KENTUCKY DERBY!
With $850 in savings from their $50 a week jobs, two cowboys Rex and Reed Ellsworth rented an old truck and left for the 1933 Fasig-Tipton Sales in Lexington, Kentucky. They bought 6 mares and 2 weanlings for $600. Rex became a powerhouse in California racing! In 1946 he borrowed $160,000 to buy a stallion from Aly Khan. From this stallion came Swaps.
In 1955 Rex sent Swaps to Louisville by rail with trainer Mesach Tenney in the same boxcar. Tenney even stayed with Swaps in his stall at Churchill Downs.
And as FAIRY TALES end, SWAPS and jockey Willie Shoemaker won the 1955 KENTUCKY DERBY... all because of a big dream and some hardworking cowpokes from a small town in Arizona.
Dreams can come true!