Yesterday as The Usual Q.T. blazed to victory in the Gr. 1 Hollywood Derby, far from the crowds and glory stood a horse that has truly flown with the eagles. He was dozing in his paddock, enjoying the Tehachapi sunshine.
Named for the Celtic Lord of the Sea, Mananan Mclir ran a punishing second to Johar in the 2003 Hollywood Derby. The horses he faced on the racetrack were legends, horses like Inesperado, Moscow Burning, Geronimo, Sunday Break, Sarafan and Star Over the Bay. He won the Gr.2 American Derby, placed in both the Hollywood and Oak Tree Derby, and competed in ten graded events in his forty-seven race career. Mananan Mclir was a fierce competitor against the best, and he retired with earnings of $506,127.
Photo by Andy Padilla
How he came to enjoy dozing in the sun at Tranquility Farm on Hollywood Derby Day is a cautionary tale. You see Mananan Mclir fell into the claiming ranks, and on July 4, 2008 he officially became an “unwanted horse” when he was pulled up in a race at Hollywood park and could run no more. But for the chance passing of a friend of Tranquility Farm he was about to be traded away for scrap.
Year after year there are papers published, committees formed, rules enacted and general hand-wringing over the plight of horses like Mananan Mclir. Until one of these efforts hits the mark all these horses have are chance rescues and public support for retirement farms.Mananan Mclir is just one of the one- hundred reasons that we need and appreciate your support.