From Nag to Riches: Horse Legend John Henry Dies

Unbridled Hall of Famer buys the farm at 32
By Max Brallier,  Newser User
Posted Oct 10, 2007 5:08 AM CDT
John Henry (1A), with Bill Shoemaker up, wins the Arlington on Million Sunday at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill., in this Aug. 30, 1981 file photo. It was a photo finish with The Bart, ridden...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Two-time North American Horse of the Year John Henry has been euthanized in Kentucky after declining health.  A lifetime long shot, John Henry was born ugly, undersized and with a deformed knee. He bounced around for years and was sold from place to place before landing in 1980 in California, where he morphed into a Hall of Fame racehorse under trainer Ron McAnully.

When he retired in 1985, his career earnings were more than $6.5 million, a world record at the time. "John Henry was a testament to the fact a horse's value is far greater than the sum of his pedigree, conformation, sales price and race record," said the director of the Kentucky Horse Park that John Henry called home for 22 years.