Understanding the horse racing world, the pedigrees and blood lines, jockey strategy, etc is not my forte, but I do like the looks of a good horse. The look of a champion is even better. ‘California Chrome’ is such a horse!

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The Saturday (May 3rd) running of the 140th Annual Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs was an easy win for the 3 year old colt, and definitely a dream come true for owners Martin and Coburn! ‘California Chrome’ came into the ‘Run for the Roses’ having won his last 4 races decisively, by more than 5 lengths each, and as the heavy favorite for the Derby. He didn’t disappoint!

However, here’s some things about the colt that you may not have known:

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Two races before the derby, the owners were offered a staggering 6 million dollars for a 51% share of the horse, amazing considering that the dam (mother) and the sire (father) of the horse had been bought for only $10,500.00 in total. The dam, ‘Love the Chase’ was purchased for $8,000 and an observer there at the time commented that only a ‘dumb ass’ would spend that kind of money buying her! A waste of money on a mare that couldn’t possibly produce a winner. It’s a good thing that Martin and Coburn didn’t listen to all the naysayers when they bought her. Instead they saw something in the gene pool that everybody else missed. Heck, they even went as far as to name their racing operation the ‘DAP’ racing company; an acronym for Dumb Ass Partners! In the end, they turned down the 6 million dollar offer too.

So, I know we’re talking about a horse, but the principal is solid and my point is this. Like the old adage ‘You can’t judge a book by the cover’ it’s not always easy to see someone’s potential! Even as the Executive Director of an Inner-City Mission that deals with the homeless and the addicted, there have been times when I’ve struggled with seeing certain people beyond the state they were in. I have a lot more to learn too!

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This is all that I’m saying: I know God can see the hearts of man (1 Samuel 16:7) but we really can’t. Maybe we can just learn to give each other the benefit of the doubt. It’s a ‘rare eye’ that can see someone’s hidden potential, and I’m definitely not saying that I can as I’ve been proved wrong more than once. But, maybe all of us can be a little less judging? Maybe we can just start by imagining what a changed life could look like?

As for ‘California Chrome’, I’m really excited to see what he can do at the upcoming Preakness; the 2nd jewel in the Triple Crown of North American horse racing. What a race that will be!

If he wins again, awesome, if he doesn’t it’s ok, to me he’s already proven himself to be a Champion!


Joe Miller – Executive Director

Joe Miller is the Executive Director for Souls Harbour Rescue Mission. After working in the manufacturing industry for many years, he felt called to move from 'building things' to 'building people.' He has a passion to see the people that walk through the Mission's doors, get the help they need; whatever their situation may be. He enjoys fishing and the outdoors and often finds God in the stillness of nature. He writes here his thoughts on poverty, society, faith, and his reflections on life.