While decompressing after the gym last night, I clicked on the Blood Horse only to find that Thoroughbred owners Bob Lewis and Roy Chapman had both passed away. Chapman gained fame as the owner and breeder of Smarty Jones. He refused to let emphysema keep him from the track to follow his spectacular colt, named for his mother-in-law's childhood nickname. Chapman's death seems to be getting more space in today's newspapers. But Bob Lewis was a prince among owners. He and his wife Beverly (and they were so close in the horse business that it sounds wrong even to say "Bob Lewis" instead of "Bob and Beverly Lewis") owned some terrific horses, horses like Silver Charm, Serena's Song, and Charismatic, but more than that, they were personable, very involved in the sport and its promotion, and very concerned for their horses as horses, not merely expensive and fashionable toys. Win or lose, Bob Lewis loved horses and horse racing: he was elated by the good and philosophically optimistic about the bad. Silver Charm and Charismatic both lost their Triple Crown bids in the Belmont, but even those disappointing losses were simply accepted as part of the sport (and they were far, far more concerned for Charismatic's injury than for the loss of a racing milestone and, IIRC, a $5 million bonus). There aren't many other owners like the Lewises. I'm not sure of Beverly Lewis' health, but I hope she remains involved, or can somehow pass along their magic to others in the sport.
Back to checking the photo wires... come on, photographers, Hansen's in camp! Throw me a bone here!