Sunday, December 27, 2009

John Henry Statue Unveiled on Opening Day at Santa Anita

Laffit Pincay at the tail, with Ron McAnally framed by the life-size bronze statue.

Among the festivities on Opening Day of Santa Anita's Diamond Anniversary meet Saturday, Dec. 26, 2009, was the unveiling of the new life-size bronze statue of the great John Henry. A huge crowd gathered in the paddock gardens between races to watch Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally, who conditioned John Henry, do the unveiling.

Eduardo Inda, Ron McAnally, Laffit Pincay Jr., Dr. Jack Robbins and Lewis Cenicola pose in front of newly unveiled bronze of John Henry.

The bronze was sculpted by artist Nina Kaiser, who was also in attendance for the unveiling. Also on hand were retired Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay Jr.; trainer Lewis Cenicola, former exercise rider for John Henry and assistant to McAnally; trainer Eduardo Inda, who worked for McAnally for more than 20 years; and Dr. Jack Robbins, a director of Oak Tree Racing Association, one of the organizations that commissioned the work.

Artist Nina Kaiser (second from right) looks on during dedication ceremonies.

John Henry won 12 stakes at Santa Anita during the 1980's and was one of the most popular racehorses of all time. His likeness, installed in front of historic Kingsbury Fountain, makes a glorious addition to the track entrance.

Installation of the 2,000-lb. bronze in the paddock gardens a few days before Opening Day.


zraces said...

Great coverage! Great pictures! Great horse!
Congrats on making the Paulick Report with this piece!

Sharla Sanders, Founder, The Second Race said...

Beautiful statue, really captures the "eye" of John Henry. It was a thrill to see on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and much gratitude to Santa Anita for the beautiful statue of the Great John Henry, one of the best racing icons to ever step on the tracks.
May John Henry live forever in the peoples' hearts and memories!!
I could wait until I see it in person.

Don in Massachusetts

Anonymous said...

Sorry Mary...
I meant to write that I cannot wait until I see the Great John Henry's statue in person.

Don in Massachusetts

UpInClass Horse Racing Forum said...

I only recently learned...
if you click on the pictures,
they enlarge to spectacular proportion.

Happy New Year...
and keep up the great work!
Dell Yount

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