For now, I am focusing on the dawn of international racing in the United States, long decades before the Breeders' Cup or even the Washington, D. C., International. At a time when horse racing received major coverage around the globe, so that even relatively small newspapers in Butte, Montana, or Terre Haute, Indiana might have news of the "doings" of major English or French horses as well as the latest Kentucky Derby winner or New York star, one of the hottest names of the mid-1920s was Epinard. After makiing a great name for himself in both France and England, he came to the United States to attempt what no horse from Europe had ever done before: to take on the pick of American racehorses at three separate tracks over three different distances. It was a challenge worthy of a titan of the turf, and a great sporting gesture on the part of his owner, Pierre Wertheimer.
Strictly speaking, Epinard failed; he did not win even one of the races set up for him. Yet so great was the attempt, and so close did he come to doing the nearly impossible, that he gained in stature even in defeat. His story will, I hope, be the center of a tale spanning the history of international racing across the Atlantic, which laid the foundation upon which the Breeders' Cup was eventually built.
It will be an interesting ride for me as I do the research and feel the strands of the story coming together. I hope that you will enjoy the journey also.