Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Me and the Triple Crown

The flea market was excellent; some good bodies were present, but mostly I went for the non-model stuff, including a Palenske print of Whirlaway I found in a box of loose ephemera. It was dirty and damaged, but I thought it deserved a better fate than becoming part of someone’s scrapbook project. A much better looking example here:

Speaking of Triple Crown winners…

I didn’t want to be like all those other folks jumping in on the bandwagon, so even though I was home at the time and had no pressing commitments, I decided to not watch the Belmont.

You know how I have a knack for predicting upcoming Breyer releases? I used to have that same "gift" with horse racing. It’s not really a gift, as much as it’s a side effect of deep research: the more you know your stuff, the easier it is to make more-accurate-than-average predictions - sometimes even unintentionally.

I was good enough that I even briefly considered - much to my parents' horror - a career as a bookie.

I haven’t followed racing with that kind of intensity in years. It is interesting that in spite of that I still retained a bit of my horse racing senses: this was the first year I can remember since Affirmed that I didn’t dismiss the idea of another Triple Crown winner to anyone who mentioned the possibility to me.

Horse racing - especially the Triple Crown excitement of the 1970s - is what brought me into the hobby in the first place. Although I had been collecting for a few years prior, and I had been talking about the hobby with a couple of acquaintances I had met on the junior high school bus, I didn’t officially enter it until a few months after Affirmed’s Triple Crown in 1978. I received my first issue of Just About Horses shortly afterwards, and an issue of The Model Horse Shower’s Journal (via JAH) in September of that year, and it’s been downhill ever since.

If recent Breyer history is an indicator, there will be an American Pharoah model, possibly by the end of the year. In general, there haven’t been that many issues with getting permission or licensing rights. I know if I owned a famous/successful racehorse, I’d certainly be welcoming that phone call!

It can take several months or even years to create a mold from scratch; we didn't get the Classics Ruffian mold, for instance, until 1977 - a year and a half after her passing. Since they’ll want to get the model out as soon as possible, the likelihood is that they’ll reuse an already-existing mold.

I could see some slight mold modifications to an existing mold - the simple changes to manes, tails and ears that they’ve been doing for a while now. The suggestion I've seen most often is for the Lonesome Glory mold, and they’ve made changes to that mold before (for the last official Connoisseur, Mosaic), so that might be a good choice.

Second, for those still clamoring for an entirely new mold, let me remind you that only two other winners have had their own dedicated molds: Secretariat, and Citation. The Secretariat mold was not well-received, and the Citation is a G1 (Hagen-Renaker) Stablemates mold.

Everyone else - save the Christmas ornament series - has been on a repurposed mold.

There’s no shame in that. Affirmed was my guy, and I love the example they made of him on the Cigar mold - especially the one in Gloss.


Corky said...

I can't help thinking they may have some sort of quickie American Pharaoh model available at Breyerfest.

Carrie said...

I think you mean Thrillseeker for the last connoisseur, with the swished tail. Mosaic is his bookend!

Grande Dame said...

As I'm sure you already know, Affirmed also got a model on the classic-sized Man O'War in the 1988 Triple Crown Winners Set II. :)

Anonymous said...

I doubt they will make a new mold, since they're already coming out with Valegro. I don't if I will buy an American Pharaoh, there already is too many bay cigars and lonesome Glory's... But what if they put him on Touch of Class...

Anonymous said...

Ugh, NO on Touch of Class. SHE doesn't look ANYTHING like him.

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