In reality, we all have to wonder what it all means. Being real about it, deeper thoughts can cause the preponderance of our existence. One of the things I love about horse racing is the omens of life present in this royal game. The 2023 Breeders’ Cup and the aftermath certainly presented one of those HMMMMMMMM moments that makes you really think.
Cody Dorman was a young man stricken by a horrible disease (Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome) that left him crippled and unable to communicate except with a tablet. On a visit to Gainsborough Farm in 2018 sponsored by the Make-a-Wish Foundation, a yearling by superstar Curlin came over to Dorman and laid his head in his lap. As it was obvious this colt had chosen Cody, he was later aptly named Cody’s Wish.
In fitting fashion, this striking grandson of Tapit won his first race at fourth asking when Dorman was present at Churchill Downs. Conditioned by Bill Mott, Cody’s Wish ran in an inspired fashion and won nine of his next ten races. Many of those were with the Richmond, Kentucky residing Dorman present. It seems as though both human and horse were inspired by each other. As both continued to fight the good fight, hearts far and wide were touched.
Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile was a crowning achievement for the entire Cody’s Wish team as they rose to the occasion with a huge win on one of the sport’s biggest stages. After a big 2023 season that featured three graded stakes wins in four starts, Cody’s Wish went out to defend his Cup crown in what would be the final start of his racing career. With his favorite human in attendance, this would be his final time to trip the light fantastic.
As the unquestioned sentimental favorite, the equine part of this wonderful team ran a tough race and gutted out the win with a determined effort. Refusing to lose, it was almost as if these four legs were driven by destiny. With tears flowing and hearts warmed, the Cody’s Wish racing chapter was closed in victory.
On November 5 while flying home to Kentucky, Cody Dorman passed away. Having just turned 18, this young man rode away from the track we call life a winner. Now here is where we really start to think. Did human Cody know that horse Cody was done on the track so he decided it was his time to retire as well? Did horse Cody know that human Cody was ready to ride off into the sunset and needed another win to close out his career?
Think about it all and make your own decision. In my mind you can never underestimate the power of faith and the omens of horse racing.