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Ticket photo of the week: A Secretariat spinoff

October 23, 2010 |  7:00 am

My Man Puff grandson of Secretariat

OK, smile for the camera.

No, c'mon now, get serious. Please.

Stop horsing around.

Give us a smile. Please. No, not that kind of smile!

Oh, he's such a goofball.

This is My Man Puff, who's feeling his oats these days, even at age 13.

His grandfather was Secretariat. Yes, that one in the new movie. The Triple Crown winner from 1973, possibly the greatest thoroughbred race horse of all time. That year, for the first time since 1948, one horse won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and, on June 9, 1973, the Belmont Stakes -- by 31 lengths, no less. The last Triple Crown winner was Affirmed in 1978.

According to the legendary horse's winning jockey, Ron Turcotte, now wheelchair-bound from a racing accident, Secretariat was always a quick learner, gentle and smart. "You could show him something one day," Turcotte recalls, "and the next day he'd do the same thing. And he loved candy."

My Man Puff and his grandfather were never close in many ways. The offspring of Shelly's Charmer, My Man had a brief racing career but never finished well enough to continue competition. He's passed through a series of owners, has a personality referred to as feisty and doesn't waste much time paying attention to one thing too long.

He's now ended up in comfortable retirement in Florida with plenty of tail-swishing room on 10 acres of land owned by octogenarian Rosa Durando. She pampers the fellow, who knows he's special. She told Sun-Sentinel reporter Wayne Roustan that My Man Puff still loves to gallop and fool around. (See photo above.)

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo credit: Mark Randall / Sun-Sentinel