As April wound down, it was lovely to experience time with horses at Old Friends and Kenny McPeek’s Magdalena Farm, as well as take in a few more races at Keeneland.

It is always wonderful to see Silver Charm enjoying time among his lush paddock – in fact the grass must have been quite tempting as he didn’t leave it immediately to come over to the fence for carrots. Now the oldest living Derby winner, his looks belie his age.

Nearby, Swain stood in a pasture. A fairly new arrival to Old Friends, I had not seen him in about a decade when he gazed out of a window from his stall. In fact, he was focused so intently on the scene that I recall joking with my companion he must see something we couldn’t, like his own personal circus, and that is why I still think of the phrase “Swain’s Circus” when I see him. Of course, he was also a top-notch racehorse and I have heard that one definition of the “look of eagles” is when a horse seems to look right through people around them and off into the distance, presenting a noble demeanor. Either way, he left an impression on me that day long ago and while the tour group I was with did not walk down to see him, I took the opportunity while they explored the equine cemetery. I was glad to get the chance to see Swain again, and while a slight dip in his back (to be expected) revealed years that have passed since he was foaled, he looked great too for his age. I don’t know his demeanor and therefore didn’t try to interact – plus he seemed content to stand in peace – but his face looked sweet.

When we arrived at Old Friends, I had noted Medina Spirit’s gravestone, newly arrived. It was poignant to see, and someone had placed a wreath of roses at its base.

Then it was on to Magdalena to see a few mares and foals.

Keeneland wrapped the spring meet two days after I went on that farm tour, and I snapped a photo of its serene beauty.