The groom enters, and Secretariat, ungelded,
pounds the cement beneath the sawdust.
As nostrils flare, and head thrashes,
and a large dark eye surveys the intruder.
Unwrapped red and white peppermints,
held in open hand, seduce him,
as does the rotation of the brush on his flank.
The trainer enters and slides the bit
between his teeth.
Guided through the breaking mist of the track,
the rider, seated with thick double reins in hand,
flicks the crop on hind quarters.
With flattened ears and horse head lowered,
he stretches, his left leg extended.
His lungs expand in the cool morning air.
When stride is attained, and his four hoofs breezing,
he dreams of the day when racing is done.
Longing for green lush pastures
in Kentucky, Secretariat yearns for
the sun warm on his back
and a chestnut mare by his side.