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This One Photograph Packs an Historic Punch!

exhibition headley whitney miss oceana swale twelve off woody stevens

At the Tony Leonard Collection we love this photograph, so much so we put it in our current Exhibition.  It's not only extremely cool, titled 'Twelve Off' for a reason, it also has a story behind it that as horse fans we couldn't get enough of!  Thanks to this article from the Ocala Star-Banner we can bring it to you.  One of our favorite things about it is that Woody went on to win the Derby with Swale the next day, who Tony followed all the way to the Belmont in what would turn out to be his last race and forever iconize him as a beloved horse in racing fans hearts.

Kentucky Oaks Tony Leonard
Twelve Off by Tony Leonard, 1984

Ocala Star-Banner- May 5, 1984:

Louisville, KY. (AP)--Jockey Angel Cordero Jr.'s instructions were to let Lucky Lucky Lucky "do whatever she wanted to do."  What she wanted to do in the $173,400 Kentucky Oaks for 3-year-old fillies Friday at Churchill Downs was win.

Leading most of the way, Lucky Lucky Lucky surrendered the lead to My Darling One with one-eighth mile to go, quickly regained it and then barely withstood a furious closing drive by Miss Oceana for a nose victory.

"At the quarter-pole, the other filly (My Darling One) made a very strong move and passed my filly, bust she came back again," Cordero said.  "She was very, very brave today."

The flamboyant and often controversial jockey also said that the narrow victory over Miss Oceana was his wedding present to trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who was married Tuesday night in Lexington, KY.

The Victory started on a successful not what Lukas hopes will be a tremendous weekend.  He will try to win the Kentucky Derby Saturday with the fillies Althea and Life's Magic.

Miss Oceana's loses was another disappointment for trainer Woody Stephens, who has had a physically hard and frustrating spring and winter.  He will try to win the Derby with Swale, while his "superhorse," Devil's Bag, remains in the barn because Stephens felt he had not proven he could go 1 1/4 miles.

Kentucky Derby 1984 Swale Tony Leonard
Swale with Woody Stephens after winning the 1984 Kentucky Derby by Tony Leonard

Stephens, who is in a Louisville hospital recuperating from pneumonia, did get a pass to attend the Oaks.

It was Lucky Lucky Lucky's first victory in three starts this year and it was a beauty.

She won by a nose over Miss Oceana with My Darling One another half-length back.  My Darling One was 12 1/2 lengths ahead of Shamrock Boat.  Lucky Lucky Lucky, owned by Leslie Combs II and Equites Stable, raced the 1 1/2 miles on a good track in 1:51 4-5 and paid $14, $4.40 and $2.40.

Newstead Farms' Miss Oceana returned $3 and $2.20, while Dolly Green's My Darling One was $2.20 to show.

The excitement began even before the gate opened when My Darling One unseated jockey Chris McCarron, who immediately remounted.

Then at the break, Enumerating, ridden by Don Broomfield, and Miss Oceana, ridden by Eddie Maple, collided.

Cordero shot Lucky Lucky Lucky into the lead and she led the six-horse field into the clubhouse turn.  My Darling One was s second followed by Shamrock Boat.

They ran that way around the turn and halfway down the backstretch before Enumerating replaced My Darling One in second place.

However, My Darling One reclaimed second with one-half mile to go and moved to challenge Lucky Lucky Lucky.

They ran in close quarters around the turn and then into the home stretch almost as one.

 



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