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More Than Just Horse Play

As Jim McCaulley flips through the pages of a scrapbook he pauses to reflect, almost as if the pages have transported him to another time and place. The League City man, a resident of The Crossings senior living community, spent 16 years in the horse racing business. As the Kentucky Derby is traditionally celebrated on the first Saturday in May, he can’t help but smile and reminisce.

“I certainly wasn’t the Kentucky Derby type,” he smiled. “I was more of what you’d call a small-time guy. But I owned 15 horses over the course of those sixteen years, and I loved every minute of it.”

While none of those horses ever raced at Churchill Downs, each holds a special place in McCaulley’s heart and watching the Derby (and subsequent races encompassing the sport’s “Triple Crown”) each year is a time-honored tradition.

 “My horses raced as nearby as here in Texas and as far away as New Jersey,” he recalled. “They were claiming horses, meaning you go to the track, find a horse you like and make a claim. If you win the claim, you buy the horse.”

 How one becomes involved in horse racing is a question with a thousand answers, all dependent on who you ask. For McCaulley, it started with a good friend.

 “A good buddy of mine had horses and I thought that was pretty neat,” he recalled. “He had a couple for sale so I bought one and wouldn’t you know it, that horse won its next race. I thought, ‘Gee whiz! This is great!’”

Written by Jeff Bell

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MRC The Crossings Senior Living Discovery Arrow, League City, TX