Sport: Before the Big One

"If my horse doesn't win this race," said white-haired Clifford Mooers with a grin, "my face will be as long as that post. I'm not a very good loser." Then Cliff Mooers climbed to his box in the stone grandstand at Keeneland track. The odds board showed that his horse, a long-barreled chestnut named Old Rockport, was 4-5 to win the $20,000 Blue Grass Stakes, his last big test race before the Kentucky Derby.

In his 59 years, crinkle-eyed Texan Cliff Mooers has collected a wide assortment of animals ranging from Alaskan huskies (he was...

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