I have just been saddened to learn of Farma Way's untimely death. While he never acheived the ranks of greatness, this fine horse has always held a special place in my heart. Lightly raced at two and three, Farma Way proved himself to be a top class horse as a four year old, winning five graded stakes races and earning well over two million dollars.
In winning the 1991 Santa Anita Handicap he defeated a field which included Festin, future Eclipse Award winner Pleasant Tap, and In Excess. He won the San Antonio Handicap, the San Pasqual Handicap, and the San Carlos Handicap, all grade II events. He was only beaten a neck in the Hollywood Gold Cup, running second to Marquetry with turf champion Itsallgreektome third.
It was in the Pimlico Special, however, that Farma Way earned his rank as one of my favorites. I was enjoying an unscheduled road trip, and found myself about six hours from home with an empty gas tank and no wallet. I was a student at the time, and, as my parents were out of town, there wasn't anyone I could call for a rescue. So, full of teenage wisdom, I took my last two dollars, all in change, to the nearest simulcast location.
I had great faith in the dark bay son of Marfa that day. His west coast campaign had been brilliant, and all he had to do at Pimlico was beat a field that included two classic winners, Summer Squall and Unbridled, as well as the highly regarded Jolie's Halo, who had wintered in Florida, winning the Donn and Gulfstream Park Handicaps.
Farma Way rewarded me for my support, soundly beating Summer Squall and setting a new track record of 1:52 2/5 for a mile and three sixteenths. The time equalled the American record. It was a performance I will never forget. Now with gas money, if not a wallet, I returned home.
When he retired, Farma Way had earned $2,897,175, not including my gas money, and had six stakes wins to his credit. He also ran second to Horse of the Year Black Tie Affair in the Philip H. Iselin Handicap, beaten only a neck, and finished second behind In Excess in the Woodward Stakes. While it was Black Tie Affair who carried home the Horse of the Year trophy that year, Farma Way had certainly proven himself to be one of the top older horses in the country that year.
|Marfa||Foolish Pleasure||What a Pleasure||Bold Ruler by Nasrullah|
|Grey Flight by Mahmoud|
|Fool-Me-Not||Tom Fool by Menow|
|Cuadrilla by Tourbillon|
|Gray Matter||Stratmat||Lochinvar by Case Ace|
|Elsewhere by Alibhai|
|Songcraft||Endeavour II by British Empire|
|Singing Witch by Royal Minstrel|
|Fine Tribute||Diplomat Way||Nashua||Nasrullah by Nearco|
|Segula by Johnstown|
|Jandy||Princequillo by Prince Rose|
|Centenary by Ksar|
|Royal Spirit||Royal Gem II||Dhoti by Dastur|
|French Gem by Beau Fils|
|En Casserole||War Relic by Man o' War|
|Beanie M. by Black Toney|
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