The day he was born, the doctor told his mother he would not live through the night. He had come into this world weighing only one pound, 13 ounces. It was 1931 in rural Texas, and there were no incubators to be found. Still, his grandmother had hope for his survival. She placed him in a shoebox, turned her oven on and placed the box on the open oven door. It was here that he would defy the odds. Not only did he survive, but he would spend the rest of his life going places where no one had gone before. Bill Shoemaker would climb aboard the backs of 40,350 different horses during his forty-plus years of horseracing. He would visit the winner’s circle 8,833 times including 11 Triple Crown races, and his mounts would earn an astounding sun of 123 million dollars in purses. A good friend of mine named Roy Davis both owned and loved horses. He also knew how to bet them. Roy once attended a charity event in Oklahoma City, and the guest speaker was none other than Bill Shoemaker. A reporter from the local media, who was not very knowledgeable about the sport of horseracing, confused Spectacular Bid with the great Triple Crown winner, Secretariat. This reporter assumed that Shoemaker had ridden Secretariat and asked Shoemaker what he remembered most about Secretariat. Shoemaker thought for a minute and his answer was priceless. “The thing I remember most about Secretariat,” said “Shoe,” “was that she had the smallest rear-end of any horse I had ever seen, and the longer I chased her, the smaller it got.” Roy said, “Shoemaker’s answer brought the house down with laughter and made the reporter red in the face.