Baby Haynes, the orphaned horse who was taken in by a grieving mom, had a storybook start to his life.
Now, two years later, he will try to add a new chapter — if not a book — as he’s set to run in his first race, at Emerald Downs in Auburn on Wednesday afternoon.
His racing name — Myuddermamasapaint — is a perfect fit. That’s because when Baby Haynes was just more than a month old, his mother In Vitro died of colic.
“About a day earlier, one of our friends (in Spokane) had a Paint mare that had just lost her foal, and she was advertising that if anyone needed a nurse mare, ‘I’ve got a mare that just lost its baby,’ ” said Warlock Stables owner Tim Floyd, who owns Myuddermamasapaint. “The mare was full of milk, and a day later was when we lost In Vitro.”
So Myuddermamasapaint, who was born in Enumclaw, was trucked to Floyd’s stable in Spokane to meet his new mother.
To help the Paint mare bond with Myuddermamasapaint, they took some of her milk and rubbed it on the young colt. Some of the mother’s feces were also rubbed on the young horse, “so when she smells it, she thinks it’s her baby,” Floyd said.
Floyd said, “She took to him right away. For the first 24 hours, we would let the baby drink and separate them with a stall wall (for the baby’s safety in case the mare turned on him). Each time we separated them, the mother was getting more and more upset. She wanted to be back with that baby. It was very clear after that 24-hour period, it was, ‘That is my baby, and don’t take it away again.’ ”
A local TV station came to the farm to do a story about the Paint mare and her new Thoroughbred son.
“People were telling me, ‘You ought to think about writing a book,’ ” Floyd said. “I decided to go the children’s book route. I’m adopted myself, so it had a connection to me.”
“Baby Haynes: A True Story About Adoption and Unconditional Love,” written by Floyd, came out in April. It’s full of pictures and tells a short, easy-to-read story of the young horse.
“I knew I had a lot of great pictures, and I just started plugging away,” Floyd said.
Myuddermamasapaint has matured into a big horse, and hopes are high for his racing career. The gelding has a solid pedigree, as father Haynesfield was a racing star on the East Coast and has sired several outstanding horses. In Vitro’s first offspring Verynsky was second in a stakes race at Emerald Downs in 2018. Myuddermamasapaint is her third foal.
“When he was a yearling (1-year-old), everyone thought he was a 2-year-old, because he was a big, strong yearling,” Floyd said. “He’s kind of a playful clown and kind of a goofball, and most of my best runners have been goofballs.”
Myuddermamasapaint has been under the care of trainer Jeff Metz at Emerald Downs for a few months, training toward his debut. His workouts have been outstanding, and he will have Juan Gutierrez aboard in Wednesday’s sixth race.
“He’s one of the biggest 2-year-olds on the grounds, and he’s got a real easygoing personality,” Metz said. “He loves attention in the barn. People come to visit him, and he’s just a ham. Even when he’s out on the track, he loves people looking at him. It’s almost like he knows when the video cameras are out. He’s kind of a gentle giant.”
Metz has had Gutierrez and Gary Wales, last year’s leading jockey at Emerald Downs, ride Myuddermamasapaint during his workouts. Both have given Metz good reports.
“Maybe it was the way he was raised, maybe it’s his predisposed personality, but when the riders are on him, you would think he’s a 3- or 4-year-old and not a 2-year-old who hasn’t run yet,” Metz said. “(The jockeys) say he does everything right, is very professional and has a very long stride.
“The expectations are high, because the workouts have been good. He’s got the size, the looks and the mentality. He has all the key ingredients of a good horse. Now it’s a matter of getting him some race experience.”
Metz said because the horse is so big and has a long stride that he might be better at longer distances than the 6 furlongs he’ll run Wednesday; he is listed at 10-1 odds on the morning line. The ultimate goal for this season would be to race in the $75,000 Gottstein Futurity that is scheduled for Oct. 1 and is at 1 1/16 miles.
Floyd’s thoughts are on Wednesday, when he can finally see how his horse fares against competition.
“It would be an incredible story to have him win his debut, just because of the book,” Floyd said. “It might lead to a second book if he’s a stakes horse and he’s really good.”