On Saturday, the return of Lava Man to the race track (albeit as a mere stable pony for G1 Santa Anita Derby winner I’ll Have Another) was a treat for many folks; hard-knocking horses like him engender deep feelings of affection in fans who often fall in love with “Cinderella” stories and gritty performers. In that context, I was reminded of a film clip I ran across recently from 1939 called “Here Comes Malicious.” Narrated by Joe Hernandez—the “Voice of Santa Anita”—the 10-minute “Turf O’Gram” features marathon specialist Malicious.
A son of Kentucky Derby winner Omar Khayyam, out of the mare Ridicule whose sire was the English St. Leger winning stallion Black Jester, Malicious won only 32 races in 185 starts, and yet is spoken of as being in the revered company of “Exterminator, Phar Lap, Equipoise, Colin, Regret, Black Gold and Lexington.” It’s a fascinating film, with excellent race footage of Malicious coming from far back to not only win a 2-mile race at Tanforan, but doing so in track-record time. There’s also great footage of him in retirement, enjoying fan mail and the delivery of treats from his admirers. All retirees should be so lucky!
You can watch the full film here: http://archive.org/details/PET718_1