"Easy, easy, boy," Nick said soothingly to the massive, nearly black colt beneath him, but the colt still pranced around with his neck bowed, waiting for his turn to go out onto the training track. It was a cool morning, and the colt's hot breaths were blown out in misty streams, making him look even more majestic. The colt stomped his white stockinged foot, and tossed his head impatiently, flashing his crooked blaze.
Nick chuckled at the colt's impatient attitude to get out and run, it had only been two years ago, when he came into the barn and saw the fiery, young colt as just a foal. As soon as Nick had seen the young foal he'd liked him immediately, and ever since them a bond stronger than steel had been forged. Nick had been the one to break the colt to a halter, to wean him, to saddle him, and eventually ride him. Next he would ride the colt in his first race.
"Ok, Midnight, go on." Nick clucked to the colt gently nudging him onto the track, Midnight, all but leaped onto the track when told he could go. Midnight's full name was Midnight Hour, mainly due to his deep, dark color, since to an untrained eye, a person could mistake for being black.
Nick let the eager colt out into a jog, and had been given instructions to let him go at that pace for half a mile, the gallop him one full lap, then when on his second lap he would breeze the colt from the three eighths poll to the finish, the gallop out an extra furlong. While going over the instructions in his head Nick settled into the long smooth stride of the colts jog. When the reached the half mile marker, Nick leaned over slightly letting Midnight lengthen his stride, moving into a powerful gallop.
Time seemed to pass all to quickly, as the the first lap of the gallop came to an end, and now both horse and rider awaited the three eighths poll. As the time approached, Midnight bowed his head, leaning into the bit, anticipating the moment his rider would loosen his grip. Nick started counting strides down to the marker, "Only a few more boy. Three, two , one, now!" The loosened his grip on the reins and his riders voice was all the encouragement he needed, and Midnight sprang forward, lengthening his long, powerful, ground eating strides.
He and Nick melted into to one, as they powered forward getting faster with each and every stride. Nick listen to the thundering rhythm of the colt's drumming hoof beats. He felt the colts mane whipping back onto his face, but he didn't care, he and Midnight had become one, moving in perfect harmony.
All too soon the finish line flew by, and Nick stood up, easing the colt into a slower pace. The colt reluctantly slowed until he reached a light jog. When the team reached the gap, Nick could see the smiles on his parents faces. When Nick dismounted, Brad, Nick's father told Nick to give Midnight to one of the grooms, and to come with him, to his office.
"So," Nick began hesitantly, "What did you think?"
Brad looked up at Nick with a smile on his face, "He went three furlongs in 35 and 4/5, and did it with ease." Brad paused briefly, before speaking again, "And we think he is ready for his first race."
After hearing those words Nick could hardly hear anything else his father said. All he could remember was that the race would be on a Sept 10, a Friday, that it would be at Saratoga, and would be a six and a half furlong maiden. The one thing that kept repeating, though was that he would be the one to ride him, the one to ride him in his very first race, which was only four days away.
Later tonight, watch out for Part Two of Midnight Hour's first race.....