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Woody Stephens was one of the greatest thoroughbred horse trainers in the world. His horses won the Kentucky Derby and practically every major stakes race in the United States. But he had never won the Travers. Not until August 1988, when Forty-Niner took rider Chris McCarron and trainer Woody Stephens into the record book.
In August of 1989, at the suggestion of a friend, I went to see Woody Stephens in his box in the clubhouse at Saratoga Race Course. I wanted to show him the poster I had just done and maybe ask him to autograph one for me. More than anything, I really just wanted to meet him — he was legendary. Well, I walked up and introduced myself and showed Mr. Stephens the poster I’d done. He seemed surprised and genuinely pleased. I gave him some copies of the poster and, pressing my luck, asked for and got his autograph. I was like a kid out of school.
I actually got more than I bargained for that afternoon. I also came away with the inspiration for the 1990 poster.
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