Here Comes Chindi! Oaklawn's 'Unofficial Ambassador' Honored Sunday - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Here Comes Chindi! Oaklawn’s ‘Unofficial Ambassador’ Honored Sunday

Chindi and trainer Steve Hobby were honored at Oaklawn in 2020

At the age of 26, Chindi is still a familiar face at his favorite racetrack in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The only thing the grey gelding loves more than heading to the racetrack each morning as trainer Steve Hobby's stable pony is heading to the clocker's stand and stretching his head up into the air to beg for peppermints.

On Sunday, Oaklawn Park recognized Chindi with a day in his honor. The millionaire and multiple stakes winner was paraded in the paddock, and Hobby was presented with a plaque in the winner's circle.

Chindi, named after an Indian word meaning “ghost,” grew his fan base at Oaklawn with a dramatic come-from-behind sprinting style and more than 25 starts at the track over his lengthy racing career.

The late announcer Terry Wallace would yell, “Here Comes Chindi!” as he powered down the Oaklawn stretch, winning seven of 25 in Hot Springs and garnering significant fame. Photos of the gelding still grace the walls of multiple local dining establishments.

Over the course of his entire career, Chindi crossed the line first in 18 of his 81 races. His owner, CresRan Farm, tried to retire the El Prado gelding at age 12, but he was unhappy with life in a paddock. Hobby, who trained Chindi throughout his career, brought him back to the track as a stable pony, where he's remained ever since.

“He has become the unofficial ambassador of Oaklawn,” said trainer Ron Moquett. “Chindi is the perfect example of the love and care they get while running and the devotion to their well being once the racing career is over. Though his grey coat has turned white with age, his love and enthusiasm for his job is still there. Every morning he goes to the track with every set, and with great regularity for more than 23 years you still hear people say, 'Here Comes Chindi!'”

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