Saving a winner at the end of a racing life

Have you ever stumbled on a random Internet forum and gotten swept up in a discussion so intriguing you can't click the page away?

That's what happened to me a few months ago on Alex Brown Racing and Fans of Barbaro, a Web site devoted to saving ex-race horses and ending horse slaughter. One of the regular forum participants was a York County woman with limited income who had her eye (and heart) on a Pennsylvania Thoroughbred. Watching his fortunes fade at the track - and his vet bills mount - she felt sure she would be able to convince the owner to let her have him at a discount price.

But, try as she might, she got nowhere. She reported her efforts regularly to members of the forum who chimed in with words of encouragement and offers of support. She wasn't giving up. It was like watching a soap opera unfolding before me. How was this story going to end? 

I'll let York Dispatch columnist Larry Hicks tell you how the tale of Amanda Smith and Pay Attention turned out: