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California man overjoys Kentucky Race Commission with a 're-distribution of happiness'

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Posted at 7:24 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 19:42:53-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — If you’re one of those people who believe the things that happen to us on a daily basis are purely coincidental, you’re going to have a hard time convincing Marc Guilfoil of that. Especially after the piece of mail he received just the other day.

"Normally, when we get something like this I think of sending it to the Keeneland Library, or Churchill Downs, the Derby Museum. But this one is staying right here!” Guilfoil said from his office at the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

A few feet from his office is the site where Man O’ War was laid to rest. The great thoroughbred won 20 of his 21 career races and sired several champions including Triple Crown winner, War Admiral. So when a 93-year-old man from California saw a postcard from 1938 with Man O’ War pictured on the front, he felt the need to buy it and send it “home.”

“Too much misery in the world. Might as well make someone happy,” said Lowell Joerg from his assisted living facility in California.

Joerg has a retirement hobby that he calls, a “re-distribution of happiness.” He finds things at antique stores, or wherever he might be, and sends them to people, or places he feels will most benefit from having the item. As he said, the Man O’ War postcard was “a direct hit,” given he had no idea the thoroughbred was buried near the Commission’s office.

“It just floored me that somebody would take their time to do something like this,” Guilfoil said.

There’s another part of this story that’ll floor most anyone who continues reading. Pictured on the postcard with Man O’ War is his handler.

“We have a gentleman on the racing commission, Greg Harbut. That’s his great grandfather,” Guilfoil said of the man pictured with Man O’ War.

That’s one reason why Mr. Guilfoil doesn’t really believe much in coincidence.

“Things happen for a reason,” he said while explaining why that postcard found its way to his office.

Guilfoil said he will have the postcard, along with Mr. Jeorg’s letter framed and on display in a prominent area of the office, and that his staff will be sending Jeorg a very thoughtful gift as a gesture of gratitude.

“He accomplished what he set out to do,” Guilfoil said of Mr. Jeorg’s desire to “re-distribute happiness.”