| Quote #1
We were parted that day in the terrible hubbub of the auction ring and I was never to see [my mother] again. (1.2)
This is the first of many abandonments that Joey will experience throughout this tear-jerker of a novel. You might think that being ripped away from his mother would result in lifelong trauma, but he gets over it pretty quickly. Guess horses are pretty resilient.
| Quote #2
"I'll promise you another thing, Albert: if I have to lose that bet, then [Joey] has to go." (2.9)
Albert proves early on that he won't abandon Joey when the going gets rough. He devotes every spare moment of his time to keeping Joey from being taken away from his first family.
| Quote #3
"They'll look after you—they promised they would. And I need the money, Joey; I need the money bad." (3.11)
What Albert's dad does is the only instance of purposeful, heartless abandonment. He treats Joey not as family, but as property, selling him for a few bucks.