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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Love at First Sight

It was a harmless Pick 4 play in mid March 2009 and I was testing out Formulator for the first time. I singled a certain filly in the Fair Grounds Oaks, the first sequence of races that included the New Orleans Handicap, the Mervin Muniz and the Louisiana Derby although I had never seen her before. I think it was the first time I even had bet on a race at the Fair Grounds and it was pouring rain. You know, the stuff gambling disasters are made of. But something happened that afternoon while online with fellow Twitterati ColinsGhost and superterrific. That certain filly crushed the field at 1-5 with a jockey named Borel on board. We all sensed something special that day and were all over Borel for showboating in the stretch. It was the first time I laid eyes on Rachel Alexandra. It's kinda eerie looking back on the "day after" post where I mention the single and was actually more excited about the freight train closing move by Macho Again, a horse Rachel would face, ironically, in the Woodward six months later in the defining moment of her tremendous Horse of the Year campaign. Even Friesen Fire, who would become the Derby favorite a month and a half later, seemed to grab more of the attention that day, as a promising Derby hopeful. But it kept coming back to me, race after race, remembering that performance in the slop in the Fair Grounds Oaks, like when she romped home later in August in the Haskell mud crushing most of the class of the 3yo colt crop.

(Picture courtesy: Brianna Paciorka)

Oddly, I'm kicking myself for not grabbing a signed picture this weekend in State College of her(there were more than a few) when I picked up the Borel/Super Saver one. I guess I thought she had one more left, especially after the spectacular work yesterday. But, when you kick back and think about her 4yo campaign to date. It was time.

This is probably the billionth post on Rachel today (I apologize). Maybe it's because it was before she was loaded on the Jess Jackson showboat and was still running in the colors of former owner Dolphus Morrison for trainer Hal Wiggins. It also made me remember the day Curlin retired, and while many are saddened by her retirement, I'll celebrate her memory by remembering those historic 3yo victories and that day in the mud in New Orleans. I regret that I never actually was fortunate enough to see her in person, but as for that day a year ago in March....

For me, it was love at first sight...

Here's another look at that rainy day in the Big Easy...

1 Comment:

dana said...

I remember that... prior to that race Swifty and I kept seeing her in PPs and wonder who she was. Ha!


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