September 4, 2009

The Rachel Diaries - Day 3

Question - What do you get when you mix the Perfect Storm, A frightened toddler, and Alice Cooper? Why, our day at Niagara Falls of course. We pulled on our fashionable, blue Maid of the Mist rain ponchos and without hesitation, confidently strode on the sea-worthy vessel for some Falls gazing. OK, the fact that this rain gear, happily handed out by the smiling older gentleman at the Mist’s last checkpoint, covered our entire bodies should have been clue enough, but I still thought I was taking my small family on a tranquil little cruise to take a closer look at the Falls. A light spritzing of water would be pleasant on this Summer day I remember thinking in my tourist haze. Ten minutes later, all hell had broken loose. We were right in the middle of what could only be called a monsoon. Water was everywhere, our little Kendra thought that this was the end of her short life and as I looked over to my wife, I thought,” since when did I marry Alice Cooper?” Mascara running everywhere, I heard someone yell, “Batten down the hatches,” I think it was me. Amidst this flurry of activity, I could not help to think that Falls looked especially beautiful from ten feet away. Thank God for the calm after the storm.

Rachel Alexandra is so close to wrapping up the 2009 Horse-of-the-Year award that her followers can taste it. So what, you say. Quick…who was the last 3-year-old filly to be named Horse-of-the-Year? I’ll wait while you mull that one over. Ruffian, Genuine Risk, Go For Wand? No, no, and no. The answer is Busher, who was three years old in the year 1945. It has been 64 years since the most coveted award in American racing has been bestowed on a filly of three.

In 1944 Busher was the juvenile filly champion and she proved to be even better the following year. In 13 starts, Busher won 10 races, with 2 seconds, and a third. But her fine record of 1945 only tells part of the story. Like Rachel Alexandra, Busher was too good to run against only her peers. Against her own age set, she won against fillies in the Cleopatra and Santa Susana and she defeated colts in the San Vincente and Hollywood Derby. Against older fillies and mares she won the Santa Margarita and Vanity Handicap and Busher was at her very best when she beat the older men in the Arlington Handicap and the Washington Park Handicap. In the midst of all these stakes wins, Busher even found time to defeat her rival, 4-year-old Durazna, in a match race. No filly since Busher has been able to do enough. Clearly it takes a great campaign for a 3-year-old filly to be the ultimate champion.

64 years is an awful long time. I would say the 3-year-old filly division is more than due to take home racing’s biggest honor. Rachel is ready to emulate the great Busher. With a win tomorrow in the prestigious Woodward Stakes, Rachel Alexandra will not just be knocking at the door of Horse-of-the-Year, she’ll be kicking it in.


NetworkEmpowerment said...

Ok, now i'm really feeling the nerves, Do i think she can pull it off, yes, but with a target on her back it won't be easy. I just hope Calvin takes care of her and gives her a good clean safe trip, that could turn into a winning one. GO RACHEL!!!

Luvbarbaro said...

I'm also feeling the nerves! I want her to win so badly, but I also want her to be safe more than anything. I was given "virtual valium" yesterday by Ernie, I was starting to get very stressed. :>)

I loved the Alice Cooper bit - Ha!

Brian Zipse said...

Calm yourself ladies...
"Don't worry about a thing
Cause every little thing gonna be all right."
... In Rachel We Trust !!!

Unknown said...


NetworkEmpowerment said...

Hey, your telling me, Brian, that by post time you wont be a basket case? I'm mad, cause i have to work, but when i watch the replay, you can bet i'll be as jittery as a junebug. I love the song lyrics, nice touch.