Oh she was something, running the boys to ground pole to pole. And this, while her jockey claimed she was not handling the turf all that well.
It came down in the end to a race between her and the long shot winner of the Kentucky Derby, Mine the Bird, a name that still has been puzzled as to what it means syntactically.
Rachel Alexandrea flew from the 13 gate and took the lead, never to relinquish it, though Mine the Bird came from behind to make it a horse race as they say. He could not catch her.
I have a deep love for horses, and have had all my life. My greatest desire was fulfilled some years ago when I bought my own mare, Patty, a lovely sorrel quarter horse. Sorrel is reddish brown in case you don’t know. Her mane and tail were blond, and she had those lovely white legs and star on her forehead. She was a beauty.
Rachel is a favorite name of mine. Some years ago, I wrote a very very long paper on Rachel and her stealing of the household gods of her father when she and Jacob fled his home. I traveled with Rachel as she suffered through years of infertility as her husband fathered child after child with Leah, her sister. She finally had her success in the birth of Joseph and Benjamin.
So, I enjoyed this race immensely for a couple of reasons. One of course, makes some sense, the other, not so much. I am in large part against horse racing and rodeos. Bronc riding is done by causing pain to the animal and frightening it to buck. As to horse racing? Well, it causes the pursuit of a breeding goal that is harmful to the animal. It breeds for long thin legs, big chests with large lungs, the more to run fast and long.
All too often, these animals “break down” a term that means they break legs or damage them, often resulting in their being “put down,” (killed). Those that survive the injuries often can never race again. We have seen the results of this again and again over the years, and it is not pretty.
Add to this the various “doping” scandals, trying to give the animals an unnatural edge, and we can see that the sport looks more to the human needs than to the animal needs of the participants.
So on balance, I don’t think this racing is particularly good, yet I like millions of others are captivated by the beauty and athleticism of these magnificent animals as they speed around the track, throwing caution to the wind in the desire to run.
I don’t know how much the animals understand. If you listen to trainers and jockeys, they understand a lot. They get excited, enjoy the crowds, and have some inborn desire to compete. I don’t know. People who put their dogs in competitions claim their animals “enjoy” the events as well. It may be more like wishful thinking than fact.
But in any event, she did win the darn thing, and I’m pleased she did. I don’t know if they plan to run her in the Belmont. That is a grueling race, longer by a good deal than either the Derby or Preakness. I’ll hold my breath if she runs. One can wonder if she should run and win, how she would have fared in the Derby. Wouldn’t that have been something? A triple crown winner and a girl? Wow. First time in history.
That of course cannot be, and we will never know. It is enough that she won the Preakness, something no filly had done since I believe ’34. My imaginary money is on her to win the Belmont should she run. My hope is that all of them run well and stay healthy. I’m thinking that she and Mine the Bird might make some super fast little fillies and colts. Wouldn’t that be a parentage to be born of?