Thursday, April 30, 2009

Star of the day: Rachel Alexandra

Today was the last day of the Dawn at the Downs works for Derby and Oaks contenders, and as luck should have it, I finally got the chance to see what I have dubbed the new reigning princess of racing, Rachel Alexandra. I now know what all of Louisville has been buzzing about when they say she's been the most impressive horse working out "period" this week.

Rachel went out for a jog around the track, but was so rank and ready to go, her exercise rider gave her a little breeze so she could burn that excess energy. When I say "rank," don't confuse that with a horse who just isn't settling... Rachel is a filly who can't wait to get going, but looks absolutely happy at the same time. When she's given just a little bit of rein, it's like the clouds open and she is allowed to soar.

With that said, I'm officially in love with this filly.

I wish she had been entered in the Kentucky Derby more than ever, but as that's definitely never going to happen, I'll have to concede with the fact she will probably be the most resounding winner of the Kentucky Oaks in the history of the race. If she isn't, then call me Mike Battaglia. Tomorrow, mark my words, she will be wearing the lillies at the end of an easy run.

I went to the Pegasus Parade this afternoon. I promised I would post a picture of me in my hilarious Derby shirt, and here it is, in its equally hilarious splendor.

Me+Derby= Drunk with delirium.

Funny story about the Pegasus Parade... It started surprisingly moving, with a line of veterans atop some proud draft horses. When the horses began their precise march forward, a squadron of bagpipers behind them began to play "My Old Kentucky Home." It was the equivilent of hearing the national anthem sung by angels while looking at the Statue of Libery. I had tears threatening my eyes.

And then the huge white Pegasus balloon was floated down the street, and I waited with anticipation to see how they'd maneuver it around the stop lights... and then they turned it down the street, and kept moving it off the parade route. Naturally, I ran after it with my camera in tow. The wind was so fierce, slamming parade-goers at around 40mph, the mighty Pegasus was wrestled to the ground because it was just too hard to continue leading it down the street. So I found myself with the perfect photo op of the restrained Pegasus being slooooowly deflated, and you saw what resulted.

After waiting for hours for the start of the parade, I was happy to go find a meal while the rest of the parade marched on, convinced I'd just seen the best part of it, anyway. How can you have a Pegasus Parade without a gigantic inflated Pegasus balloon? It was worth it, anyway.

Tomorrow is the Kentucky Oaks, and I am prepared to brave the downpour, even in my dress. I just wish it would begin raining tonight and get it out of its system so the Oaks itself isn't a torrential downpour like last year. Sprinkling is fine, but hurricane rain and wind... not so fun.

Either way, Rachel will sprout her own Pegasus wings and show us why the new kid in town is the best 3-year-old in the country.

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