Sunday, June 12, 2005

Afleet Alex: proud warrior

I know this is a random post, but I've never seen a horse to match the heart of Afleet Alex.

I literally had my breath taken away yesterday...waiting between a wedding and the slow start of its Hyatt reception, I had time to watch the running of the Belmont Stakes. And wow, I don't really have the words to describe this horse! I am still in amazement...

Afleet Alex already had a miracle Preakness, where he was clipped by another horse, fell to his all rights should have fallen and been destroyed...but he kept his feet in some miracle of destiny...and won by 4 3/4 lengths. Watch the tape of that and tell me how he did it? Simply unbelievable.

So, deep inside I was pulling for Afleet Alex in the Belmont. His warrior heart in the Preakness had won my heart, and when he went to the gate in 9th position for the Belmont, my pulse quickened: Could he do it? Only three in a hundred years had won from that start...

Then they were off, and running! And I got a really sick feeling, for it seemed that Afleet Alex was running so poorly. He fell further and further behind in the pack, running far behind with only the far turn and homestretch left...and when I saw there were too many horses for him to make the rail, I felt the race was lost. My heart sunk...

But suddenly, before the far turn, Afleet Alex surged. And there...before my eyes...a miracle run. Incredible. Simply amazing. Afleet Alex ran the fastest, most brilliant closing quarter mile that I've ever seen.

If you didn't see it, believe this: Afleet Alex went from 7th place, back in the pack, with only far turn and homestretch left...and won by 7 lengths, going away.

He couldn't get by on the rail, but didn't need it. He swung to the middle outside on the far turn, passed leading Giacomo like he was standing still, and sprinted to the finish like a proud warrior without peer.

I couldn't believe my eyes. I felt I had witnessed a miracle run -- something so special: a horse made for a moment in time, soaring up to meet destiny...a warrior, noble creature, a king! Really, words can't describe that run.

I just had to salute such a horse with a post: Well done, Afleet Alex, proud warrior, noble soul!

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