Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Macho, Macho Man

Isn't he a beauty?? My fondness for grays is well known, but Macho Again is a pure stunner!

So after making a brilliant stretch run at Rachel Alexandra--coming from 15 lengths off the pace--and coming in second by a head, Macho Again is being pointed to the Jockey Gold Cup at Belmont Park in October. It's looking like he'd face Summer Bird and perhaps even Quality Road, so that's a lively race possibility to look forward to. (Photo by Smith for News)

While we're on things to look forward to, it sounds as though (according the the NY Daily News, at least) Rachel will be getting a well-deserved break for the remainder of the year. The lucky girl gets to bunk in at Saratoga until October and it seems unlikely that she'll race again until next year. And if anyone more than earned their keep on Labor Day Weekend, it was Rachel and her team.

Several of the articles about Rachel and her trainer Steve Asmussen noted what a big weekend it was for everyone involved with her, which I thought was great. I can only imagine what a special opportunity it is to work with and have such success with an athlete--be it equine or human. All the racing public loves Rachel for her beauty and her heart and that special something that she just has. Whatever IT is, she's got IT in spades. It's nice to know that her trainers feel that way as well, though. Let's face it, racing thoroughbreds is a business, and it's about money. So it's great to be reminded that the trainers are HUGE fans of their charges as well. To see the emotional reactions of everyone after her amazing win was heartening and perfectly expressed the joy (and let's face it, RELIEF) we all felt Saturday afternoon. Was there ever a better late summer Saturday at Saratoga Springs? I'm doubting it.

If you've not seen this fantastic video by Ernie Munick, please watch it HERE. It's funny and poignant and a real joy to watch.

I was also charmed by this little piece in The Saratogian about some local children and an illustrating contest they'd entered. ThoroFan sponsored the competition to illustrate a book, Girl Power Rachel, written by Bambii Rae. According to Emily Donohue of The Saratogian, the book, with the winning illustrations, will be out this fall and the proceeds will benefit daycare for the children of backstretch workers at Belmont and Saratoga. Hearty congratulations to Anastasia Ivanova for 1st place; Courtney Lynn for 2nd, and Emma Shea for 3rd place finishes out of more than 1400 entries. Well done, girls!!

Also from The Saratogian, Mike Veitch's memories of some special moments from this season's meeting. Read HERE.

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