“The Filly Did It!”

May 20th 2009 11:30 pm |

Needless to say, Rachel Alexandra’s victory in the Preakness on Saturday was breathtaking. I watched the race at Delaware Park where a large contingent of attendees were enthusiastically rooting for the big filly. When they showed her in the post parade on the screen in the infield, the crowd cheered.

Image: Rachel Alexandra returns to the stakes barn after winning the Preakness. (hburrussiii)

When she broke to the front going into the first turn, the cheers grew louder. I don’t remember much after that as I found myself rooting as hard as anyone there as she raced down the backstretch. I didn’t realize how much I wanted her to win until she turned for home.

What a day for racing…

If she is physically ready, I would love to see her in the Belmont. On many levels, it would be more exciting then a Triple Crown try. It is a unique historic moment to have a filly with more than a puncher’s chance to take two legs of the Crown. Hard to believe that she could be poised for a sweep if her former owner didn’t have his odd aversion for running a superior filly against the colts. (I am not the only one happy that a gelding and filly have dominated the so-called “stallion” races. What a silly concept.)

Image: A view of the Preakness from Delaware Park

I am taking a week off from doing any research but wanted to share a few comments from last week’s Nellie Morse post.

This one – from an anonymous poster – shows how racing can resonate when all the stars align as they did in Baltimore this past weekend:

“Thank you for this great filly article. I really knew nothing about horseracing, but after seeing the Preakness on Saturday, I wanted to know what the fillys’ name was that won in 1924 and I got a whole lot more to ponder. My Grandmothers name was ‘Nellie’ and that is what interested me to check it out.”

The race on Saturday also had a deep personal (and historical) connection for another reader, who wrote:

“Your Washington Post article about the 1924 Preakness winner was the best one I have read. The photo was even more exciting to me, because the jockey on board Nellie Morse that day would one day be my father. His riding name was John Merimee. Susan”

I must admit that last one sent a chill down my back. Here is another image of Nellie Morse with Susan’s daddy aboard:

Nellie Morse with John Merimee up
(from Trader Clark: Six Decades of Racing Lore published by Thoroughbred Pub., 1991)


Filed in Delaware Park,Merimee, John,Nellie Morse,Preakness, 2009,Rachel Alexandra

One Response to ““The Filly Did It!””

  1. The_Knight_Sky says:

    Colin’s Ghost wrote:(I am not the only one happy that a gelding and filly have dominated the so-called “stallion” races. What a silly concept.)

    Well the gallant gal is not running in the third leg of the “American Stallion Series”.
    Now there’s a suitable acronymn for future use. 😉

    It’s a good thing too. The Asmussen M.O. usually requires a 30-45 days worth of rest for them to fire big. Hearken back and you’ll find Curlin was babied in that fashion right after his sale to Stonestreet.

    Good luck to the gal and hope no one makes an A.S.S. of themselves the rest of the year. 😉