Tuesday, April 23, 2019

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2009 was the year of the Ox; but in sports, 2009 was definitely the year of the Horse.

The #5 sports moment of 2009 goes to the winners of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness because the races were ones for the record books.

The Kentucky Derby

The legendary horse race that kicks off the season and the first leg of the coveted Triple Crown, was eagerly anticipated just like it always is. The ladies decked out in their Sunday best with big hats and the men wore their dapper suits and smoke cigars.  Pioneer of the Nile was projected to win and was ahead of the pack going into the final leg until…..

Out of nowhere, first-timer Mine That Bird came racing up against the rails. Mine that Bird, a 50-1 longshot took down Pioneer and won the Kentucky Derby to the complete astonishment of the racing world.

“He took the lead so fast after the final turn that NBC Sports race announcer Tom Durkin didn’t notice that the gelding took the lead until it had a three-length opening ahead of the pack. Mine That Bird had the longest margin of victory in over 60 years, and was the longest-odds horse to win the Derby in over 85 years” From Wikipedia

The Preakness

Flash ahead a few weeks later. Mine That Bird is all set to race to win the Triple Crown and the world was holding their breath in eager anticipation. What a wonderful underdog, come-from-behind story that would be! A horse racing story for the ages!

And it was! The 2009 Preakness definitely became a horse racing story for the ages It was an amazing underdog, come-from-behind, unknown-little-guy-wins-it-all story! Or rather….unknown little-gal-wins-it-all.

Rachel Alexandra became the first filly to take on all the boys of the Preakness and win since 1924! She even bested Mine that Bird by 3/4 length and dashed his hopes of the Triple Crown.

Another crazy thing about the races is that the jockey who rode Mine that Bird in the Derby, Calvin Borel, was the jockey for Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness. He’s the first jockey to win two legs of the Triple Crown by riding two different horses!

Prior to the Preakness, Borel told interviewers that Rachel was going to win and that he believed she was the best horse in the country.

The videos I selected are really long and i apologize for that. But it tells the tale of Mine that Bird and Rachel Alexandra and how they came to win.

About the author: Jennifer Taglione is the owner of this fabulous website Stiletto Sports. Despite writing well over 500 posts, she still maintains that she is not a sports writer! She is however a huge fan of Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Mark Sanchez, the Celtics, and totally kicks butt on March Madness brackets! Connect with her by following her on Twitter @StilettoSportsJ and subscribing to her weekly newsletter. For more info check out the About the Editor page!

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