Ok. I haven't said much about Rachel Alexandra and the Preakness leading up to today, partly because I did not want to weigh in on the drama, because Whits is not fond of drama. The fact that the connection change, entry blocking drama was very reminiscent of something the Big Brown camp was capable of, I decided I really wanted to stay away from it, seeing as that kind of shenanigans ruined Big Brown for me.
Also? I am always the person who hates people that put horses up on pedestals before they have earned it. To this day I cringe when I think of the cover of the Blood-Horse when Cigar was pictured alongside the statues of Man O War and Secretariat. It was unforgivable, as he hadn't earned it. And I am going to try very hard not to see Rachel Alexandra as the next great filly of our generation until she's proven she is.
But I have fallen so head over heels for her, I can't be objective. I've watched her with fascination leading up to the Oaks, but that 20 1/4 margin was the greatest performance I have ever seen in my lifetime. I don't care that the field was lackluster. Does that really matter, when a horse does what she did? Not since Serena have I fallen this hard for a filly, and as far as I'm concerned Serena can walk on water.
Therefore, I can't even begin to offer a meaningful handicap of the Preakness. But I am looking forward to it more than I've looked forward to a race in years, maybe ever, although with that excitement there is also apprehension. It got to a point where I couldn't even watch Serena's races anymore; I was so terrified something might happen. I feel the same here, even though I don't really think anything will. This race is monumental to me, and hearing D. Wayne Lukas, who has two starters today, say quite candidly that if she gets to the first turn without problems the race is probably over, only further reinforces how good I - how good a lot of people - think she is.
I almost feel bad, because I want to root for the Derby winner. I want to root for Pioneerof the Nile, and I even want to root for Terrain, who is one of my kids from Keeneland. But with that filly there I don't really think I'll even notice them. This is a bad case of hero worship, and I've got so many stars in my eyes it's a little hard to see, but that's what I love so much about racing. Things like this happen. Horses come along who inspire you, wake up your imagination and astound you with how stunning, graceful, and fast they are. "Thou shalt fly without wings." Rachel, you go girl.