In honor of the ridiculous influx of baby pictures recently, here’s one from the vault
When 8-year-old mare Maggy Hawk gave birth to her third foal on May 9, 2002, the young mare immediately rejected her colt. In the 12 day interval before a nurse mare could be found, 9-year-old Lauren, daughter of breeder John Silvertand, hand fed the colt milk from an old Coors Lite bottle
This little colt, of course, grew up to be 2005 Preakness/Belmont winner and perennial fan favorite Afleet Alex
Because there should have been no way for him to recover. He was on his knees on the track, with a field of 12 other thoroughbreds going at full speed behind him. No horse is taught how to recover from that
But he got up, and kept going. At this point, he didn’t need to get there first. If he had gotten second to Scrappy T, he would have won the race on a disqualification - that was interference if I ever saw it. But Alex didn’t know that, and he didn’t care. All he knew is that there was a horse in front of him and a race he needed to win
So he did
And that is why Afleet Alex is one of the greatest horses of the past decade
AfleetAlex (left), High Limit (centre), and Scrappy T (right) in the 2005 Preakness Stakes’ final turn, just moments before Afleet Alex would clip heels with Scrappy T (who drifted out to the right), get down on his knees, and win the race - magically.
…and now the field approaching the top of the stretch. Giacomo on the outside is the leader as the field turns for home, but here comes the Preakness winner - Afleet Alex - on his outside! And Southern Africa battles on at the rail - AND AFLEET ALEX JUST RAN RIGHT BY GIACOMO LIKE HE WAS STANDING STILL! Afleet Alex opening up with a tremendous burst of energy! He’s five lengths clear at the eighth pole! Andromeda’s Hero has now moved into second, Southern Africa third, Giacomo has faded, Nolan’s Cat…a compelling, outstanding performance by the plucky Afleet Alex. He won by six or seven lengths.