Monday, November 8, 2010

Proud and Tall

The sun was bright,
The mood was light,
Weather conditions seemed just right.
That November 7th afternoon.

The crowd milled around,
Most bets were now down,
The world was watching Church Hill Downs,
The race would begin very soon.

There came the call,
And from each stall,
Marched 14 thoroughbreds proud and tall,
In the Breeder's Cup parade.

In front of them all,
Seventeen hands tall,
Came the mightiest Phillie of them all,
This was Zenyatta's big day.

She was loved and adored,
Had won it before,
Nineteen and 0, just wanting one more,
The five million dollar big prize.

The field this day,
Was by far and away,
One of the best to stand in her way.
Along with a whole world of eyes.

Though she had the name,
The fortune and fame,
Her toughest opponent this day would be Blame,
Her odds to win 8 to 5.

She'd won all her races,
As they all took their places,
The moment's excitement was etched on all faces,
As the anticipated race began.

They opened the gates,
Not a minute too late.
Zenyatta in the middle, out of gate eight.
All 14 thoroughbreds converged.

As the horses broke stride,
She was pinched outside,
Just like she'd been most other times,
She settled in the back of the herd.

Around the first bend,
She brought up the end,
Things didn't look good for the Phillie again,
She's been in this position before.

Down the far stretch,
It seemed she'd never catch,
The rest of the field and her 8 to 5 bets,
She fell even farther behind.

Then as in the past,
She ignited from last,
Caught the tail horse than began her first pass,
She moved up from the outside.

As she made the last turn,
Her legs started to churn,
A crescendo of cheers from the crowd was heard,
As she ran the last stretch in full stride.

Seizing the moment,
She passed each opponent,
Each one a victory, a bit of atonement,
It was deja vu once again.

But there in the lead,
Was that one mighty steed,
The one that odd makers had all agreed,
The one whose confidence was fed.

As Zenyatta drew nearer,
Blame seemed to hear her,
Neither horse gave or showed any fear,
As they pressed for the finish line.

The entire crowd rose,
As all eyes then froze,
Blame broke the line by less than a nose,
The Phillie a photo finish behind.

People seemed stunned,
Weren't sure who had won,
Maybe the greatest horse race ever run,
Decided in one picture frame.

The official call came,
The winner was Blame,
It all seemed surreal, kind of a shame.
No storybook ending this day.

Many asked why,
Her jockey just cried,
It was almost as if Zenyatta had died.
Most folks couldn't believe what they saw.

But what fans will recall,
Was how she gave her all.
Captured the hearts and souls of us all.
That Saturday afternoon in the Fall,
Zenyatta still stood proud and tall.

Copyright © November 2010
Kevin Mooney


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