Rags To Riches

I was genuinely moved on Saturday evening while watching a horse race. Yes, your read that correctly, a horse race. I was impressed while watching the 139th Belmont Stakes on Saturday, the mile-and-a-half race that makes up the last leg of horse racing’s triple crown, because for the first time in 102 years a female horse (a filly) beat all of the men. And she did it with style. The horse was named “Rags to Riches” and she was renowned as the best female racing horse in the world. But no female horse had beaten the men in 102 years at the Belmont Stakes and only a handful of female horses have ever tried. Notwithstanding being a beautiful horse, she was an underdog and even stumbled out of the starting block, causing most to instantly believe that she was out of her league. Throughout the race she was on the outside, causing her to have to run even faster than those on the inside just to keep up with the leading pack. In the home stretch, however, two horses broke free, Curlin and Rags to Riches. At that point I found myself cheering for the filly as the horses were neck and neck. Curlin would inch forward and the filly would storm back to take the lead by a nose. Then Curlin would inch forward again, followed by Rags to Riches giving it all she had to barely inch back into the lead. And that is how they crossed the wire – with Rags to Riches winning by milliseconds. 

I was moved and I’m not even an equine lover. But what I saw during the race was an expression of courage, strength and heart. She dug down deep and pulled off a huge upset. Congratulations Rags to Riches, a great athlete. You showed the world that you can run with the boys and that anything is possible if you want it bad enough. I know she made a believer out of me. (Click here for the NYT article.) 


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