Proud and Tall

6 Comments

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

kmm001
110810

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JadedJezzabel commented on Proud and Tall

11-28-2010

you are a fantastic writer......i saw this race......its a shame...i wanted her to win too

ApaqRasgirl commented on Proud and Tall

11-20-2010

wow, that was truly delightful.....I can remember my dad taking me to the races in kentucky when I was a child....and all the thrill of the excitement even back then.....boy it seems a lifetime ago......wonderful write dear and it read so smooth that I did not even have to pause between lines........great job........and yet another 10++++loves ya asha Namaste

ginga commented on Proud and Tall

11-20-2010

Kevin, Your storyteling and rhyming is impeccable as per your usual. Is there really a Zenyetta race horse that you know of? A poetic moving pic I do declare. I felt like I was in Saratoga, N.Y. ty ginga

kmooney

11/20/2010

Thank you Ginga. Yes there really is a Zenyatta. This historic race took place the weekend before I posted the poem. It was very exciting. She may be the greatest Phillie in history, behind maybe Secretariat. I tried to capture the emotion of the race in my poem. Thanks for reading and commenting...Kevin

kdarcy commented on Proud and Tall

11-20-2010

I find myself feeling as if I was there, knowing or hoping I bet on the both of them. WELL DONE, I'll tear my tickets in half for I wasn't there, I'll grab a cold one on the way out the gate k

Olan01 commented on Proud and Tall

11-10-2010

What a race, what a horse and a great poem. I am saving it to my favorites.

kmooney

11/11/2010

Thanks Olan, my friend. Always appreciate your comments...Kevin.

A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. It finds the thought and the thought finds the words.

Robert Frost (1875-1963) American Poet.

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