Sunday, May 28

The Middle Jewel

"Dreamer is the story of a young girl, Cale (Dakota Fanning), who longs for a close relationship with her adored father. Ben Crane (Kurt Russell), Cale's father is a great horseman who sacrifices everything to save an injured racehorse, Sonador (called Sonya - means "dreamer" in Spanish). Sonya's bright future on the racetrack is suddenly cut short by a career-ending broken leg. Out of love for Cale, Ben rescues Sonya from euthanasia and takes the horse as severance pay on the day he loses his job. With unstoppable faith and determination, Cale unites two damaged souls, the father she adores and the horse she loves. Together they surmount great hurdles, both physical and emotional, to compete in the Breeders' Cup Classic, turning broken dreams into a miraculous, many-faceted victory."... I was skeptical of course when i rented the movie because of the premise. "Another Seasbiscuittt" i thought, but the skepticism all but faded away when the movie started. Good movie...

The movie was loosely based on the only horse in history to ever come back from a severe injury to win all three stakes races in its age class. Mariah's Storm her name. Mariah was the heavy odds on favorite leading up to the 1993 Breeders Cup when she suddenly fractured a left front cannon bone in the Alcibiades Stakes. An injury that should have ended her career, but the owners loved her so much they decided not to put her down. But the question remained whether she was going to race again.

The following year when her injury had finally healed she won the Arlington Heights Oaks, the Arlington Matron Handicap and the Turfway Breeder's Cup. An unprecedented achievement that earned her, her own Stakes race, the Mariah's Storm Stakes in Arlington Park. This feat as you can imagine earned her an instant legendary status. As legendary as such names like Seabiscuit, 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo (the longshot 50-1 odds to win) and War Emblem winner of the 2002 Derby and Preakness Stakes. He probably would have won the Belmont Stakes and the most sought after triple crown if he hadn't stumbled out of the gates quickly sending him into last place. But if you remember that race, he roared into the lead in the last turn only to run out of gas having spent all his energy making up for the lost ground.

Undefeated Barbaro winner of the 2006 Kentucky Derby by 6 1/2 lengths, largest since Assault in 1946 was poised and odds on favorite to win the Preakness and perhaps had the best chance for a triple crown since War Emblem, suffered the same fate as Mariah's Storm and Sonador. His injury is quite similar but more severe to Mariah's, a fractured canon sesamoid and the long pastern bone, which was shattered into 20 pieces. Not life threatening but definitely and unfortunately career ending... Even though i don't follow horse racing closely, when i get the chance, i watch the Stakes Races, "The Sport of Kings" they call it. This year specifically i wanted to watch the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel of the triple corwn because of Barbaro. With his astonishing win in the Derby, he was the heavy favorite. As i sat there patiently awaiting the start of the race, Barbaro they said was uncharacteristically not himself. There apparently was something amiss. Then, as if to culminate everything that was wrong with Barbaro, he busted through the gates before the start, yet another foreboding to what was to come out of the race for the favored Colt... Barbaro took a bad step shattering bones in his right hind leg. I grimaced as i watched the replays. Edgar Prado being the veteran jockey that he is, immediately recognized Barbaros pain, stopped the race. It was a doleful site.

Bernardino, although overshadowed by Barbaros' injury ( suffered a minor injury himself), went on to win the race. There would be no comeback for Barbaro, not with such an injury. In consequence, this year's Belmont Stakes will be without the Derby and Preakness winner. A history first...

1 Comments:

At 12:40 PM, Blogger zenmasta said...

I cried man. When Barbaro pulled up and when Seabiscuit pulled up. Something about horses gets me. They had me at hello...

 

Post a Comment

<< Home