Where were you last weekend when a long-legged Thoroughbred known as the Pharaoh made history?
Mark and I were enjoying a dinner out, when suddenly the pieces clinked into place in my brain. "Babe!" I exclaimed, "It's Belmont Day!" Immediately, I abandoned my meal and craned my neck, looking for the nearest TV monitor showing the event. A lady at another table overheard my remark...and before we knew it, the entire restaurant had ceased in its customary activities. Instead, patrons and servers alike were affixed to the screens, awaiting the gate bell and cry of "And they're off!"
Perched on my knees and clutching the back of the booth, I bounced on the cushion like a little girl. My heartbeat spiked when American Pharaoh took the lead, not unlike his predecessor Secretariat in 1973. So many jockeys had attempted that course of action and paid the price, spending their horses' energy and power too soon. Yet Espinoza urged the Pharaoh to the front, where he led a clustered pack of raw horsepower, leather, and muscle at a breakneck speed.
Could he keep it up?
Around the last turn they came, flying hooves and flinging dirt clods. "He's got it babe!" Mark cried. A man at another table exclaimed "Almost there, almost there." But I saw something just on the inside of the rail: another horse peeling past the others, it's panting muzzle headed straight for an opening on the rail. Not again, I thought as my hopes waned.
Yet Espinoza saw it too, and before the other horse could even reach the opening, American Pharaoh's rump had closed it. My lips parted in the beginnings of a smile, and for the first time I thought: Oh my Lord, he's going to win it.
"He's got it! He's got it! He's got it!" As one, the restaurant-goers began to shout, pound their tabletops, and cheer. The horse named for ancient kings began to leave the others behind. The wire flashed by and, in that infinitesimal instant, history was made. Everyone burst into applause, grins on each face, as if it were our own victory.
After 37 years, a racehorse finally accomplished a feat that many were beginning to deem impossible. Yet American Pharaoh proved that a horse with heart and power could still achieve that illusive goal: the coveted Triple Crown.
In honor of that monumental win, I decided to put together a few Triple Crown inspired mood boards. I've always loved equestrian style and decided that adding a little leather and plaid to Patina & Purl today wouldn't hurt.
Did you miss the race? Here's a clip of the amazing run. I still get chills watching it!
video source: Youtube
image sources: Pinterest