Monday, June 13, 2005

Horse of the Year?

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On Saturday, Afleet Alex became only the 18th horse to win both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. He passed 8 horses in the final turn and finished with the fastest quarter mile in the race's history since 1969 (Art and Letters). The 4 3/4 length win in the 137th running of the Belmont brought Afleet Alex's lifetime earnings up to $2,765,800 - not bad for a three year old!
In addition, on Saturday more than $1 million was collected in over 1000 locations around the country (including 30 racetracks) for cancer research through the foundation Alex's Lemonade Stands; a portion of Afleet Alex's winnings goes toward this charity. The lemonade stands were started by Alex Scott of Pennsylvania, who died last year at eight years of age.
Moments after the win, Afleet Alex's jockey, 26 year old Jeremy Rose, publicly stated that he was responsible for Afleet Alex's loss in the Kentucky Derby, where the horse finished third to Giacomo by a length. Rose, who had never set foot on a racetrack prior to 1999, has been absolved of any blame by the horse's trainer, Tim Ritchey.

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