Photo: Jody Lawrence
By Jody Lawrence, HRN Contributor
After I left the tattoo parlor the other day, sporting my new Rachel Alexandra ink, I stopped by my Mom’s on the way home. Her words were “Jody, that doesn’t surprise me” and honestly I knew it wouldn’t. She currently has pictures of Rachel and I together, hanging on her living room wall. She has an idea of what this horse means to me.
We all have our favorites. The legends of the past of course,
Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Rags to Riches, just to name a few, and they will always hold a special place in our hearts.
But I think each of us also has “the one.” The one that for some
reason, means something a little different. For many, of the current
day horses, it’s most deservedly Zenyatta or Black Caviar. Not taking anything away from those two (I am a huge fan of both) my special favorite is Rachel Alexandra.
She is the one that I found myself worrying about, whether she was
in training, racing or foaling for the first time. She is the one I cried over during both wins and losses. Watching reruns of the Preakness and especially the Woodward gets me every time… to this day. Neither race was given to her, she won on pure heart and courage, ridden by jockey Calvin Borel, who believed in her, as much as she believed in herself.
That fall day in October last year when I actually got the chance to
meet Rachel, was a memory I will hold forever. When I stepped out of the Stonestreet Farm shuttle van to the barn (it was raining that day) they had her standing in the middle of the barn aisle. I just stopped about ten feet from her and cried for a minute...so overwhelmed was I at just being in her company. My friend who accompanied me, put his arm around me and said “It’s ok, you’re really here, let’s go meet her”
and we did. That wasn’t the first time I cried that day. I spoke to her
softly, petted her, told her how proud I was of her…and how much, I
Then came time for her to foal, her first son, of Curlin. I don’t know
the number of countless times I got up during the night, at the time
she was due, just to check online, not only to see if the miracle had
happened, but more importantly…to see if she was all right.
So when the idea came to me of getting a thoroughbred tattooed on
my arm, it was a no brainer. They say beauty is skin deep, for RachelAlexandra, I took it personally and with pride.