Me & Rachel – Hero Worship

Everyone should have at least one hero. Whether it be a scientist, fireman, astronaut, sports hero, parent, or the voice of a cause, it’s good to have someone that you hold in such high regard that they can inspire you in profound ways. And if you ever have the chance to meet that special someone in person, it can be an experience that you will happily carry with you for the rest of your life. Yesterday, at Stonestreet Farm, I was not only able to meet my hero, I was able to give her an affectionate, and appreciative kiss on the head.

It had been more than a year since I was close to her, and on that day, it was the business Rachel that I was able to enjoy. The Fleur De Lis was my last Rachel race in person, and her majestic romp through the Churchill Downs stretch was the perfect way to remember the Rachel in which I first fell in love. She was stunning as always and way too powerful and confident, talented and beautiful for her competition on that day. I was in awe, as I had been so many times as one of Rachel’s diehard admirers. But yesterday was different.

Rachel had transformed from superior athlete to a big, sweet, soon-to-be-mom. As the morning unfolded, I saw Rachel in a whole new way. She was still my hero, she was still drop-dead gorgeous, and she was still most certainly my favorite, but now she was no longer Rachel Alexandra the Great, conqueror of the racing world like no other three-year-old filly I have ever seen. She was more approachable, more human, more like a friend.

As Rachel looked at me with those eyes that once had been so full of competitive fire, they now expressed a different story. My heart and my soul were uplifted. Rachel’s eyes were filled with happiness and contentedness. Both more than pleased to be lavished with affection by me and several other Rachel lovers, and looking to be extremely well taken care of, Rachel is a happy horse. Not only was I able to experience a dream day, but I went away feeling content that I now had firsthand knowledge of her life away from the arena which she shined.

On a dreary, damp, and raw day in Kentucky, I smiled for an hour straight. One-by-one, Rachel greeted her fans like a queen … an approachable, friendly queen. As much of a thrill as it was for me to spend quality time with her, I could see the same kind of love from my buddy, Scott Dick, and everyone in the barn. Eight months pregnant, Rachel still glowed like the extraordinary presence that she is. She playfully threw her head a few times, and stuck out that long Rachel tongue, but mostly she just enjoyed the love.

It was a morning I will never forget. She will always be my hero.


























































































































































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Older Comments about Me & Rachel – Hero Worship...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful day And whoever said it was right on about you looking like a kid on Christmas morning
My hero has always been a horse..
Brian --Love your story pictures of Rachel. I too have seen her and I will always be able to carry that with me in a special tucked away part of my heart. Truly she seems happy and very content. God bless her, her baby and Stonestreet.
Brian, I'm so glad you were able to visit Rachel at last and truly feel what those of us on visits before you felt while at Stonestreet. You articulated our feelings and emotions oh so well! "My heart and sould was uplifted. Rachel's eyes were filled with happiness and contentedness." Indeed, they were and so much more. When you're standing beside her and she turns those amazing eyes to you and you know deep down in your soul she's saying hello just to you. She is the Queen of Stonestreet Farms and when you leave, there is no doubt in your mind that she isn't loved and extremely well cared for. Thanks for the article and the wonderful photos!
My hero as well Brian and it was great sharing the 9 am visit with you. You've captured the experience perfectly and it is indeed special to know firsthand of her life as it is now. Stonestreet was genuinely happy to be able to do this for Rachel and for her fans, it meant alot to them.
Tim was definitely with us in spirit, Alice. I hope you all have a wonderful time at WinStar next week!
Wonderful story Brian; so glad such great friends of my Tiz got to experience this day together. I will always treasure my visit with Rachel because my wonderful son Tim chose to share his wonderful day with ME, and that was truly the day I "Got" it!!
What a wonderful day..your great big smile said it all..and Rachel..yes her eyes are so peaceful now..she is doing great and I am so happy for her!
In that 2nd one, she looks just like Rachel the Racehorse. Breath-taking gal.
Those are so beautiful. She is gorgeous as ever. What a sweetheart. I hope I can meet her someday.
Brian, you look like a little kid on Christmas morning!! I'm happy for you that you finally got to spend some quality time with "your Big Girl"! Even having been in retirement all this time - even tho you can clearly see the weight she's picked up, you can still see her racing-muscle definition! And her coat - They must be grooming her every four hrs on the four hrs - she looks absolutely magnificent!! Thanx for sharing your pics!
robin said you went to lanes end.....wish i was there...last time for me was to see alysheba and bet twice
Brian, You have the absolute best pictures I 've seen so far that was taken of her yesterday. She's looking like any mommyto be does at 8 months pregnant, Tired.... So happy to see some up to date pictures of her. she looks great...
I'm so happy for you Brian! And Rachel just looks wonderful!!!!
annmatt-- there are probably several different reasons Zenyatta is not taking visitors right now, and not sure a different location would change that. The fact that she lost the first attempt at pregnancy might have some to do with her not being open to the public. Zenyatta was available to meet while she was racing, it is nice that Rachel Alexandra is now, and that she is doing good. Wish them both the best.
She looks absolutely great, and her 'baby bump' is quite evident! I am envious of all who have made the trip to visit Rachel. She is my hero, too. I think Rachel and Zenyatta are about a month apart as to their due dates! But, I agree on one thing: I wish Zenyatta was anywhere except Lane's End so maybe we visit her in person! I'm hoping after this baby is born, the Mosses re-think her new home! It is just ridiculous that a horse that is so loved and that had such a huge fan following is not available at least in a limited way to let fans get close to her. I know I'm dreaming, but those are my heart-felt sentiments. Love al great things that Dottie and John and the Mosses have given us, but at the top of my bicket list is to kiss Z's sweet nose before I die. Some have seen her on several occasions....I missed several opportunities to se eher before she retired. I do plan to make a trip to the area, and to visit many of the farms that allow visitors. Love WinStar's web cam access they allow with their free and a paid membership! Can see the mares with their foals! Really quite wonderful. Brian, thanks so much for sharing these beautiful photos! They are awesome! Cheers all!
This absolutely made my day...a high hoof to you and Rachel Alexandra the Great!
Went to see, hug & kiss her this past July...she was so tolerant of our doting on her...went away from Stonestreet feeling a wonderful kind of joyousness, so I know how you feel! (Have photos & videos in my page that you would probably enjoy!)
Wouldn't it be something if they could have Zenyatta and Rachel in the same maternity ward? ;-)
<3 too. You really touched me with your article.

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