By 5 p.m. today, I plan to have my dress on, stilettos strapped and some ridiculously ugly hat on â€¦ and Iâ€™ll likely have no place to go.
I will, however, be ready for horse racingÂ history to be made.
Zenyatta, the first and only filly or mare (female horses) to win the $5 million Breeders’ Cup will be running her last race before retirement. (Yes that means a horse won more in 2 minutes than most pro-ballers make in a year.)Â
Not only her last race will happen on Saturday, but her last win if all goes correctly. Her record currently stands at 19-0.
So, if youâ€™re not a fan of horses or horse racing why should you care?
Well, you really donâ€™t have to. But why does anyone care about any sport, anyway?
For one, competitions are fun to watch. We root for someone to win (more often than not the underdog) and it makes us feel good when they do. But in Zenyattaâ€™s race, as a girl, I particularly root for her to win.
See, she has routinely beaten not only the other horses in every race sheâ€™s won but sheâ€™s beaten the boys. Even in the Kentucky Derby Ââ€“ the most well-known of all horse races although not the richest â€“ only a handful of girls have won.
Zenyatta is the story of a fellow girl (albeit one with four legs) who has gone up against the boys and beaten the pants off â€˜em every time, even when the odds are stacked against her.
Physically and mentally, the male (studs or geldings) horses tend to tower over the fillies in racing. But, Zenyattaâ€™s record isnâ€™t the only thing that stands out about her.
At 17-hands, Zenyattaâ€™s grace and beauty is incomparable. She towers over her competition and her sheer size rivals that of Secretariat.
Speaking of Secretariat and getting back to why this Saturdayâ€™s race is important: Zenyatta is somewhat the Secretariat of my generation. Even the most non-involved person with horse racing knows who Secretariat is and is aware (if not only subtly) of the reverberations that went out around the world the day he won the third leg of the Triple Crown. Think, of the cry, â€œHeâ€™s a tremendous maaaccchhinnneeeâ€¦..â€ or the Time Magazine cover of the big beautiful â€œRed.â€
Well, if, erâ€¦I mean whenZenyatta wins her second back-to-back Breederâ€™s Cup and sets a career record of 20-0, she will likely do it in true Zenyatta style: Coming from the back to pull out a win in the nick of time, and although she likely has the speed and endurance left to do so, not pulling out too far ahead. She doesnâ€™t like to hurt â€œthe other horsesâ€™ feelings,â€ as her owners suspect.Â
So when her nose hits that wire first, it will likely reverberate around the world once again. A moment in time that will live on for the nextÂ how-many-years to be relived in books, magazine covers and the like until even those who never knew what a Zenyatta was—does.
It might not be a banner wave for the underdog (she is favored to win), but it will be a coup for the girls and it is something I would much rather watch live than hear about it after the fact.Â
And so, I will be there too, in true horse racing style, donningÂ my best dress, girliest threads and highest heels (because horse racing is not a â€œcowboyâ€ thing)Â with a slightly disgusting mint julep in my hand.
Â Now, I just need to find a place in Fargo that knows how to make mint julepsâ€¦.