Preakness Day arrived and the second jewel in the Triple Crown was on the line for American Pharoah.
All day long, my wonderful Preakness hat customers sent me photos from Pimlico racetrack which helped to ease the tension that I was feeling.
As predicted, a thunderstorm hit just prior to the race. By the time of the post parade you could barely make out the shapes of the horses in the wind-driven rain. Everyone wondered, Will they cancel the race?
Then, just as the last horse had been loaded into the gate we heard the announcer exclaim that a lightning bolt was seen in the skies over Pimlico. The next thing we knew, the gate flew open and the race was on!
Fortunately, American Pharoah seemed to relish the mud. Breaking from the No. 1 post position, Pharoah grabbed the lead going into the first turn and never let it go. Wire-to-wire, he and Victor crossed the Preakness finish line seven lengths ahead of Tale of Verve with barely a speck of mud on them and Pharoah’s ears straight up.
It seemed that even Mother Nature could not thwart this horse’s talents or derail his team’s quest for glory. Against all odds American Pharoah appeared to be marching firmly toward Triple Crown history.
Following the race I received a surprise email from Leigh McKathan, my Derby customer whose family had originally trained American Pharoah in Ocala, Florida. People were still commenting about the “Trisha’s Zophie” hat I created for her Derby adventure, and Leigh asked if I would create the “Darby” hat for the Belmont.
My “Darby” was going to the Big Apple; my Triple Crown story was not over!
But was he good enough? Could American Pharoah take this all the way and win the third jewel and the Triple Crown?
We were all about to find out at Belmont Park where my “Darby” chapeau was along for the ride!
Please visit me again soon for Part 3 of “Reflections on a Crown”.
This is Part II in a 3-part series.