On Saturday evening, history was made, as American Pharoah won the Belmont and the coveted Triple Crown.
I know there is a great deal of controversy about horse racing as a sport, but for me, it reminds me of family.
After all, my parents met over horse racing results at a Los Angeles diner.
As a family, some of our best outings were to Hollywood Park (now closed) and Del Mar race tracks. My parents were relaxed, the weather was usually nice and yes, watching the horses run is quite an adrenaline rush.
Over the years, there have been many horses that have won the first two legs of the Triple Crown, only to disappoint fans by being unable to clinch that final victory at the Belmont. Last year, the same thing happened. My mom was so disappointed.
This year, the hype was the same or even greater. This was the year, this was the horse, the Triple Crown was going to happen.
My mom and I were able to watch the first race together, as she was in pain but lucid for the Kentucky Derby. She didn’t feel like getting out of bed so I streamed the race on my laptop and we watched it from her bed.
She loved American Pharoah.
By the time the Preakness came, Mom was pretty bad off. She was sleeping most of the time and not very aware when she was awake. I didn’t even watch the race, as I forgot to tune in while busy with caregiver duties.
So you can imagine my mixed emotions when the Belmont ran Saturday. I cheered loudly for American Pharoah, who made what other horses couldn’t do for 37 years look easy.
But there was also a deep pang in my heart that Mom just missed this glorious moment. She would have been thrilled. I watched my phone as it remained silent. She would have definitely called and talked my ear off about the race.
I hope somewhere, somehow, she was aware of the historic win, though honestly, these things probably do not matter in another life. Still, I like to believe that if she was given a bit of luck as she crossed over, she sprinkled some on American Pharoah.