Rachel and Brent: A Love Story

Racing fans over the past several years have held extended vigils, some lasting for months, for stricken horses such as Barbaro, Paynter, and most recently Rachel Alexandra. During those times, the internet was inundated with prayers for these courageous equine heroes who fought for life as hard as they fought for victory on the racetrack.

This past February, those prayers circulated throughout Facebook and Twitter, as thousands of anguished horse lovers and fans of Rachel Alexandra expressed their heartfelt feelings for the great mare whose life was in danger following surgery to repair her damaged colon suffered after foaling a strapping 140-pound filly.

As the masses followed the 7-year-old mare’s condition, a relationship was forming that would change the life of Brent Comer, medical technician at Rood & Riddle Veterinary Clinic, and very well may have altered the fate of Rachel Alexandra.

No one can explain the bond humans have had with horses through the centuries or the dedication of individuals in cases like those mentioned above. In Rachel’s case, the public was made aware of the heroic efforts of internal medicine veterinarian Bonnie Barr, who had been taking care of Rachel since she arrived at Stonestreet Farms, and surgeon Brett Woodie in helping to save Rachel’s life.

But behind the scenes was Comer, whose devotion to Rachel Alexandra went far beyond the limits expected of any person. Comer seemed to have found his niche in life working at Rood & Riddle, assisting Dr. Barr. He was happy doing what he loved and was appreciative of the six years of training he was provided by the clinic. For the past two years, his job entailed everything from neo-natal to emergency care.

Comer didn’t become a racing fan until later in life, but he and his wife of five years Robin have been involved with horses. In addition to Robin working at the sales, they own one broodmare and eight trail horses that they keep on their small farm in Georgetown.

After Rachel gave birth, Comer and Dr. Barr went to Stonestreet to perform their regular check-up on Rachel, but didn’t like what they saw.

“The foaling was uneventful, but afterward, she just didn’t look normal,” Comer said. “We weren’t happy with the way she looked, so we took her in to check her out and that’s when it was discovered she excessive fluid in the abdomen and needed to have surgery.”

Comer rode with Rachel back to Rood & Riddle and was with her through the entire six-hour surgery. For the next several months he would rarely leave her side. It was at the clinic that Comer met Stonestreet owner Barbara Banke for the first time.

“We took Rachel out of surgery around 12 or 1 a.m. and I lay with her in the stall, along with Dr. Eric Carlson, who was an intern at the time,” Comer said. “We stayed with her until she was able to stand on all four legs. We actually kept her in a stall near the surgery room for a few days to get her acclimated. We ran her fluids in there and I stayed with her for 72 hours straight, right through Valentine’s Day.

“I nearly got divorced over it,” he kidded. “Rachel became known as the other woman in my life. I just sat in a chair most of the time and I was happy as can be just being close to her. It was unreal how Rachel and I bonded. It was really something special. I sat with her 12 to 14 hours a day, seven days a week. I groomed her every day. I walked her every day. I was the one who administered every medication to her. It was unbelievable and unheard of that she even survived the surgery. It was very bad. She had ruptured her colon and had fecal matter in her abdomen. Horses normally don’t survive from that. I don’t know of any other horse would have lived through that. She’s such a fighter. She could tell we were trying to help her and she let us do whatever we needed to do. It was amazing. And it was amazing for me, because I was with her from the very beginning until now. It was something I wish everyone in the medical field could experience.

“It was hard, especially me knowing the background of this kind of surgery and the risks and the percentage of horses who make it. And me being with her every single day, it was not easy. I had really grown attached to her, and if something had happened I would have been devastated. I probably would have had to quit my profession. I mean three months being with one horse; that’s a long time.”

It wasn’t until Rachel was back at the farm for two months that it was determined she was out of the woods, because there is always the risk of complications from surgeries of this type. But they felt it was it was time for her to get back to the farm where they could take care of her in that setting rather than standing in the same stall all day long.

“When we brought her back, Barbara said to me, ‘Brent, she loves you. The two of you have bonded, and you have seen her and been with her from day one. You’ll be the first one who will know if anything changes.’ So, I ended up staying at the farm with Rachel every day for two months while still employed by Rood & Riddle. Instead of going to the clinic I went straight to the farm. I gave her all her medications and hand-walked her and then introduced her to the round pen outside and slowly made the round pen bigger until she was completely turned out in the paddock.”

It was during this time that Comer realized how much he loved being at the farm and around Rachel. And he enjoyed working with everyone at Stonestreet. That’s when his entire life changed. Banke offered him a job at the farm as medical care manager and layup care manager and he gladly accepted.

“I take care of all the horses that are sent there, set up medical treatment plans, and order all the medications,” Comer said. “And I work with the veterinarians. I also take care of any of the layups that come in from the track; horses that are injured or need surgery or are just sent there for a vacation. And of course, I visit Rachel every day and make sure she’s doing well.

“Because of Rachel, my path in life did a complete 180 for the better. I never could have imagined this; I’m loving every minute of it. Rachel was one of my favorite fillies on the track and I followed her and rooted for like everybody else. Just to get to look at her on the farm before all this happened was a special feeling. To be able to go in every morning and see her and get to pet her and talk to her is just amazing.”

Comer has met a number of Rachel fans and is a regular poster on various Facebook pages, most notably “Loving Rachel.” He has met a group of devoted fans who call themselves Rachel’s “Godmothers” and had breakfast with them at the Keeneland track kitchen.

What impressed Comer about Rachel in addition to her courage and will to live was how she has maintained that competitive spirit.

“So many of these horses come off the track and they quickly turn into the so-called old broodmare,” Comer said. “Not Rachel. You would think she’s still on the track. You still have to use a chain to handle her. If you put her back on the track she’d whip those boys all over again. It’s amazing to me. The first time I turned her out, she was just rippin’ around there. She’s a diva, I’m not kidding. When she sees a camera, she knows she’s on and she poses.”

Comer cannot heap enough praise on Banke, who has allowed the public to visit Rachel on several “Open House” days and has done so much for the industry and the horses since the death of her husband, Jess Jackson.

“Barbara is an amazing lady,” Comer said. “She cares so much about her horses. Every one of our horses who comes back from racing that is not a stallion prospect, we geld them and send them to New Vocations (adoption program), which finds them a new home and a new job. She doesn’t want anything bad to ever happen to any of her horses. It would be a whole different industry if there were more people like her.”

Comer and his wife plan to move to a new home on Stronestreet property in October. It is obvious that Comer owes so much to Rachel and vice versa. This is an example of how one horse can change an entire life. But it was Comer’s total dedication to that one horse that made it all happen.

“I’m still in shock to be honest with you,” he said.

If there is one moment that stands out for Comer, it was riding back to Stonestreet in the trailer with Rachel after she was released from the hospital. As they neared the farm, Rachel did something that Comer will never forget.

“It was one of the best moments of her recovery for me,” he said. “When we turned on to Elkchester Road alongside the farm, Rachel let out a cry like she was letting the other horses know she was home. It was unbelievable. When we pulled up to the barn, a banner from the fairgrounds track that the farm staff had made her was hanging on the barn, with thousands of signatures.

“All I can say is, Rachel is an amazing horse, and I thank Stonestreet Farms every day for letting me become a part of the team.”

55 Comments

Leave a Comment:

ksweatman9

Ah, the heart of a thoroughbred, tough, resilient, determined. The female champions, divas one and all. Such a nice story, I love to hear stories like that, to know these wonderful creatures are treated with such kindness and dignity. We hear too many things that contradict that and strike sadness in our hearts. I hope Rachel stays healthy. I'm also hoping ST. Nicholas Abbey makes a full recovery and joins the short list of miracle horses to beat their illnesses. Thank you for the uplift in my day.

05 Sep 2013 12:56 PM
Doodge

Great love story.  Sounds like Rachel and Brent were lucky to have found each other!  

I didn't realize Rachel was so close to dying.  Good job to all involved in bringing her back!

05 Sep 2013 1:20 PM
TizAllie

I gasped when I saw the first picture of the doctors standing next to Rachel Alexandra with the news that she was very ill. I wanted to do something, but felt helpless. Since my strength is research, I looked up the date of Rachel's surgery, then the light bulb. I quickly signed on to Facebook and told the doctors that Rachel's date of surgery was a good omen since it took place on the 13th, Rachel's post position in the Preakness. Wasn't sure if anyone was really listening till the next day, when they reported moving Rachel to stall #13. At least I hope I had a bit to do with the lifting of spirits, so that Rachel Alexandra would feel hope and determination.  Kudos to the doctors, owner and medical staff for saving this beautiful thoroughbred that is loved by so many. Thank you. Rachel Alexandra means so much to her adoring fans. Thank you Steve for this heart warming story.

05 Sep 2013 1:54 PM
spitting the bit

Wonderful story....I am jealous.  Just to spend a moment with Rachel would be life changing!  Praise be to the Lord for saving her life, Brent must be an angel in disguise.

05 Sep 2013 2:25 PM
Deltalady

Needed my hanky all through this one! Thanks for bringing this story to the fore, Steve....really is gratifying and heartwarming to know there are people like Brent Comer in the industry and am glad his talents and skills are perfectly matched with doing something he loves.  How wonderful.

05 Sep 2013 2:41 PM
Abigail Anderson

This is the most beautiful story, Steve, and I'm so glad that you told it. It parallels for me with some of the other great bonds that are now a part of thoroughbred history.

The amount of time that Brent spent with Rachel during her darkest days says it all and, like Doodge, I now understand the complications and how slim were her chances. As you intimate, without Brent, who knows what might have happened.

The way the story weaves into Brent's whole life changing is dramatic, to say the least! And Barbara Banke -- clearly, an extraordinary and exemplary owner-breeder. Brent is right about Ms. Banke too: if there were more people like her in the business, the dark corners of racing would be purged.

Thank you so much for sharing Brent & Rachel's story with me. It absolutely made my day!

05 Sep 2013 2:42 PM
PClark

What a special "Love Story"!  I am so thankful for Brent and his love connection with our Rachel!  I was so concerned about Rachel and have never been as relieved as when it was announced Rachel was "out of the woods"!  Rachel is and always will be #1 to me!  Yes I am Loving Rachel!  <3

05 Sep 2013 3:01 PM
Greybirdk1

Brent Comer was a crucial part of Rachel's team and I count him as a guardian angel who helped to save her life.  Horse racing has its problems and bad actors; but it also has people like the folks at Stonestreet who do things the right way.  Thanks for this uplifting story, Mr. Haskin.  

05 Sep 2013 3:28 PM
MK

Steve, you have been my favorite horse scribe for years now.  This article is among the best you've ever written. I am one of Rachel's devoted fans. News of her illness this year made me cry; I don't think I'll ever stop worrying about her well-being. God bless Brent and Barbara for taking such good care of the greatest filly of all time.  Thanks to Brent again for being a member of my community of godmothers on Facebook.  Long live RA!!!!

05 Sep 2013 3:40 PM
TizAllie

This is just the best story. Thank you, Brent, for saving Rachel Alexandra. Yes, the surgeon had to have done everything just right, but your caring and bonding is what pulled Rachel through the difficult recovery period. Bravo, Stonestreet, for recognizing what a special person Brent Comer is. Steve Haskin, thank you for crafting another equine love story that allows people a glimpse of the  good side of people.

05 Sep 2013 5:16 PM
Racingfan

What a powerful and heart warming story!  Told as only you can tell it too!  WOW!!  Thank you!  And great job to all involved in Rachel's recovery!  Thank the Good Lord she is still with us!  I had no idea she was so bad off!  

05 Sep 2013 5:16 PM
Nancy Specht

Made me cry, Steve.  Beautiful piece, and to know Rachel was that close to not pulling through is scary.  The bond between Barbara, Brent, and Rachel just goes to show one more reason we love Thoroughbreds!!  Sounds like Rachel and Brent should be up for the Vox Populii award that Paynter won last year!!  (Forgive me if I've misspelled it.)

05 Sep 2013 6:49 PM
Terlingua

Thank you Steve for gathering all the information about Rachel's miraculous recovery and putting it in one place for us.  Her battle to live and her triumph over great odds should be recorded for all to read. Now it is.

So good to read more about Brent Comer and how he came to be so linked with Rachel.  Thank you Barbara Banke and Stonestreet for never giving up.  We love you Rachel Alexandra.

05 Sep 2013 7:16 PM
The Deacon

What an amazing story Steve. I had n idea Rachel was in peril.

It's so special to see that many owners love their horses and appreciate all the animal has done for racing.

People come and go out of our life for reasons, seasons and life choices, Brent got the gift of a lifetime.......

05 Sep 2013 7:16 PM
sevi22

Rachel Alexandra was and still the best mare. Thanks for the story.

05 Sep 2013 8:07 PM
Fran Loszynski

Wonderful story  Steve.  I know how much you love  Rachel too just by your great writing. I'm going to give you the biggest compliment I can give loving A fleet Alex the way I do ...if my book isn,t a hit when it comes out soon...will you write about A fleet Alex 's story  for  him?    Rachel whinnied  nearing  her. Home because  she felt the love. She will always be a movie star to me

05 Sep 2013 9:09 PM
Sue MacGray

What a beautiful story Steve!! It shows so clearly the trust and love between these wonderful animals and their caretakers/owners and the amazing achievements that occur because of that trust both on and off the race course. I'm so thankful that RA survived and happy for Brent that he found his true calling. Kudos to Stonestreet and Barbara Banke as well for seeing that all of her horses live love and happy lives. Again, what a great story, we can never get enough of happy endings like this.

05 Sep 2013 9:36 PM
Fran

I just love this article.  I have always felt Barbara was a class act-she is positively amazing.  Kudos to a great young man who gets to care for Rachel every day!

05 Sep 2013 10:11 PM
Paula Higgins

Steve, I loved this story! I had seen bits and pieces about Brent Comer and his care of Rachel during her very serious illness and you have filled in the blanks and then some. When I first read that Rachel's bowel had ruptured, my heart sunk. I am a nurse and when this happens in humans, it can be very bad news. I knew that in horses it was an even worse situation. I really believe having Brent there with her the whole time was huge in her recovery.  The mind-body connection is important in all living creatures and critical when trying to survive a life threatening illness. He was just what she needed. Her vets were crucial to her survival but as others have noted, Rachel's will to survive and her fighting spirit were important factors. She is a fighter and strong willed. You could see it every time she raced. She has always had the heart of a champion. Barbara Banke is a gem. She loves Rachel very much and you could see it when Barbara talked about her during her illness. You knew she was going to do everything and anything to save Rachel. Hiring Brent was absolutely the right thing and the smart thing to do. I think her husband, Jesse Jackson, would be very proud of all the decisions she has made. She is a credit to horse racing. Thanks for this really heartwarming story Steve.

05 Sep 2013 10:29 PM
robinm

Thank you, Mr. Haskin, for once again writing about my favorite horse.  Ahem, favorite filly (no offense to Cigar, my favorite horse.

Having owned horses for many years, I understood how serious the issues Rachel faced after foaling her filly this year.  Even so, I did not realize just how close Rachel came to losing her life. Despite their size, or maybe because of it, horses are surprisingly fragile animals.

It seems that all of us who love this mare owe a huge debt of thanks to Brent Comer, who may indeed have made the difference between Rachel's life and death.  We also owe a huge debt of gratitude to Barbara Banke who did so much more than many owners would, especially considering that Rachel may never earn another dime for Stonestreet. Mrs. Banke did everything possible, at what must be a massive expense, to save Rachel's life.  Then, by hiring Brent away from the clinic, to continue her care, she gave Rachel every possible chance for a full recovery.

Thank you Ms. Banke; thank you Mr. Comer, and thank you, Mr. Haskin, for sharing this wonderful story with us.

05 Sep 2013 10:35 PM
casey

Thank you for telling Brent & Rachel's story, Steve.  I, too, am a veterinary technician like Brent and followed her story, knowing how bad it really was.  When Brent said most horses don't survive peritonitis, he is absolutely correct.  Rachel, like Paynter (the OTHER miracle horse), shows that medicine can do a lot, but that human/horse bond, and their spirit helps them survive these illnesses that should have caused their deaths.  Kudos also to Barbara Banke for realizing the value and importance that Brent and Rachel's bond was.  To Brent, from one tech to another- GREAT JOB!  

05 Sep 2013 10:55 PM
duchess

What a wonderful story.

As long as there is love in the world there can be miracles.

06 Sep 2013 12:21 AM
Flora

Wonderful story - I am so glad this man did so much to save Rachel, and what a dream job he has now! I only hope the owner does the right thing and never breeds her again. She had a hard time with her first foal too.

06 Sep 2013 12:50 AM
Margaret Lewis

A fairy tale story come true! Brent found the best furry friend ever. And Rachel found her human.

Steve you write with such flair! You need to turn this into a fiction book that doesn't need a whole lotta fictionalizing!

I had heard that Brent went to the farm to stay with Rachel but didn't know the details. How wonderful for all that this remarkable story has had the happy "ending" it has. Future chapter are yet to come I'm sure...

Thank you to all who worked so hard and diligently for Rachel to live and go home to Stonestreet.

06 Sep 2013 3:24 AM
Zen4Zen

What a wonderful article, Steve, and its title illustrates what all your articles about racehorses are:  love stories.  

06 Sep 2013 5:48 AM
JON R

So happy Rachel is doing well and had such good care in her recovery process.  She knew she was being helped and did what she needed to do to aid that process.  Reminds me of Slew when he was fighting to live after his near death experience in early '78, after he had just turned four, and then again with his surgeries late in his life.  Great horses are very intelligent and know and will let people help them.  Rachel is that kind of horse.

06 Sep 2013 8:07 AM
steve from st louis

Interesting the changes Brent went through during this ordeal. At one point he opines that three months with one horse is alot. Later, he signs up for 365-day care with each of the Stonestreet stable.

In the end, thank goodness there are people in the industry like Brent and Barbara, who do right by the horse. It gives us horse lovers someone to be proud of.

06 Sep 2013 10:17 AM
MemoriesofPuchi

Steve, you've done it again. Thx for bringing me to tears with this wonderful story.

06 Sep 2013 10:18 AM
rachel fan

Thanks for the uplifting story, I had to wipe away tears a few times reading it. I had a feeling Rachel's situation was more grave than most of us were aware of. It's obvious how much Banke loves Rachel, her countenance when giving those first interviews was like that of a mother whose child is dying. God bless her team for their devotion to Rachel and especially Brent for being her soulmate. Rachel and Ruffian have been my two favorite horses for quite some time, but this account of her strength and fighting spirit puts her first in my heart. I hope she'll be with us for many more years to come!

06 Sep 2013 10:19 AM
Jackie WV

I can't thank you enough Steve for this amazing story!! Tears flowed down my face from beginning to end. God Bless Brent and Barbara Banke for their love and devotion to Rachel. Rachel is that "one" horse that truly sparked my passion for racing. She will forever be my favorite of all time.

When Rachel came along, I was going through a really bad time in my life and somehow she made everything better. I've never been able to explain this unbelievable bond I feel for her and I've only met her once.  She simply touched my heart beyond words.  God how I envy Brent and what I wouldn't have given to be right there with him and Rachel. My mother passed away from a long battle with cancer just a few hours before I heard the news about Rachel's critical illness. I was devastated twice in one day. I begged God not to take her too.

I hope to see Rachel again one day soon, and I hope I'm fortunate enough to meet Brent as well. Thank you Brent for all you did!!  And thank you Barbara for being who you are!!

06 Sep 2013 12:35 PM
Jean in Chicago

Thank you, Steve.  Anybody who saw Rachel run knew what a great fighter she was on the track and we're all so happy she turned out to be as much of a fighter at home.

  All of us 'animal people' have known pets who hang on for the people who love them.  I'm so glad Rachel and Brent could develop that bond that helped her keep going, back to health, past the point where she might have given up if she were just on her own.  I hope St.Nicholas Abbey has or will find someone who connects with him in the same way, with the same positive result.

06 Sep 2013 2:00 PM
Azeri1

Love and devotion and the bonds that can form between horse and human. Brent you are a fine and compassionate individual for taking care of our Rachel. She needed you and you gave her all the attention she deserved.

It is good to know that Barbara Banke takes care of her retirees as well.

Thank you Steve, the good stories really count the most!

06 Sep 2013 2:39 PM
Linda in Texas

Rachel's last foal should be named 'Brent's Devotion.' Thank you  Brent Comer for a monumental job in bringing her back to her previous health. And i hope your wife knows how much she played a part in your ability to provide Rachel Alexandra such superb one on one. She is to be remembered in the thank you department. I knew Rachel was in a fatal condition. I prayed for her as i did for Paynter and am for Saint Nicoholas Abbey.

I am glad that Mrs. Banke-Jackson has allowed the public closer glimpses of Rachel. And for the gelded horses Thank You Mrs. Banke-Jackson for finding homes for those who won't be racehorses.

And lastly, Thank You Steve Haskin,

this tore at my heart strings a little more than usual.

Oh i almost forgot to ask, Steve will Brent be bringing his personal  horses to Stonestreet with him?

Good luck to all of them. And i am like the poster who said, no more babies. I think that would just be too risky. She is a race horse thru and thru, not a broodmare.

06 Sep 2013 7:02 PM
Delrene

This story really does tug at my heartstrings.  I was one of the fortunate people that had an opportunity to visit Rachel last October 2012.  When I read of her illness I just cried and cried.  It seemed very unlikely that she would recover.  But with excellent medical care and the devotion of all who loved and cared for her through her darkest hours, she has recovered.  That you for this wonderful story and update on Rachel.  Thanks to Mrs. Banke-Jackson and all who helped Rachel recover.  I wish her a long, healthy life and we look forward to watching her two healthy babies carry on her legacy.   Thank you Steve.

07 Sep 2013 1:26 AM
Fran Loszynski

If Rachel has another foal  it should be named Brent's Devotion I agree and it may happen because she is the greatest fillie since Ruffian!

07 Sep 2013 11:57 AM
Saratoga AJ

Great story.

In all my years of watching the thoroughbreds, her 3 yr old filly season of 2009 has to rank as one of the most exciting campaigns I have ever witnessed. Being present for her courageous victory in the Woodward at Saratoga is a scene I will never forget.

I hope they they do not breed her again if there is any chance of a recurrence of her ordeal. Let's hope her now 2 yr. old colt (Jess's Dream) and the yearling filly make it to the races and/or carry her genes to future champions.

07 Sep 2013 5:25 PM
Shelby's Best Pal

I love a good love story and this is a good one.  Thank you for writing it.

07 Sep 2013 8:28 PM
Old Bald Peg

Thanks again Haskin,

Your way with words about ALL aspects of the thoroughbred is insurmountable

08 Sep 2013 1:09 PM
Barthart

Well, Steve, you once more managed to turn me into a blubbering, crying mess. This is such a wonderful story. I'm going to print it and save it to read again and again. Having owned horses for many years, I was very aware of the grave danger Rachel was in. It was a desperate time. Thank you so much for adding this new story about this amazing mare and the devoted caretaker who helped save her live!

08 Sep 2013 1:52 PM
Windolin

Thank you Steve. Horses are amazing, amazing animals. I have a sign by my front door that says "God wanted us to be happy, so He gave us horses". And he gave you a beautiful gift of being able to tell their stories in a way that is truly inspiring.

Rachel, Brent and Barbara...For the love of a horse!

08 Sep 2013 4:22 PM
Steve Haskin

Windolin, thank you for the kind words, and thanks, everyone, for your comments. One thing about racing and horses, they continue to inspire us.

08 Sep 2013 4:41 PM
Jessi Pizzurro

What a touching story - Rachel has impacted so very many lives in all sorts of ways and still does to this day.  Beautifully written and very moving - Steve you are the Master.

09 Sep 2013 12:34 PM
Will's Way girl

I am so happy Steve Haskin found Blood Horse and vice versa.  Nobody today writes with the honesty, directness and clarity about thoroughbreds.  Steve, you are a gift to all of us.  Rachel and Brent as well as Nort and Omaha are two of the more current recipients of your amazing skill and I thank you for remarkable ability to give us all a voice who love thoroughbreds and racing.  You need to be published; to that end I have written to the Publisher of Blood Horse, Marla Bickel and requested that she consider publishing a book of your blog articles.  I don't know what will happen, but I can hope others feel as strongly as I do about your gift and find the time to send her a note.   Go to Blood horse.com and you will find her email...easy as....theyr'e off!!!

09 Sep 2013 4:13 PM
Stellar Jayne

Steve,

As always your heart for the thoroughbred comes through, as in this story about Rachel, Brent and Barbara B.  It was a long recovery for her and I'm so happy that Brent Comer remained her care giver by accepting Barbara's request, that he stay with RA upon her return to the farm.  They are truly in simple terms - Good People!  No doubt about it - Rachel Alexandra is a dominant female and if she was still racing she would run the boys to ground!

Has she been re-united with her filly, or would it be upsetting to the foal to moved from her nurse mare?  

It would be great to have some recent photos.

Thanks again for sharing this information with us.

09 Sep 2013 8:16 PM
Linda in Texas

On a Lovely Day in September, today to be exact, as Keeneland ends it's sale. Several Fillies sold for over 1 million. A credit to their breeding. They looked magnificent. Just stunning.

And on this same Lovely Day in September near Paris, Kentucky,  Lotka at age 30 left this earth for her heavenly reward in the forever paddock. Bless her and remember her folks, she was a dear mare. And a sweet heartfelt memory and tribute for Lotka is written by Jeanne Mirabito of Our Mims Retirement Haven right here on Bloodhorse.com. Condolences to Ms. Mirabito and those who cared for Lotka since 2008. She will be missed but never forgotten.

So as new fillies sell for astronomical bids, life goes on.

Rest in Peace Lotka.  

10 Sep 2013 7:58 PM
Donna M

This story MADE MY DAY-  Thanks Steve! With all the sadness  in the world today this sure lifted my spirits.   Donna

11 Sep 2013 12:30 PM
Sgt C

Tremendously beautiful story! That says it all from another "Rachel Alexandria" fan.

SGT Rachel

11 Sep 2013 1:13 PM
BlueHen

This kind of bond and connection with a horse is something most people can only dream about -- not so many get to live the dream!

12 Sep 2013 9:14 AM
Love 'em all

This 'love story' is right up there with the best of the best, Mr. Haskin.  

A big 'thank you' to all the caring folks who helped nurse Rachel back to good health and happiness.  Cheers to all.  Hugs and kisses to Rachel.

12 Sep 2013 12:08 PM
Lise from Maine

Hi!

Great story!

Is there a photo of that banner with the signatures on it?

Would love to see it.

Fans just love Rachel, and I love her, too.

I am so happy to read that Rachel was so well taken care of with such tender care especially staying with her in her stall during and after surgery.

This is the kind of story I enjoy reading about.

I despise owners who abandon and neglect their horses and sell them to irresponsible people.

Look what happened to Dyna King.

This is such a tragic story, and there are plenty more like him.

The industry need to look at this because it turns off fans and potential fans when they learn of the "ugly side" of the horse racing industry.

Also, love stories such as the "painting" horse. Forgot his whole name at the moment - Meteor ....

Thank you so much for such a wonderful story.

Love Rachel.

Any updates of her and photos?

Lise from Maine

13 Sep 2013 3:07 PM
Linda in Texas

Off Topic - but still has to do with a female, Rachel surely won't mind. Must mention Effie Trinket. Worried why she scratched The Garden City on Saturday at Belmont against Saratoga Race Winner Summer of Fun and also entered was Caroline Thomas, another Saratoga contestant. No mention why the scratch, then to see Effie Trinket win The John Hettinger Stakes on turf at Belmont Sunday.  You go Effie Trinket! I absolutely love your name and you are a big beautiful mare and you have a smart trainer, Mr. Violette.

Thanks Steve. Hope fall will be good to you and yours.

16 Sep 2013 12:12 PM
Ranagulzion

Saratoga AJ,

After a couple of seasons rest I'd like to see Rachel Alexandra bred again ...this time to a Buckpasser line stallion like Big Drama (Rassmussen Factor offspring in the making w/Cap & Bells) or Einstein.

16 Sep 2013 12:59 PM
Ranagulzion

Steve,

How about another love story ... on Wise Dan this time ...what an awesome miler.  Johnny V was looking around for the competition but there was absolutely none at Woodbine(LOL) ...and that European invader, Trade Storm is no slouch so detractors should think again ...track record to boot.  Johnny V is one blessed jock to be riding theses freakish chesnuts (remember Tom Durkin's race call with him on board Eskendereya in the 2010 Wood Memorial).  

I'll say it here again, Wise Dan is the only horse that stays in his comfort zone and be crowned HOTY 2013 ...simply amazing animal ....never fails to deliver(same can't be said of his classy rivals).

16 Sep 2013 1:40 PM
Howard da Walker

That story made my day. Thank you

16 Sep 2013 7:10 PM
Weezie

Tears are flowing...need I say more, Steve?! In spite of moving back home to Saratoga this past Summer, Rachel remains at the top of my bucket list, and how I pray that sometime in the future I will be "chosen" for a Day with Rachel @ Stonestreet and will be able to coordinate a return trip to Cincinnati & Keeneland at the same time! Though the blues always set in after closing day @ Saratoga, I am uplifted today as I'm eagerly anticipating a trip down to Big Sandy for Super Saturday! The intriguing prospect of seeing the Princess and the Queen go head to head in The Beldame leaves me salivating! However, nothing or nobody can ever take the place of Rachel in my heart!

26 Sep 2013 2:04 PM

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