Proud and Tall


Proud and Tall

The sun was bright,
The mood was light,
Weather conditions seemed just right.
That November 7th afternoon.

The crowd milled around,
Most bets were now down,
The world was watching Church Hill Downs,
The race would begin very soon.

There came the call,
And from each stall,
Marched 14 thoroughbreds proud and tall,
In the Breeder's Cup parade.

In front of them all,
Seventeen hands tall,
Came the mightiest Phillie of them all,
This was Zenyatta's big day.

She was loved and adored,
Had won it before,
Nineteen and 0, just wanting one more,
The five million dollar big prize.

The field this day,
Was by far and away,
One of the best to stand in her way.
Along with a whole world of eyes.

Though she had the name,
The fortune and fame,
Her toughest opponent this day would be Blame,
Her odds to win 8 to 5.

She'd won all her races,
As they all took their places,
The moment's excitement was etched on all faces,
As the anticipated race began.

They opened the gates,
Not a minute too late.
Zenyatta in the middle, out of gate eight.
All 14 thoroughbreds converged.

As the horses broke stride,
She was pinched outside,
Just like she'd been most other times,
She settled in the back of the herd.

Around the first bend,
She brought up the end,
Things didn't look good for the Phillie again,
She's been in this position before.

Down the far stretch,
It seemed she'd never catch,
The rest of the field and her 8 to 5 bets,
She fell even farther behind.

Then as in the past,
She ignited from last,
Caught the tail horse than began her first pass,
She moved up from the outside.

As she made the last turn,
Her legs started to churn,
A crescendo of cheers from the crowd was heard,
As she ran the last stretch in full stride.

Seizing the moment,
She passed each opponent,
Each one a victory, a bit of atonement,
It was deja vu once again.

But there in the lead,
Was that one mighty steed,
The one that odd makers had all agreed,
The one whose confidence was fed.

As Zenyatta drew nearer,
Blame seemed to hear her,
Neither horse gave or showed any fear,
As they pressed for the finish line.  

The entire crowd rose,
As all eyes then froze,
Blame broke the line by less than a nose,
The Phillie a photo finish behind.
People seemed stunned,
Weren't sure who had won,
Maybe the greatest horse race ever run,
Decided in one picture frame.

The official call came,
The winner was Blame,
It all seemed surreal, kind of a shame.
No storybook ending this day.

Many asked why,
Her jockey just cried,
It was almost as if Zenyatta had died.
Most folks couldn't believe what they saw.

But what fans will recall,
Was how she gave her all.
Captured the hearts and souls of us all.
That Saturday afternoon in the Fall,
Zenyatta still stood proud and tall.

Copyright © November 2010
Kevin Mooney


Poem Comments


Please login or register

You must be logged in or register a new account in order to
leave comments/feedback and rate this poem.

Login or Register

JadedJezzabel commented on Proud and Tall


you are a fantastic writer......i saw this race......its a shame...i wanted her to win too

ApaqRasgirl commented on Proud and Tall


wow, that was truly delightful.....I can remember my dad taking me to the races in kentucky when I was a child....and all the thrill of the excitement even back then.....boy it seems a lifetime ago......wonderful write dear and it read so smooth that I did not even have to pause between lines........great job........and yet another 10++++loves ya asha Namaste

ginga commented on Proud and Tall


Kevin, Your storyteling and rhyming is impeccable as per your usual. Is there really a Zenyetta race horse that you know of? A poetic moving pic I do declare. I felt like I was in Saratoga, N.Y. ty ginga



Thank you Ginga. Yes there really is a Zenyatta. This historic race took place the weekend before I posted the poem. It was very exciting. She may be the greatest Phillie in history, behind maybe Secretariat. I tried to capture the emotion of the race in my poem. Thanks for reading and commenting...Kevin

kdarcy commented on Proud and Tall


I find myself feeling as if I was there, knowing or hoping I bet on the both of them. WELL DONE, I'll tear my tickets in half for I wasn't there, I'll grab a cold one on the way out the gate k

Olan01 commented on Proud and Tall


What a race, what a horse and a great poem. I am saving it to my favorites.



Thanks Olan, my friend. Always appreciate your comments...Kevin.

To have great poets there must be great audiences too.

Walt Whitman, American Poet (1819-1892)

kmooney’s Poems (300)

Title Comments
Title Comments
I Took My Friend... 1
Twenty Tiny Angels 0
Cosmic Caribou 0
Suddenly Philip (Seymour) 1
Little Miss 0
Happy Birthday Christina 2
Atomic Picnic 1
Men From Mars 3
Itty-Bitty Persian Kitty 1
A Gunslinger's Last Request 2
Frankly Scarlett 2
All that in 100 years... 2
The Man Of A Thousand Voices 0
Side By Side, Together 1
Seal Team Six Solstice Psalm 0
Ever Wonder? 3
De Captain 0
Another Poignant Calm 1
Somber Moments 1
Christopher Colin Sinclair 1
A Unique Eulogy 2
Bathed In Innocense 1
God Bless Our America 0
This Man That I Once Knew 0
Impenetrable Calm 0
They Just Called Her Liz 1
Poor Miss Cynthia Weir 0
Oh So Many, Oh So Few 0
A Singular Grain of Sand 0
Dinner Table Jib Jab 3
Weeping Willow Trees 0
No Greater Love 1
Paper Pawns 0
Two Perfect Chips of Stone 1
A Death Poem 10
Excitement of a Touch 6
The Solitude of Bronze 4
With All That's Happening 3
You're Still a Good Man To Me 11
Walter Augustus Lee 4
Elliot Garfield, Where You Been? 6
Pass The Guinness Here 9
Proud and Tall 6
Let's Celebrate Again! 3
In The Mirror 9
The Abandoned Work Boat 7
A Hero's Last Stand 11
Perpetual Nightmare 8
Those Short Eyes 9
October 12
Dear Mom... 45
John, Julian & Sean 13
The Day John Lennon Died 40
Glen Echo Amusement Park 10
Stop The Drama 10
Downpour (a psalm) 15
BD Boulevard 4
An October Scare (the face of death) 3
Simon Vincent Ladd 6
A Special Guest For Dinner 25
The Blind Pickled Porcupine and His Drunken Skunk Friend 13
Coastermania 8
Whatchu Mean Willis? 3
Timothy (the day F. Murray fell) 5
A Child's Mind 12
My Three Shadows 5
Recurring Nightmare...R
Another Blue Tuesday Morn (the 95th floor) 26
Pills 7
They're Only The Piano Players 4
The Castles of Callisto 5
The Fourth Mr. Mapother 9
A Rose 14
Time Well Spent 10
Pet Cemetery Epitaphs 10
The Last Judgement 22
Pardon My French 20
Nocturnal Classic Rock 16
Shoo-fly Pie 11
Welcome to the Freak Show 16
Spirits of 161 12
Monkey See, Monkey Do 14
Like a Norman Rockwell 6
The Carnival of Souls 11
Dr. Geisel Thank You Please 4
Guido the Mosquito 6
I Am... 4
There Comes a Time 4
Blackbird 6
Popsicle Stick Races 7
An Albino Rhino 5
The Spurious Bull Frog 7
The Last Wizard 3
Little Windows 5
The Gator Ate Her 6
Just A Buck? 2
Can Tigers Really Swim? 5
Fallen Fathers, Forgotten Sons 1
Hopper 2
Creeping Crud 3
You Talkin' To Me? 2
Alabaster, Gold, Coral Blue and Grey 4
What if? 11
A Darker Poignant Calm 9
Tsunami Wake Reprise 5
The Final Tour 24
Summer Signs 27
A Dog Haiku 8
The Stars (A Haiku) 11
Natas L. Useifer 27
The Moon 9
Tornado 7
The Boss 19
Ray of Sunshine (Haiku) 6
Rainbow Haiku 9
Let's All Pause 5
Butterfly Requiem 17
Me and My Old Man 14
Porcelain Seagull 3
aka Richard Bachman 12
Juniper Jason Paul 10
Wormholes 14
A Bottle in the Sand 15
The Day The Apostles Cried 6
Love's The Common Key 4
Rain (A Haiku) 6
Spring (A Haiku) 5
An Ant Haiku 7
Shadows Loom 8
Teacup Pig 4
Reflections 3
The Shores of Coeur d'Alene 3
No Reason Anymore (NRA) 5
Little Yellow Peeps 5
A New Hampshire Rooster Haiku 5
I Came Upon... 5
Good Evening 2
Purple Penguins 5
Who Do You Think You Are? 4
Four Faces Carved in Stone 9
Nature's Perfect Valentine 8
The Silhouettes of Marionettes 7
Another Icicle Haiku 6
Blizzard (An Acrostic) 4
The Quiet Calm 7
Icicles (A Haiku) 4
This Is What I Saw 7
In The Blink Of An Eye 1
A Touch 4
The Wizards, Witches and Warlocks Winter Jamboree 8
An Igloo In My Brain 10
A Jewish Cowgirl 10
Eeny, Meeny, Miny and Moe 28
Little White Tiger Cub 17
Childlike Daydreams 20
Children of Destiny 12
Roswell, New Mexico, 1962 12
Heroes, Kings and Ghosts 11
If You Want... 11
The Cold (A Haiku) 9
Deja Vu 15
A Solemn Oath? 5
Little Polar Bear 4
Timid Timothy 5
A Popeye Poem 7
Another Brand New Day 3
Psalm 23 1/2 5
A Christmas Tree Haiku 2
Santa Claus 2
The Christmas Star (A Haiku) 5
Noel 7
Severna Park 5
From Manger To Cross 3
Snow (A Haiku) 7
What Christmas Is All About 5
The Gridiron Waltz 4
Mermaid 5
Gold 5
Whatever Happened To... 7
As We Gather... 1
Disposable World 1
Fade To Black 2
The Life Of A Leaf 6
Elwood P. Dowd 9
Sail 6
Where Heaven Used To Be 16
Parallel to Eternity 5
The Broken Violin 10
Treebeard 12
Abducted 10
Go Ahead, Make My Day 10
Salvation in Disguise 6
Another War of the Worlds? 1
Little Sunbird (A Haiku) 4
Anissa? Is That You? 12
Self-Denied, Satisfied and Crucified 7
Graveyards at Night 9
New Friends 8
Trick or Treat... 65
Canopied Calliope 12
The Perfect Poem 13
Borrowed Shoes 12
The Realm of Darkness 11
Let's Fall In Love Again 10
Pavlov's Command 5
Clandestine 4
Land and Sea 7
More Dog Letters to God... 11
Life in Perspective 7
Anatomy of an Urge 16
The Face of Infernal Destruction 13
Hand Me Down Life 11
Nymphs of the Night 8
The Gates of Hell 8
Animated Anthropomorph
ic Animal Superheroes
These Are The Things... 5
The Rings of Trees 7
Alabaster and Gold, Coral Blue and Grey 4
Dream Seekers 8
Falling Moon 9
The Valor of Common Men 6
Waterfall 4
The Wind 6
Castles of Opulent Accord 2
Another Rock 'n Roll Heaven 6
Metamorphosis 10
Wacky World 9
Recurring Nightmare 13
Undeniable 3
Tsunami 9
An Unfortunate Affair 8
Sentimental Eyes 7
A 21st Century Knight 10
Albert's Final Equation 8
A Legend's Last At Bat 16
It's a Wonderful Place 7
The Good Humor Man 18
Oodles of Doodles 22
Echoes of Mulberry Peak 10
Another Damaged Brain 7
I Gave My All 9
A Lion's Epitaph 3
The Scent of Summer Rain 4
A Ghost 3
Mr. Webber I Presume 5
God's Perfect Angel 21
Indian Summer 5
The Road To Calvary 5
Innocent Eyes 5
Quincy Who? 3
Grow Old With Me 12
My Morning Cup 3
Andrew Michael MCclure 8
Who's To Blame? 2
Good 'Ole Glory 5
Welcome To Baltimore Hun 8
Miss Amanda June 2
An April Psalm 7
I Came Home Today... 6
Annapolis City Dock 16
The Paradox of Oz 43
Baltimore Snowballs 6
My Constant Companion 19
Faceless Child 19
Blue Tuesday Morn (The 95th Floor) 14
Acrostically Faithful & True 7
Bartholomew Dylan Banks 12
In Honor of Frost 8
Fallen 10
Overture of Spring 6
Poignantly Calm 19
The Silhouettes of Kings 5
Comatose 1
Down De Ocean 6
Alzheimer's Lament 16
Until The Last Tear Is Shed 16
Cyber Queen 18
Do Animals Cry? 25
A Girl I Once Knew 15
The Power of Time 8
Friends 13
In The Void 14
Bouquet 13
The Sky 7
Don't Pretend 10
Wish I Did 7
Sue (A Cinderella Poem) 10
Brainwashed 6
The Light 12
The Paradox 14
Fastfood 15
Tomorrow 5
The Frisbee Catching Dog 10
What would it be like? 7
The Human Zoo 14
Dear Lord 18
Once In A Dream 10
Hear The People 9
Wish I Did 13
Please Listen 26