2019 was a remarkably controversial year in horse racing, but there was one thing that seemingly everyone in the horse racing community could agree on - a fast filly by the name of Covfefe.
Covfefe is just one of those horses that captivates people. Even during the brief time that she wasn’t yet a superstar (but surely one in the making), she was known. She was impossible to miss with her eye-catching pedigree and smirk inducing name.
Generations of breeding resulted in genes coded for speed that Covfefe carried within her. Also within her sleek, bay frame was a heart full of a love for running and for competition. On the outside, she attracted the eyes of everyone at the racetrack and in front of their televisions with a standout blaze. She much resembled her maternal grandsire Unbridled, whose white face helped him stand out in any crowd.
Covfefe was as gritty as they come and as fast as they make them. It was a fact immediately clear the day she broke her maiden at Churchill Downs. She reiterated it the following year, first in an Allowance Optional Claimer and then in the Miss Preakness Stakes (G3).
She gave horse racing fans one of the most exciting performances of 2019 in the Test Stakes (G1) at Saratoga in August. Her gallant duel with Kentucky Oaks winner Serengeti Empress had handicappers smacking rolled-up racing programs on their palms and thighs, urging her to put away her foe. It caused hearts to pound out of chests and throats to ache from cheers.
The way that Covfefe dug in deep to thrust her neck in front in the final strides of the race was breathtaking. If anyone ever had any doubts about Covfefe, they were resolved in that moment. She had confirmed that she was on her way to doing great things, things that she had already warned of early on in her career.
[Video: Watch Covfefe (#3) and Serengeti Empress (#1) duel in the Test Stakes]
The pretty daughter of Into Mischief proved herself much the best in her next race, the Dogwood Stakes, at Churchill Downs. It was no surprise that she would become the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, one of the most prestigious races of the year for horses of her type.
Covfefe broke well from post position one and was able to settle three-wide in third, tracking the pace. She was the horse with the most drive left in her when they got to the top of the stretch. She was able to pull clear from the field and then hold off a sustained and fast drive from Bellafina. By the end of it, Covfefe crossed the wire ¾ lengths in front.
Most people believed that Covfefe would win that race, but few could expect what happened afterwards. Covfefe’s name was all over the news. CNN and Fox News both reported that a horse named after one of President Trump’s tweets had won a $1 million race.
It was a spectacle for everyone involved. Those who disliked Trump laughed at the fact that one of his mistweets had come back to haunt him. Trump’s supporters clapped in support with, “Even Trump’s mistweets can make it big time”. Even Trump himself tweeted about the filly's Breeders' Cup victory.
Articles with similar headlines and pictures of the beautiful Covfefe began making their rounds on social media. Because of her, horse racing was in the headlines and in front of hundreds of thousands of new people for a very good reason. The world came together to celebrate a great win by an incredible racehorse, regardless of their political stance, just as they did in the sport’s glory days.
Covfefe was crowned Champion Three-Year Old Filly and Champion Female Sprinter, making her the first horse to win both awards in a single season. It was announced the following month that Covfefe would be retiring instead of racing as a four-year old. She was moved to Gainesway Farm and bred to Constitution.
Though many people were sad to hear that Covfefe would no longer be running, the announcement of her retirement left the world reflecting on her career and what she meant to them. Covfefe had captivated racing fans and made national news headlines in the way that the great horses from the past did. For that reason, Covfefe was good for horse racing.
[Video: Watch CNN's segment on Covfefe]
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