The year 2005 in baseball will be remembered as the year that the Chicago White Sox swept the Houston Astros and won the World Series. In horse racing, Afleet Alex gave racing fans one of the most anxious, and incredible performances in the history of the sport.
The 2005 White Sox put together a 99-63 overall record after finishing the regular season on a high note winning eight of their last ten games. They had two eight-game win streaks that year, and went into the post season after finishing the year with the best record in the AL and second best record in the Major Leagues.
That season the Baltimore Orioles faced the White Sox eight times. Of those eight times, the White Sox were able to win six of those games.
The White Sox had no problems with Baltimore that year, in the 2005 Preakness however, Baltimore gave Afleet Alex all that he could handle.
Afleet Alex was coming off of a narrow defeat in the Kentucky Derby when 50-1 shot Giacomo got up to beat him by 1 length.
Although his Triple Crown hopes were lost that day, his connections went into Baltimore for the Preakness with confidence that they still had the best 3-year-old in the country.
Out of the gate as per usual, Jockey Jeremey Rose angled Afleet Alex to the rail and sat at the back of the pack. Going into the final turn, Afleet Alex began picking off rivals one by one. At the top of the stretch, it was clear that Rose was sitting on a rocket.
Just as he approached the flank of race leader Scrappy T, Ramon Dominguez who was riding Scrappy T went to the whip with his left hand, and Scrappy T veered out. With a gasp from the Preakness crowd, Afleet Alex clipped heels and went down on his knees with Rose hanging on for his life.
Afleet Alex however, was not going to be denied that day. He sprung back up on all fours without missing a beat, still in full stride. In an outstanding display of athleticism, he caught right back up with Scrappy T and went right on by to win the 2005 Preakness by over 4 lengths.
In an interview after the race, the owner of Afleet Alex mentioned that the first thing that went through his mind when it happened was; the whole field was behind Afleet Alex and Rose. If Afleet Alex goes down, his jockey Jeremey Rose was sure to be trampled by the rest of the field.
Afleet Alex pulled off what not many other horses are ever able to do. His win that day was a triumphant relief of what could have gone wrong that day.
Afleet Alex went on to win the Belmont Stakes that year, running his final quarter mile in 24.50 seconds, the fastest since 1969. He won two of the three legs of the Triple Crown and has since been recognized as one of the greatest horses racing has ever seen.
The White Sox put on a show that year on the baseball diamond in the 2005 World Series. Afleet Alex earned his way into the history books, and provided racing fans with one of the most memorable incidents in history.