(Diamond Solitaire loves her bath time)
This is a special week for Diamond Solitaire.
It’s a heart-warming week for her breeders and care-givers, who have watched her grow from an orphan to a prom queen.
It is bigger week for her owners, who seem to grow by the numbers and excitement with each and every trip to the racetrack. So many faces and names. So many happy faces. So many names to remember.
It’s a week where butterflies are fighting the hummingbirds for space and already holding a convention in stomach pouch #1.
It’s a week where sleep is hard to come by, and dreams won’t leave you alone.
It’s a week that you want to hurry up and get here, like the finish line when you are ahead.
It’s a week that you want to slow down so that your mind can catch up with your nerves.
It’s a week that have waited for, it seems like, forever. It’s a week that you thought, just maybe, would never, ever, ever arrive. And, it’s a week that you now hope to survive.
It’s a week not made for the weak of heart.
It’s a week made for the celebration of the heart.
It’s Game Week.
On Wednesday, Diamond Solitaire — our precious 2YO filly — will make her first start in a Stakes race. She will be running in the $75,000 City of Anderson Stakes at Indiana Grand.
Did I just write that sentence?
Yep. Sure did. On Wednesday, our 2YO filly — by Majestic Harbor and out of my late mare Diamond Seeker — will make her third career start and will step into the highest caliber of racing’s echelon. She will make her first start in a Stakes race.
She is coming off an impressive 10-length win at Indy Grand on Sept. 14, when she broke her maiden and nearly broke the winner’s circle record for most people ever jammed into an impromptu photo opportunity.
Now, she is headed to the big time for the first time.
And, to put it mildly, we are pumped.
Oh, I know it is for Indiana-bred fillies only.
And, I know that it is not a Graded event, or one of those Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” extravaganzas.
I know that the Thoroughbred Daily News or any other publication, for that matter, won’t pop us into the headlines, even if we are deserving. That’s reserved, don’t you know, for the sons and daughters of the rich and famous. And, I’m talking about both the horse and people.
But for us? And, for Diamond?
This is a miracle in motion.
Most of you who read these words that I type — and I know there’s not a zillion of you — know our story by now. But I will give you a quick recap. I do it for you, somewhat. I do it more for me, though.
Every time I write them and then, subsequently, read them, the words pinch me a bit and make me realize how far we have come in such a short time.
The words remind me of how life deals both blows and rainbows. We have had both.
The words make me stop and thank the Good Lord above for good blessings and glad tidings. Truly, we have been blessed.
The words make me understand that miracles do happen.
Right in front of our very eyes.
For Diamond Solitaire is truly a miracle.
Just a week or so after her birth, her birth-mom — Diamond Seeker — went into a serious fit of colic. By the time mom and babe made it to the clinic, mom was gone. Baby was hurt. We were in trouble.
I got the call from my partner in this foal share, David Osborne. The call came early in the morn. As soon as the phone rang, my stomach flipped. As quickly as I could, I loaded up my dogs and left the Lake House and headed home. For the next four hours, I made phone calls. I asked all my friends on Twitter for help. I begged God for mercy.
Not for me, mind you. For the baby.
They all delivered. Every. Single. One.
Twitter friends started shooting me names of contacts, who may have a nurse mare that we could beg for and borrow on.
Others started a “help line” to see where we could obtain some “momma milk” to give the baby until nature could arrive.
Some just started praying. And, they asked their Twitter friends to do likewise.
It was amazing really.
People whom I had never met or even talked to started to reach out and offer assistance. People whom I have never had a real conversation with starting talking. More importantly, they started acting. People that I only know today by their Twitter handles were there to handle this. (Thank you Sarah. Thank you all.)
Soon, we had identified a potential nurse mare. Soon, Bill Roseberry was on the road to Shelbyville with “Geri.” Soon, baby Diamond was on the road to recovery. (Thank you Bill. Thank you Geri. Thank you all.)
It took a long time for Diamond to turn the corner. Literally. She had to stay in her stall for weeks as Mother Nature took care of her leg, and Geri took care of the rest of her.
It took a long time for Diamond’s “Earth Mom” — Lori Hemel-Osborne — to do anything else other than to walk to the barn; crawl in the stall; and hold onto baby and rub her head.
It took a long time.
But it was sure worth it.
On Wednesday, Diamond Solitaire will get the chance to show off and show out. She loves doing that. She really knows and she really does.
She will get the chance to run in her first Stakes race. We hope that there will be many others in her future, too. We hope that there will be many more wins to come.
But when we all gather round and wish her luck, we will also pause for just a second. We will remember. We will realize. And, we will give thanks.
Diamond Solitaire is a miracle.
And, we will know that miracles do happen. Right before our very eyes.
Even the eyes that have a tear or two festering.
Diamond Solitaire Then:
(It was in early June of 2018 that we got the call that Diamond’s mother, Diamond Seeker, had suffered a severe bout of colic and had not survived. It was a miracle when “Geri” arrived and adopted her. These were the first moments together)
(Diamond sustained a broken right leg in the melee to get the mom and baby to the clinic. It was set a bit later and required a few months of stall rest to fully heal)
(It didn’t take Diamond long to unite with her new “mom,” though. Despite the warnings, we introduced them quicker than normal. They were instant mates)
(Diamond before her new mom arrived. Lori Hemel-Osborne and I did our best until nature arrived)
Diamond Solitaire Now:
(Brulio tightens the bridle on Diamond before her morning regiment)
(Diamond gets her bandages on)
(Sunlight bathes Diamond as the saddle cloth is placed on her back)
(Trainer Stephen Lyster walks her to the track these mornings. Both are feeling good)
Heres a look at Diamond jogging on the main track of the Thoroughbred Center in Lexington:
(Click on the link)
And, then after the morning job:
(Then it is bath time)