There are certain memorabilia items that are far more profound than others. And even when it comes to horseshoes, some have greater importance than others. Shoes worn by a champion in an important race are the ones that generate the most interest from prospective buyers. But when it comes to the shoes worn by Afleet Alex in the 2005 Preakness Stakes, its importance goes much deeper than simply being race-worn. Perhaps no portion of any Triple Crown race, with the possible exception of Secretariat’s stretch run in the Belmont Stakes, was shown on national TV more times than Afleet Alex’s remarkable recovery at the head of the stretch at Pimlico Race Course. It was this moment when he literally picked himself off the ground after clipping heels and stumbling that his nose actually hit the track, that the heart of Afleet Alex became etched in Preakness lore. Alex not only displayed athleticism never before seen on a racetrack, he quickly recovered, changed leads right on cue and subsequently ran on to an easy victory. For as long as they run races at historic Pimlico, people will remember the courage and athleticism of this small bay colt.
Alfeet Alex showed much talent from the start. During his 2-year-old year, he was undefeated in his first four starts, including the 2004 Hopeful Stakes. He placed in the Champagne Stakes as well as the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. During his 3-year-old season, he not only captured that memorable Preakness victory, but he also brought home a win in the Belmont Stakes, earning the Eclipse Award for Champion 3-Year-Old Male and runner up for Horse of the Year.
The Afleet Alex shoe was secured by his noted assistant trainer and stable foreman Rocky Romero. The aluminum racing plate with corresponding affixed yellow rubber padding still contains remnants of dirt, and is accessible from its small black shadowbox display case. The shoe was personally inscribed on its reverse in black marker “Preakness Day May 21 2005 Alex & Groom Rocky,” chronicling its most special significance, and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. This is an incredible opportunity to possess one of the shoes that helped propelled this most courageous colt out of the gate and into racing history.