Diamonds are made under tremendous pressure and great oak trees grow despite angry winds. It comes as a true statement and a lesson to be learned in life that sometimes character and courage are the most important qualities that anyone can possess. I know in the past that we have written about Michael Mitchell. The British born rider who was airlifted to hospital following a nasty fall at this year Queen’s Cup. And it is also true to say that we have become very fond of Michael during his recovery and progress. We cannot understate his class and quality as a person. It turns out that we could not have ever imagined his ability to dig deep and leave a significant injury far behind.
In an effort to not go over old ground we can leave the details of his injury behind but would ask you to understand that it was not nice. That being said, there was conversation at the time that Michael may be a long way off competing at the top table again. What we could not understand is Michael’s will to win and compete is pretty special.
On Wednesday July 26th, Michael took the mount back on his Carolina Cup hero, Show Court in the $75,000 Johnathon Kiser Novice Stake at the famous Saratoga Race Course. Interestingly enough, Show Court had not visited the winners circle since Michael won on him in late March. Well, obviously Mr. Mitchell was the missing ingredient. Show Court only went and won. What a dream come true. Well, at the risk of a serious pun, hold your horses. On Thursday July 27th, Michael was once again in action and this time it was the Grade 1, A.P. Smithwick Steeplechase. Again, at Saratoga. Sitting on a 28-1 shot, Michael and Swansea Mile obviously didn’t read the morning line. At the top of the stretch, Swansea Mile and Michael Mitchell took over the lead and did not give it up from there. This completed a somewhat incredible comeback to form.
It is a hats off to you, Michael Mitchell and keep up this amazing run.
See you at the races.