05/17/2011 12:21PM

No. 5 Preakness Moment: The Stumble, 2005


In 2005, Jeremy Rose and favored Afleet Alex were making what appeared to be a steady, professional move on the outside of the leader, Scrappy T, as the Preakness field made the final turn. In the next instant, Scrappy T swerved hard to the right from the left-handed whip of Ramon Dominguez, directly into Afleet Alex's path.

Rose and his colt were unable to avoid the back heels of Scrappy T. During the next few split seconds, Afleet Alex took several stumbling steps, his knees scraping the ground, as he fought to both regain his stride and maintain his momentum. He did, and went on to a comfortable victory, leaving reporters on the scene hard-pressed to describe what they'd seen.

"For a moment there was fear and dread," wrote Dave Joseph in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

"Afleet Alex’s front legs buckled, his head bowed, and the crowd gasped," reported Richard Rosenblatt for the Associated Press.

"He could have very easily gone down," said a relieved Rose, "and we would have been run over by the field."

The near disaster of the 2005 Preakness turned into a thrilling story, making the highlight reels of every sports broadcast for days on end. One year later, though, the race was not so lucky. NEXT >>

Jay Hovdey's Top 10 Preakness Moments

10. The Fairy Tale, 1971 (Canonero)
9. The Duel II, 1989 (Sunday Silence)
8. The Thriller, 1997 (Silver Charm)
7. The Duel, 1978 (Affirmed)
6. The Rumble, 1962 (Greek Money)
5. The Stumble, 2005 (Afleet Alex)
4. The Tragedy, 2006 (Bernardini)
3. The Filly, 2009 (Rachel Alexandra)
2. The Mugging, 1980 (Codex)
1. The Move, 1973 (Secretariat)