A remarkable and emotional chapter in the world of horse racing drew to a poignant close this weekend as the Breeders’ Cup played host to a final, heartfelt race for “Cody’s Wish.”
Cody’s Wish rallied from last and survived a stewards’ inquiry to defend his title in the $1 million Dirt Mile at the Breeders’ Cup on Saturday at Santa Anita. Ridden by Junior Alvarado, Cody’s Wish ran the distance in 1:35.97. Sent off as the 4-5 favorite, the 5-year-old horse paid $3.60 to win.
The horse was named after 17-year-old Cody Dorman, who was born with a genetic condition that confined him to a life unable to walk or communicate. The unique and special bond between the young horse and Cody led to the naming of the horse as “Cody’s Wish.” It’s a tribute and recognition of the profound connection and friendship that developed between the boy and the horse.
The beautiful dark foal with a diamond-white blaze from Gainsborough Farm, Kentucky, bears the aspirations and dreams of a young man who defied all odds.
“I was a little concerned about how jittery the foal would be getting close to him,” recalled Cody’s father, Kelly Dorman, reflecting on the initial meeting.
It was during a Make-A-Wish event that Cody’s world changed forever. The encounter with this special foal marked the beginning of an extraordinary friendship that would transcend barriers and defy expectations.
“There was something different about him right off the bat. He kept pulling and tugging and worked his way up to Cody. He wasn’t aggressive or scared. He sniffed around and laid his head right in his lap,” shared Dorman.
The bond that formed between Cody and the horse went beyond words.
“You can’t hear them, but you can see it and you can really feel it. It’s unbelievable,” described one observer.
This unique connection paved the way for an unexpected turn of events. Cody’s Wish became a beacon of hope and a symbol of triumph. “I didn’t have any idea that five years later, we would be standing here at Santa Anita, California, getting ready to watch him run in the Breeders’ Cup,” Dorman said.
Cody, who defied the grim prognoses and is on the verge of turning 18, was never expected to live past the age of two. This year, he’s preparing for his high school prom – a testament to his indomitable spirit and the transformative impact of this extraordinary equine connection.
“It’s changed him so much. Just gives him life. Gives him a purpose,” said Leslie Dorman, Cody’s mother.
As Cody’s Wish made his final run at the Breeders’ Cup, the track echoed not just with the sound of hooves, but with the beating heart of an incredible story – a story of friendship, resilience, and the extraordinary power of a shared bond between a young man and his very special horse.
Source: NBC Los Angeles