News » Aces Mark, Horse Named for Sept. 11 Victims, Set to Race on Ninth Anniversary of Tragic Day
September 11, 2010
Ace Bailey and Mark Bavis were two of thousands of victims of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. Their deaths, like so many others' that day, have been impossible to forget for friends and family.
Yet, out of that loss, there is at least something that's keeping their memories alive. That something is a horse.
Aces Mark will run on Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the deaths of Bailey and Davis, who both had Boston ties. Bailey spent parts of five NHL seasons with the Bruins, while Davis grew up in Boston, playing his high school hockey at Catholic Memorial and college hockey at Boston University. The two were working for the Los Angeles Kings when they died in the terrorist attacks.
But in 2006, Lew Mongelluzzo bought a horse and named it in their honor.
"What we were and trying to accomplish was just trying to keep their spirit alive in another fashion," Mongelluzzo said. "Little did we know the course it would take and how long we would be on the sidelines with Aces Mark."
That long road was not an easy one. The horse had ankle and throat surgeries as a 2-year-old, and complications left the horse hospitalized for 14 months. Most owners would have given up hope that the horse could ever race again, but Mongelluzzo recognized that this was no ordinary horse.
"The reason is this is not about money," he said. "This is about legacy. Ace and Mark were fighters in life, true champions at every level. ... Joel Quenneville said stick with it 'til the vet tells you he is done. So here we are 19 starts later, when nobody gave us a chance, [and] he now has four wins, four seconds and four thirds."
On Saturday, Aces Mark will be out for another first-place finish, when he races at Belmont Park. In a lot of ways, though, he's already won.