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HRN Original Blog:
Dueling Down The Stretch

2013 Preakness: From The Eyes of a Fan

Fiftyshadesofhay wins 2013 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes.
Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club
My first look at Pimlico was a much anticipated one, and as I explored every inch of the track I can honestly say I was not disappointed. First off I’d love to say it was a pleasure meeting fellow blogger Matt Shifman. Having him show me around the track and chatting in the Press Box was nothing short of an amazing pleasure.
 
Our first visit was to the stakes barn, where I got to see Kentucky Derby winner, Orb. All I can say is wow. The horse does have the air, he has the look. He simply takes everything in as calmly and as nonchalantly could be. If his confidence is any indication of how he will perform then we should all be in for quite the show.
 
After getting all settled in, I spent most of the afternoon running from one floor to another, getting the best pictures possible, before scurrying back to my seats, to take more pictures of the actual races. The hyped race was easily the Black Eyed Susan. With Emollient and Fiftyshadesofhay facing off how could it not be?
 
Despite Emollient being the heavy favorite, there was no shortage of those who doubted her. Some said she simply was just not a consistent horse, others say she freaked over a synthetic track. She looked beautiful in the post parade, but unfortunately looks don’t always tell how a horse will run. The Bill Mott trainee never fired, never reaching contention at any point in the race.
 
Fiftyshadesofhay on the other hand fired like a cannon. She may have missed the Oaks, but the performance she gave most certainly made up for it. Lying off the pace, the feisty bay delivered a swift one hit KO down the stretch.  She stormed past the others in the final stages and was full of run at the end.
 
After the race, it was back to the stakes barn again. Orb was quietly eating in his stall, while Shug stood by keeping a close and watchful eye. It wasn’t long before the groom of Fiftyshadesofhay came back, proudly carrying the blanket of flowers their filly had just won.
 
At the end of the day I cannot say that I am not tired, I’m beat, but if this was just a mere preview of what is to come tomorrow, I can’t wait. I can’t wait to snap some more pictures, meet more people, but most of all I can’t wait to write about how I was able to witness Orb take his next step to becoming a Triple Crown winner.
 

 

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Older Comments about 2013 Preakness: From The Eyes of a Fan...

Matt and Chris I had a blast with you guys :) Look forward to when we can do it again.
Great time handicapping with Dani!
Can't wait to see your photos and read more about your Preakness trip, Dani.
Dani, it was great meeting you finally at Pimlico!

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Meet Laura Pugh


Laura Pugh got her first taste of Thoroughbred Racing when she watched War Emblem take the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 2001. After that point, she fell in love with the sport, reading every piece of news and information she could get her fingertips on.


Laura has a long history with horses in general, taking her first ride on her fifth birthday, with her first official riding lesson when she was eight years old. Both years she attended college she joined her school’s equestrian team, first at the now closed Virginia Intermont College, then again at Delaware State University. Unfortunately, after back and shoulder injuries, she had to hang up her saddle. 


In 2010 Laura came to Horse Racing Nation, but soon branched out to other media outlets, such as Lady and the Track, TwinSpires.com, and USRacing. She currently works at a local newspaper as a community reporter, while making a return to Horse Racing Nation, where she will once again feature her opinionated columns on the latest in horse racing. 

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