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.