Horse Racing Nation is your Triple Crown source and we are pleased to
have HRN Editor/Handicapper Jarrod Horak on site at Pimlico Race Course
to provide you with the inside scoop on the 135th Preakness Stakes.
This is his second in a series of articles and blogs devoted to the
second jewel of the Triple Crown. Check out pick6blog.com for blogs,
pictures, and everthing else Preakness.
I am off to Pimlico for Black-Eyed Susan Day and the weather has definitely gotten steamy on Friday. I hope those ominous
clouds are not a bad sign, but I just watched the news and they said
dry until later this evening.
I have always enjoyed going to Pimlico the day before the big dance. The Preakness buzz is still in the air but the crowds are manageable.
A trio of warm-up races to kick off the festivities and the fourth is the much anticipated Female Jockey Challenge. Growing up in Maryland I remember Andrea Seefelt and company, and today jockey Gwen Jocson ruled the roost aboard Honor In Peace. This special event was run to raise awareness for breast cancer through the Susan G. Komen Foundation. My mother is a breast cancer survivor and attended the races with me today.
Starfish Bay gamely held on by a neck in The Very One Stakes. Johnny V booted home the Pletcher trainee in the five furlong turf sprint.
Squabble went all the way for me in the 7th (yay), and Central City was never headed in the Jim McKay Turf Sprint.
Philly shipper Miss Vindy gamely took the Miss Preakness Stakes, and Phosphorescent was the popular winner of the 10th race Allowance turf sprint under Ramon Dominguez.
Aqueduct invader Lights Off Annie shook off her longshot pace foe en route to an easy tally in the Skipat Stakes. Rajiv Maragh booted home the Mike Hushion runner.
Black-Eyed Susan time and we got to the paddock early to see the horses. As we were waiting a freindly lead-pony came up to us and wanted some affection...we obliged. Oh look, Dallas Stewart just walked by, and Wayne Lukas is coming this way. Stacy, grab your camera! Actually, we got pics of the whole field and now it's time to play the Susan-Preakness Double (Seeking The Title-Lookin At Lucky).
We go outside to watch the race and I pull out my trusty binoculars and do the play-by-play. Pace is honest and Kent D is saving ground. Alright Kent, time to move. He's dropping back. Oh no, is she stumbling...down goes Kent. Okay, I'm no Travis Stone but you get the point. Diva Delight clipped heels and went down in front of Seeking The Title, and Leparoux, Desormeaux, and the horses seemed to escape serious injury. Leparoux was a bit banged up but is expected to ride on Preakness Day. Acting Happy was the prominent throughout upset winner for Lezcano/Dutrow. Hey, she's out of Empire Maker, my 2003 Derby-Belmont horse!
The Hilltop Stakes wraps up the 13-race card and I end up showing a small profit thanks to Joharmony, giving Javier Castellano his second winner on the card.
Early-pressing types (4 wire jobs) held the advantage on both surfaces Friday.
I thought it would be cool if I did a little video report live from Pimlico. It was a good idea on paper, but noisy people, the P.A. system, and water trucks on the track ruined my plans. Stacy listened to it when we arrived home and said no go...she's the boss, lol.
We make it to our car and it starts to pour...yikes! The closer we get to our house we realize that it only rained in the Baltimore area. Watched the evening news and it looks dry for Preakness Day (sigh of relief).
I'll return tomorrow with an update.