The racing – most of it anyway – was at Pimlico this weekend as stakes-filled lineups dominated Friday and Saturday. Orb didn’t win, so we’ll have to wait for a Triple Crown winner (again), but the Preakness delivered a little bit of everything including a record-setting 14th Triple Crown race win for trainer Wayne Lukas with Oxbow. Amazing.
The pony’s name was Sneeze, like Achoo. Got it? If you’re a fan of Preakness favorite Orb, give the old, long-gone pony a God bless you for she was responsible for the early horsemanship of exercise rider/assistant trainer Jenn Patterson.
The TIHR Handicappers are back for another intrepid voyage into predicting the future. The Preakness card brings it all – the Rollicking, Chick Lang, James Murphy (our man), Allaire duPont Distaff, Gallorette, Maryland Sprint, Dixie and Preakness. Just for the record, Tom dutifully went back to his hotel and studied the form, Joe had his son Jack read the entries to him on his way around 695 and Sean went to the Sagamore party, so follow who you want.
Aggressive doesn’t fit, workmanlike seems too cliché, and forward can’t tell the entire story of Preakness Stakes contender Departing’s professional approach when he hits the racetrack either for competition or morning training.
Thursday was a busy day in Baltimore for Niall and Stephanie Brennan, with horses to put through their final serious rehearsal before they exit their program at one racetrack and a star graduate to see on another.
Black Eyed Susan Day. Orb is perfect. Pink is the color of the day. Joe, Tom and Sean are at Pimlico. Tom, writing and taking photos. Joe, glasses perched atop his nose, pecking away at a feature for Jenn Patterson while his son revels in the infield. Sean, well, typing away at our picks for the day. As we say, we are not handicappers, but like to wade in at times.
Ralph Nicks might be up against it against his former boss in Friday’s Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, but the easy going trainer didn’t seem overly concerned as he went through his paces Thursday morning outside the stakes barn at Pimlico Race Course.
The morning two days before the Preakness Stakes is always a little more lively and laid back than just about any other during the American racing year, with each of the entrants and just about all their connections on hand along with the annual Alibi Breakfast, and Thursday didn’t disappoint. Here’s a little of what TIHR soaked in.