End of the road. Steeplechasing's spring race-meet season ends Saturday at Fair Hill, Md. with a long, nine-race card. Post time is 1 p.m. Fair Hill has long been the only race meet to offer pari-mutuel wagering, though it was joined this year by the Virginia Gold Cup. Either way, bring your $2 Saturday afternoon.The TIHR handicapping race is getting tighter. Joe leads 25, followed by Tom (23) and Sean (22).
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.
Preakness-winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas and golfing legend Tiger Woods seem to share little in common, superficially or deep down, aside maybe from both making their living outside in the elements.
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 Preakness Stakes was supposed to be Orb’s to win, yet it was D. Wayne Lukas who believed there was still another classic out there with his name on it. Gary Stevens felt the same way, the fire burning strong enough to lead the 50-year-old Hall of Famer out from the front of the camera and back onto racing’s biggest stages.
Races like the Jim McKay Turf Sprint Stakes can sometimes get a little lost in the shuffle. Understandably so, most days, considering that Friday’s card at Pimlico Race Course was anchored by such long-standing traditions as the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes and Pimlico Special. And the Lady Legends for the Cure Race. And the XpressBet Jockey Challenge. And on and on and on.
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.
Whew, time flies. Sorry, about posting late, we wound up in the Orb at Pimlico. Here are the ST Handicappers picks for Radnor. Hard to believe, it’s time for Radnor already. Spring is almost gone, summer’s looming.
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.