05/15/2010 11:46AM

Preakness Day 2010


11:30 am: Fast firm, sunny and in the 70's at Pimlico, with 2 of the 13 Preakness Day races already in the books.

I'm focussing my horseplay today on the $1 million guaranteed pick-4 ending with the Preakness, and as you can see from the worksheet below, I'm still at sea in the highly challenging Maryland Sprint Handicap, a race in which I have yet to draw a definitive X through any of the 10 starters remaining after the scratch of Silver Edition. Not that the Dixie's easy either, but I think I can at least get that one down to three A's and three B's.

Obviously Rainbow View is a heavy and legit favorite in the opening leg, the Gallorette, and I'm running most of my tickets through only the two Preakness favorites, but I'm still working on something more creative than a 1x10x6x2 caveman play:


1:05 pm: Just for a little action, played the early pick-4:


Not such a great start as 7-2 Lighthouse Sound was an easy winner as a C. Leaves me 2x3x4 with no thrilling longshots on the live backup ticket.

On to the Chick Lang (formerly Hirsch Jacobs), the first of seven straight stakes races, six of them graded.

1:45 pm: Comedero is a very cool 3-year-old sprinter. The Arkansas-bred Posse gelding just ran his record to 7 for 8 winning the Chick Lang by daylight. He's undefeated up to seven furlongs, and looks like an interesting candidate for the Woody Stephens on Belmont Day. His 3 3/4-length victory in 1:10.16, compared to Convoy Ahead's 1:11.62 earlier in the card, looks like a strong performance in the 105 Beyer neighborhood.

3:15 pm: Blame made a very nice return to the races off a 5 1/2-month layoff, winning the Schaefer in his first start since beating elders Misremembered and Einstein in the Clark Nov. 27. Can't put him worse than third behind Quality Road and Rail Trip among the nation's older dirt males who have raced this year.

The early pick-4 came back $174.40, healthy against the parlay and for three straight favorites, but not so much for those of us who spread around.

Spread around again I must, though, in the late pick-4, which begins at 3:42 ET with the Gallorette:


4:00 pm: Glad she got up, but even in victory Rainbow View's a tricky read. She was pinched early and didn't get clear until late and quickened nicely at crunch time, but she was still a very narrow winner in G3 company and doesn't seem as dominant as she was when she was a juvenile champion in Europe two years ago. The repatriated Augustin homebred was 4-for-4 at 2, just 1-for-8 last year, and is now 2-for-2 as a 4-year-old. She's a half-sister to the 7-year-old Just as Well, the ML favorite in the Dixie.


5:00 pm: Just 4 1/4 lengths from 1st to 9th in the Maryland Sprint, with Taqarub taking them all the way on the lead. My A's ran 2-3-4-5-6, but sometimes a 13-1 B is better than a 5-1 A. We'll see. First let's get through the Dixie, where I've left out the surprising (to me) current favorite, Grassy.

5:23 pm: Well, I guess they ran the Dixie about 10 minutes ago, not that you'd know from watching NBC. If they're not going to show it, why black out everyone else? Or at least post a result for the fans who are actually playing the races? It's disgraceful.

But it looks like I got home a $30.20 "A" in Strike a Deal and thus am alive to four in the Preakness -- $2 to Lookin at Lucky and Super Saver, and $1 to Caracortado and Yawanna Twist. Here are the willpays:

6:40 pm: First afterthoughts:

*Smallest payoff but most satisfying result in several ways. Always nice to see a 2-year-old champion continue on and win a classic and Super Saver's a nice colt but not Triple Crown-winning material.

*The question now: Will either the Derby or Preakness winner even return in the Belmont? Super Saver didn't exactly look like he wants another two and a half furlongs three weeks hence, and Baffert said several times this week that Lookin at Lucky would "probably" skip the Belmont win or lose.

*What a nice effort by First Dude to set the fast fractions and hold second, coming on again in the stretch. And hats off to Dale Romans for running third in the Derby and second in the Preakness.

*Jackson Bend gave his all to be third, beaten less than two lengths. Given his pair of nine-length defeats to Eskendereya in the Fountain of Youth and Wood, I can't help thinking that if Eskendraya had stayed sound, we might well be looking at a runaway Derby-Preakness winner going for a Crown this year.

Carm More than 1 year ago
Steve, Maryland racing is in poor shape. In the Inner harbor thursday and friday, you saw no advertising or mention of the Preakness. On friday, there was a so-called Preakness parade there, consisting of black high school bands and dancers, some floats, etc but no mention of the Preakness. No signs on the roads or highways showing the way to Pimlico...
SFDan More than 1 year ago
Regarding the TV Coverage: Just watched the 1997 Derby, Preakness, and Belmont on YouTube - the coverage on ABC was great (Also interesting to see the smaller & higher quality field size and much higher quality of animal - most of those runners are now stallions). They did not dumb down the coverage to the masses and they provided great coverage post-race in talking to all the connections. It was really amazing - Horse Racing seemed like part of the sporting scene - and they did not apologize for putting up prices! I hope that if ESPN or someone wins the next contract for ALL the TC races they remember what it looked like just 13 years ago.
Rich More than 1 year ago
It's official now. Unless Ice Box does something spectacular in the Belmont this 2010 group of three year olds is worse than in 2008. As we all know now Super Saver moved up 4 to 6 lengths in the Derby because of Churchill, slop and Borail. Pletcher will never have a Triple Crown winner because he only knows how to have horses ready with 28 or more days of rest. Though Eskendereya may have got it done this year because he was just so much better than the rest of this group. If we ever have a triple crown winner it will be from Baffert Lukas or Zito or one of their offspring trainers. Let's all hope that Quality Road, Rachal Alexander, Zenyatta and some of the older horses race for the rest of the year. Otherwise it's going to be a long summer and fall.
jlove More than 1 year ago
...I was hoping to get the gang here to weigh in on why are they changing the way races are carded here in NY. My childhood was spent at the track and I loved the build (like a movie) of the card towards the best horses of the day. I know Cali does this to get it get on our east coast radar screen but here in NY we should oblige by doing the opposite and even more so to keep things interesting. I know many will talk or highlight the slimming of race cards or the bettability (not a word I know) but the kid in me just liked it the way it was. Racing's tradition is a good thing in many ways (not all) and as it is sport needing change I just don't get this particular one. I have a lot of thoughts like this each time I set foot on track because of all the great memories so I'd love to get yours and the groups perspective. Thanks for listening and for all u do. You are the best (and that Illman guy is something special too). [The thinking, right or wrong, is that because handle increases as the day builds, they don't want to squander "prime time" on short fields with no super or tri wagering or include races with odds-on favorites in guaranteed pick-4's. I have some sympathy for the first concern and none for the second, which shows a complete misunderstanding of what customers supposedly want. And even on the first concern, that's something that should be done rarely and in extreme cases, not routinely as NYRA now does. Over time, it sends a message of "We hate running these Grade 1 and Grade 2 races so let's hide and bury them." -SC]
cat thief More than 1 year ago
Nice idea for the late pick 4, 1x10x6x2 because I AM a caveman. Of course I screw that up, "Strike the Deal an A, cmon Crist that horse has been off for a year, he'll be short" I told myself. When he took off to the front I knew he'd fade...I guess that's why you're in the paper, congrats and thanks for the idea at least. I'll hit one out one of these days.
Walt P. More than 1 year ago
TO the surprise of probably no one, Super Saver and Looking at Lucky are both skipping the Belmont Stakes, once again showing the real problem this sport has in trainers not wanting to run their horses like they used to. This to me has been one of the reasons we have so many injuries in the sport now, because to me, trainers "baby" their horses much like pitchers in baseball, where we have seen a serious increase in arm injuries ever since you saw much more of a pitch count in baseball. If Lookin at Lucky were my horse, I would have overriden Baffert and run him in the Belmont in a millisecond, doing so because I feel you owe it to the sport to run the Derby or Preakness winner in the Belmont even if you may not want to, mainly for sportsmanship reasons. This also would apply to Super Saver as long as he came out of the Preakness in halfway decent shape and was training well leading up to the Belmont. I know trainers want to point for the Travers, but the problem is the Belmont in the eyes of more casual sports fans is still more important as a Triple Crown race and in this case, I would do so with Lookin at Lucky to appease the Walt Disney Company (as ABC has the Belmont) as well so at least it helps a bit in the TV ratings. The problem with the Travers is, by the time that rolls around, the more casual fans have moved on to getting their fantasy football rosters in place and are not around to see it. It may be time for some draconian changes that would include mandatory starts for horses if their owners want to be eligible for the truly major races, especially the Breeders' Cup, all designed in getting trainers to properly train their horses to race more often (every 2-3 weeks like the old days and making at least 10-12 starts a year) and not train up to racing once a month if that. In that regard, tracks need to also have the guts to work together and schedule stakes in a way that forces horses to race more often and not miss any of the major races as well. This has been one of the biggest problems the sport has had over the years.
Chalky More than 1 year ago
Reagrding Dixie TV coverage. I can't watch the race anywhere because NBC has the rights? Instead I get an interview with a female olympic skier as I watch the horses running on the backstretch of the turf course from the aerial view with out a mention of the race, who won and what the prices were. I turned away from NBC until post time of the Preakness. WHAT A DISGRACE!!! And it's not the first time. I don't see how horse racing survives. An interview with Lindsey Vonn while the race is going on is not going to attract new fans to horse racing. At least let HRTV show the race.
Dan The Man More than 1 year ago
Another "Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda" If CD stays with the "Double Draw" for Derby Post Positions, the made for TV event where the trainers pick their post positions after the the initial draw determines the order in which they will pick), L@L would have gotten first pick of post positions, almost certainly wouldn't have taken the 1 hole and might hve gotten a better trip in the Derby.
Ponyman More than 1 year ago
Triple Crown--gut feeling Pletch was not as happy as he wanted to be after KY derby. He really wanted to be in winners circle with Johnny V.
Chip Lapp More than 1 year ago
NBC does suck. The network overworks the obvious story lines and ignores anything hinting of subtlety or of potential interest to regular bettors. C. Borel deserves the accolades but the repitition drags the broadcast.