One down, two to go. Will the eagle (Mind That Bird ) fly? By late afternoon, we’ll know.
Today, at the old hilltop racecourse Pimlico in Baltimore, is the 134th Preakness.
Let’s take a look at the field.
Has won five out of seven starts. Has early speed. Won his last start, at the Swale Stakes, but was disqualified for inference and placed second.
Finished last in the Derby. Has the right trainer in his corner to win a Triple Crown race, D. Wayne Lukas. Will have to improve a lot to be a factor.
Had a world of trouble in the Kentucky Derby. He grabbed a quarter (hacked off a chunk of his left front hoof with his back hoof), and he was also bumped and squeezed in the race. He finished next to last. Has had a nice workout over the Pimlico racetrack. With a clean getaway, he will be there at the finish. If the track turns up sloppy, this guy can run on it.
He to had a rough trip in the Derby. He was forced to steady twice. Musket Man has beaten him twice already.
Only broke his maiden in last start. Won by six lengths on the sloppy track. Will he be wearing socks like Governor Spitzer?
Take The Points:
The only thing he has going for him is his jockey Prado, two for two on him.
Was beaten by Friesan Fire and Papa Clem in the Louisiana Derby.
Tone it down:
Ran second in last start over the track.
Mind That Bird:
Won the Derby with powerfully closing move. Was it a fluke? Loses jockey Calvin Borel. He will get the services of Mike Smith. He will have to make his move sooner then in the Derby. The Preakness is a sixteenth of a mile shorter in distance. His performance in the Derby was a monster. Will he be able to duplicate that effort? Would help if the track came up sloppy.
Was closing in the stretch in the Derby. He finished third. If he can race closer to the pace in the Preakness he could be a major factor. Has won five of seven starts.
Finished a nice fourth in the Derby. He acted up in the post parade in the Derby, and that might hurt his chances a little.
Pioneerof The Nile:
Looked like he was on his way to win the Kentucky Derby past the eight pole but Mind That Bird came up the rail to win the race. Pioneerof The Nile finished second. He showed that he would fight it out not to let other horses pass him. He answered the question that he can run on dirt and an off track. Can stalk the early leaders and then pounce in the stretch.
She has just one bad race in her career. Her first start. Has won five Stakes in a row. She has Calvin Boerl as here jockey. He gets off his winning Derby mount Mind that Bird; that’s a first. Borel stated that she is the best horse he’s ever ridden. The filly is looking to make history. No winner of the Kentucky Oaks has won the Preakness .The last filly to win the Preakness was Nellie Morse in 1924. Her speed figures are much better then the colts. Is she the second coming of the great filly Ruffian? We will see. She can handle an off track; she won for fun on one. She’s the one to beat.
And now my selections:
# 9— Pioneerof The Nile
# 13—Rachel Alexandra
# 5— Friesan Fire
# 2— Mind That Bird
Good luck to all the horses and their jockeys.
See you at the windows.