UPDATE - BIG BROWN WORKED THIS MORNING!
2 FURLONGS IN 25 4/5...
(Follow me...CINDY PIERSON-DULAY caught the gang in the BIG BROWN camp following the champ out to the track Thursday morning..)
EDITOR'S NOTE: The NEW YORK TIMES today (Preakness day) features on its front page a lead-in to its big story on HORSE SLAUGHTER and saving racehorses.
Oh right, the TORONTO STAR already did that on Derby day........
By the way head-in-sand people in racing....that is the way to get attention for the horses, feature them on BIG DAYS...
THE TOP NEWS STORIES ON THE NEW YORK TIMES SITE TODAY....
- Taliban Release Pakistani Envoy
- Zimbabwe’s Tsvangirai Delays Return
- Obama Says Bush and McCain Are ‘Fear Peddling’
- F.B.I. Gets Mixed Review in Interrogation Report
- Saving Horses, One Thoroughbred at a Time
PREAKNESS ANALYSIS IN TODAY'S TORONTO STAR
(The Star also has photos and stories for the race today plus today's Woodbine entries and selections)
133rd PREAKNESS STAKES-G1; $1,000,000; 3-year-olds; second jewel of American Triple Crown; 1 3/16 miles; Pimlico racetrack, Baltimore, Maryland Post time: 6:15 p.m. THE FIELD
Post Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1. MACHO AGAIN Julien Leparoux Dallas Stewart 20-to-1
2. TRES BORRACHOS Tyler Baze Beau Greeley 30-to-1
3. ICABAD CRANE Jeremy Rose Graham Motion 30-to-1
4. YANKEE BRAVO Alex Solis Patrick Gallagher 15-to-1
5. BEHINDATTHEBAR David Flores Todd Pletcher Scratched
6. RACECAR RHAPSODY Robby Albarado Ken McPeek 30-to-1
7. BIG BROWN Kent Desormeaux Rick Dutrow Jr. 1-to-2
8. KENTUCKY BEAR Jamie Theriot Reade Baker 15-to-1
9. STEVIL Rafael Bejarano Nick Zito 30-to-1
10. RILEY TUCKER John Velazquez Bill Mott 30-to-1
11. GIANT MOON Jorge Chavez Richard Schosberg 30-to-1
12. GAYEGO Mike Smith Paulo Lobo 7-to-1
13. HEY BYRN Charles Lopez Edward Plesa Jr. 20-to-1.
MY PICKS 1 – BIG BROWN 2 – MACHO AGAIN 3 – KENTUCKY BEAR LONGSHOT – RACECAR RHAPSODY
TOO BIG- BIG BROWN, never beaten, made a believer of the few who picked against him from post 20 in the Kentucky Derby. This colt is far too good for this field.
HE’S GOT TO BE – MACHO AGAIN won the Derby Trial Stakes the weekend before the Kentucky Derby in very fast time. He stayed out of the Derby madness and is a dangerous, fresh horse to take on Big Brown.
YOU’LL GET TO KNOW HIM – Canadian owned and trainer KENTUCKY BEAR is the leader of the hype-machine at the Preakness. Tons of ink has been used to write about this lightly raced colt who can build on the third-place finish in the Blue Grass Stakes. When trainer Baker is confident, he’s sometimes right.
ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM – That tiny speck in the very back of the field at the start of the race will be RACECAR RHAPSODY but this colt has a big engine and super stretch kick.
THREE DRUNKS – That’s what TRES BORRACHOS means. Colt is out of a hard-knocking Canadian-bred mare who raced at Woodbine but he appears to have issues with distances such as this trip.
ALL IN THE FAMILY – Trainer Bill Mott is overdue for a win in a Triple Crown race. Maybe it will be with the colt named after his son RILEY TUCKER? Maybe not.
CHEESE! – GIANT MOON won the first four races of his career and then was beaten 47 lengths. The colt was 4th to Canadian-owned Tale of Ekati in the Wood Memorial and that runner came back to be 4th in the Derby.
HOORAY – California-based YANKEE BRAVO is co-owned by Alberta’s Dick Bonnycastle and this colt picked up some pieces in his Kentucky Derby prep races but didn’t go in the Derby itself.
CAN’T BE TRUE, CAN IT? The ultra-consistent GAYEGO ran horribly in the Derby, finishing 17th. Sure the colt had some trouble, but that was a dull effort.
GOOD, NOT THAT GOOD – Stakes winner HEY BRYN just won a stakes race in Florida but the only time he met Big Brown, he lost by 17 lengths.
HEAD START – The only horse in the race with a stakes win on the Pimlico surface is ICABAD CRANE, a good colt with three wins in four races. The bad news is the colt has not run fast enough to consider him more than a mid-pack finisher. Same can be said for longshot STEVIL.
MARINE ENTRANTS SET SAIL - Woodbine Today $15,133 CARRYOVER IN PICK 7
The American classic 3yos are well underway in their pursuit of glory and now it's close to make-or-break time for the Canadian sophomores.
For 2 today, GIQUERE and KESAGAMI, their test comes in the Grade 3 Marine Stakes, race 6 today at Woodbine.
The 1 1/16 mile race has lured 2 Mark Casse trainees (one is sure to be scratched - to compete in the Ohio Derby perhaps?) plus a trio of fringers looking for pieces of the $150,000 purse.
MINER'S CLAIM (Mineshaft) is the big deal in the Marine based on his well-documented, troubled trip in the Blue Grass, a race that so far has not produced any world beaters. But the colt romped in 2 races at Woodbine last year and was 2nd in the Rushway Stakes at Turfway in the spring.
The other Casse trainee is the big-Beyer Figured BONANZA who looks better than his mate at this point based on his easy win in the Wando Stakes and his 90 Beyer.
As for GIQUERE, the Mutakkdim colt could be sitting on a big one - if he can win at the distance. He ran gamely in the Wando to be 2nd to Bonanza in his first 2 turn attempt. Mario Forgione's colt has a new rider today in Emma-Jayne Wilson as Jono Jones is committed to Not Bourbon (who passed up the Marine).
KESAGAMI was wobbly when last in the Queenston Stakes and would have to turn things around in a big way to get back on the Plate trail.
OTHER STUFF TODAY..
BEAR NOW is in a Grade 2...
Allaire DuPont Distaff S. (G2)
May 17, $150,000, f&m, 3yo & up, 11⁄16m, Pimlico Race Course, 5:13 PM ET
PP Horse Sire Jockey Wt. Trainer Odds
1. Altesse Ramon A. Dominguez 118 Claude McGaughey III 9-to-2
2. Runway Rosie Include Kent J. Desormeaux 118 Gary C. Contessa 9-to-2
3. Peach Flambe Flying Chevron Edgar S. Prado 118 Mark A. Hennig 7-to-2
4. Bear Now Tiznow Jamie Theriot 118 Reade Baker 5-to-1
5. Cash’s Girl Northern Afleet Pablo Morales 118 Timothy F. Ritchey 20-to-1
6. Lexi Star Crypto Star Jeremy Rose 118 Christopher W. Grove 15-to-1
7. Buy the Barrel E Dubai Gabriel Saez 120 J. Larry Jones 6-to-1
8. Silver Knockers Silver Deputy John R. Velazquez 118 Nicholas P. Zito 15-to-1
9. Wow Me Free Menifee Alan Garcia 120 Kiaran P. McLaughlin 4-to-1
BUFFALO MAN (Canadian-bred) is in the DIXIE HANDICAP..
May 17, $250,000, 3yo & up, 11⁄8mT, Pimlico Race Course, 4:25 PM ET
PP Horse Sire Jockey Wt. Trainer Odds
1. Headsandtales Tale of the Cat Jonathan Joyce 118 Robin L. Graham 20-to-1
2. Distorted Reality Distorted Humor John R. Velazquez 118 Todd A. Pletcher 4-to-1
3. Buffalo Man El Prado (Ire) Edgar S. Prado 122 Cam M. Gambolati 8-to-1
4. Shakis (Ire) Machiavellian Alan Garcia 118 Kiaran P. McLaughlin 3-to-2
5. Pays to Dream High Yield Javier Castellano 118 David G. Donk 10-to-1
6. Stay Close (GB) Belong to Me A. R. Napravnik 118 Michael Zwiesler 5-to-1
7. Ra Der Dean Rahy Horacio Karamanos 118 Edward Maher 30-to-1
8. Salinja Boundary Gabriel Saez 118 H. Graham Motion 6-to-1
9. Pick Six Dynaformer Garrett K. Gomez 118 Claude McGaughey III 12-to-1
SELENE STAKES - GRADE 3 - TAKES A HIT
If it were not for the presence of Grade 1 placed GRACE AND POWER and Grade 3 winner OFFICER CHERRIE, the Selene Stakes, to be run Sunday, would be a very wak race for $250,000
Two horses that were entered in the race (longshots for sure but still filling up the field to make it interesting) were scratched on Friday to race in an allowance event on Monday.
Those two were stakes winner MRS. BEGAN and recent fast maiden winner SIMPLY SPLENDID.
Now the Selene is down to a field of just 7.
Monday's stakes race, incidentally, is yet another older horse sprint event - there have already 2 of those since the meeting began 6 weeks ago. The VIGIL is also listed as a Grade 3.
GREAT IZN'T IT? WOODBINE FRIDAY NOTES
Freaky Friday at Woodbine (we dubbed Fridays that nickname years ago as the races were weak and seemed to almost produce wild results) started off tamely enough.
Heavily favoured GRAIN OF TRUTH won by a bunch of lengths after being sent hard to the lead, opening up, running fast and simply laving the others in her dust.
It was quite a sizzling outing for a filly who has not shown that kind of speed before.
It was her first start for trainer DON MACRAE, who has been winning races at Fort Erie at an alarming rate recently.
But the wheels started to come loose when odds on DANCING ALLTHEWAY ran out gas in a big hurry in the last 10 strides of the 2nd race at 7 furlongs and was passed by SAND COVE.
It was a nice win for the grey Sand Cove, a $54,222 (US) yearling purchase by Ralph Johnson and trainer Roger Attfield. A grey by Bold Executive-Mythical Status bred by the Everatts at Shannondoe Farm, Sand Cove is 2 for 10 in his career now.
Race 3 - Front running SPRINGLEDGE made it 2 for 2 this year as she wired mares in the 1 1/16 mile race for $16,000 claiming. The OUtflanker 7-year-old has been a winning machine in her career but not lately = she was 0 for 10 in 2007.
But she's better this year and racing at easier levels and it was her 9th career win in her 30th start. Norseman Racing owns and Scott Fairlie trainers.
Pat Husbands rode.
Race 4 - The winner came from far back up the rail - the lovely looked bay colt COMMERCIAL FREE, a Tampa shipper, who was cycling up in his Beyer Figures for Marilyn McMullen and Mike MacMullen who rode. The Harlan's Holiday colt defeated heavily favoured Joannie Not Jo who bore out in early stretch under left-handed whipping by Tyler Pizarro and wiped out County Dreamer. Joannie was disqualified to 7th in the $16,000 claiming race.
Race 5- Maiden allowance, Ontario sired, 7 furlongs, a popular classification that gets a lot of entries. Favoured ONE ADAM TWELVE was just a little too late and too little with his rally to catch up for the Mark Casse Stakes. Winning was the 5yo maiden GREAT IT TIZ, who had not raced since JULY but was well prepared by Tim Regan for his father Larry Regan. The grey is by Great Gladiator and is a homebred out of Tiz Liz. Danny David continues a super spring with this win.
RACE 6 - Wild Diamond sizzled on the pace, Lewicki chased, both staggered to the wire inches apart and landed on the finish line inseparable by the phot camera.
WILD DIAMOND, making his first start since July and 6th career start, was claimed for the $10,000 price he ran for yesterday (well, $9,500 actually) and he showed 4 works with 4 weeks between 2 recent preps. He's an Ontario bred by Bold Executive out of Wildcard Coyote bred by Eliot Feder. Emile Ramsammy rode.
LEWICKI was the 2nd winner for the up-and-coming CENTENNIAL FARMS
(NIAGARA) INC. and he was making his 3rd start off the Feb.-April layoff for trainer Alec Fehr. Pat Husbands rode his 2nd winner of the day.
RACE 7 - Winner of the $10,000 claimer for mares was lucky and got a great ride. While Pizarro had a rough time when dq'd earlier in the day, he was very patient with PRADA GIRL, saving ground and waiting behind a 4 horse duel on the turn before slipping between rivals in mid stretch.
PRADA GIRL was making her 2nd start of the year and moving out from a 7 furlong race for Four Score Stable and trainer Dan Vella, who has maintained a wild streak of wins this spring. The filly is by Pleasant Tap out of an El Prado mare and was bred in Ontario by Marvin Warner Jr.
MIGHTY FENIAN won the 8th race for $40,000 claimers, non-winners of 2, with a fast late rush under Slade Callaghan. Owned by Mike Doyle (who bred and trains) and Dura Racing, the gelding is by Sky Classic out of Doyle's good mare Biddy Mulligan.
Centennial Farms (Niagara) almost won its 3rd race of the day as Skewed led into the stretch but he finally tired to 3rd.
The day's last race went to the favourite (although somehow I messed up on the morning liine, making her 8 to 1 , ouch!). SUDDEN GALE (Brokwn Vow out of a Boundary mare!) debuted for $50,000 claiming last December but returned yesterday for just $12,500. She had to work very hard through the stretch but finally put away D'Wild Day, who ran a 0 Beyer Figure in her season debut but suddenly came to life yesterday and then a closing Cathy's Pride.
OTHER STUFF FROM YESTERDAY
Canadian-bred and Woodbine Oaks contender MAREN'S MEADOW stumbled badly at the start of the Black Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico, raced inside in the slop but was always under a ride and did not look comfortable and she finally faded badly.
The winner was a new York miss, SWEET VENDETTA, bred and co-owned by DAVID CASSIDY. C'mon, get happy.
Maren's Meadow (Meadowlake) is (was?) expected to come to Woodbine for the Oaks next month after her Susan run.
Last year's Oaks winnere Sealy Hill was also coming off a drubbing in a major US stakes race.
Woodbine trainer GREG DE GANNES won a $41,000 allowance race at Presque Isle on Thursday with FORBIDDEN IMAGE, a Florida bred owned by Pam Edel.
AND FUN STUFF IN THE NEWS
SANDY HAWLEY LOVES FASHION AND CLOTHES...read this in today's TORONTO STAR...
NOT SO FUN STUFF
If you haven't donated your time, a few bucks or some serious thought on what happens to the athletes of racing - the horses - you should start paying attention..
Check out the HBO show I linked to 2 days ago and then see what happens to racehorses in other parts of the world (just like some in Canada)...by reading this....