Month: May 2011

State Senate Brings Illinois Racing One Step Closer

Oaklawn Racing & Gaming, Hot Springs, AR

The Illinois Senate passed a historic piece of legislation this afternoon that may prove to be a pivotal turning point for horse racing in the state.  By a vote of 30-27, state legislators approved a gambling extension bill that will bring 14 new gambling venues to the state.  The bill, which secured the needed 30 votes, will now be passed to Governor Pat Quinn.  There has not been any credible news regarding his expected action on the bill so his decision on whether to approve, veto, or make changes with an amendatory veto is still pending.

But what will this bill do for Illinois Horse Racing?  (more…)


Animal Kingdom is New York Bound

Animal Kingdom Confirmed For The 3rd & Final Leg

After a runner-up finish in the Preakness Stakes, Trainer Graham Motion confirmed his Kentucky Derby Champion will move onto the 3rd and final leg of the Triple Crown on June 11th at Belmont Park.  Based on his early confirmation, it seems pretty clear that Motion feels that Animal Kingdom bounced out of the Preakness very well and that his colt will be ready on Belmont Day.   His arrival at Belmont Park is yet to be determined as it will all depend on the location that Motion chooses for the colt’s final gallop.  If it is to be at Belmont Park, you can expect him to arrive as early as 5-7 days prior, if it is to be at Fair Hill Training Center, where the colt is now, look for him to arrive 2-3 days before the Belmont.  Thunder Gulch was the last horse to complete the Derby – Belmont double in 1995.  At this point, Animal Kingdom looks like a strong candidate for the double and attempts to become only the 13th horse, all time, to have completed it.  (more…)

Quest for the Next Triple Crown Continues

Shackleford Holds His Ground

It says a lot about a young horse, and jockey for that matter, who was able to hang on for the win in the Preakness with the Kentucky Derby champ breathing down his neck in the stretch.  Shackleford deserves all the credit for a well run and hard-earned victory and will be remembered for it.  However, the only blemish on his resume, for the next few months, is that he will also be known as the horse responsible for stretching the years since our last Triple Crown winner to 33.  (more…)

Race Recap: Animal Kingdom Gets Shackled

Jesus Castanon aboard Preakness winner Shackleford

Dale Romans is a journeyman trainer.  He has grown up around the sport of horse racing, training his first winner at Turfway Park in 1987.  As a trainer he has collected top prizes and over 1,000 wins.  His biggest wins include Tapitsfly’s victory in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and Roses In May’s victory in the Dubai World Cup in 2005.  These are career changing victories, but the Triple Crown races have always eluded him.  Paddy O’Prado finished a strong 3rd behind Super Saver in the 2010 Kentucky Derby.  The horse looked to be a contender for the Preakness crown, but faded to sixth.  However, Romans’s other horse, First Dude, finished 2nd behind Lookin At Lucky in the second jewel of the Triple Crown.  It seems that Romans is always in the mix of things, but his horses just can’t get to the wire in the American Classics.  This year was to be different as Shackleford won the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes at Pimlico.  (more…)

Preakness Picks; Special Guest Edition

Written by: Stackin’ Green                                                                                                         Special Guest to:

We’re back with another edition of handicapping tips for the 2nd jewel of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes.  The Kentucky Derby was exciting and proved once again that rules were made to be broken — especially when the young colts are as lightly raced as they are these days.  Animal Kingdom turned the jets on late into a soft pace to get Johnny Velazquez into the winner’s circle for the first time.  As a LIVE LONGSHOT, I was pleased with the many (including myself) that had him across the board and hopefully some were able to manipulate the numbers in the exotics.  I’ll be looking for another good year, as last year I had Lookin at Lucky as the Preakness winner after betting him through that brutal trip from the #1 post in the Derby.  It felt good sticking with him, vindicating myself and more importantly, cashing at the teller.  (more…)

2011 Preakness Play

AK on Cruise Control

This weekend’s Preakness brings us the first Kentucky Derby winner since Big Brown with a legitimate shot at winning the 2nd leg of the Triple Crown.  In the Preakness favorite Animal Kingdom, we have a colt that ran much the best in the Derby, continues to eat and is getting better by the day.

So, what’s the pick?  (more…)

The Morning Line: The Preakness Stakes

The Preakness Stakes

The racing world shifts focus this weekend from the blue grass hills of Kentucky to the harbor ports of Baltimore, Maryland.  Named after Lord Baltimore, a member of the Irish House of Lords, the city has set the stage for many great scenes. Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics from a ship as American forces held of the British during the War of 1812.  HBO’s The Wire tackled the war on drugs in inner cities and corruption within politics for five outstanding seasons.  Cal Ripken, Jr. eclipsed Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games played on his way to a hall of fame career.  And every third Saturday in May, Pimlico Race Track hosts the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the famous Triple Crown.

The first Preakness was held on May 27, 1873, a full two years before the Kentucky Derby.  It drew seven starters and was won by Survivor over 1 1/2 miles.  The race was run at this distance until 1889 (1 1/4 miles) and again in 1890.  From 1891 through 1893 the Preakness was not held ending its consecutive streak. But despite the short break, the Preakness returned in 1894 and has run ever since.  The distance of 1 3/16 miles was installed in 1925 as Coventry took the Preakness and the blanket of Black Eyed Susans.  (more…)

Let’s Pick Up The Pace

Shackleford Leads the KYD Field at a Leisure Pace

The field for the Preakness Stakes will contain its largest possible field of 14 horses and of those, 9 horses are entered that did not run in the Kentucky Derby.  With fresh legs and a shorter total distance, it’s safe to expect faster fractions at the front of the pack.  So, the question on everybody’s mind is: how will our Kentucky Derby Champ respond to what should be a much livelier pace in the Preakness? (more…)

Outside Again; Animal Kingdom Draws Post 11

Animal Kingdom and his connections find themselves very comfortable after learning they will be breaking from the 11 Post in the Preakness Stakes.  After proving in the Kentucky Derby that the colt and his jockey, John Valezquez, could navigate themselves around and through a field of 19 rivals from post 16, the 11 post should again allow them to break clean from the outside and find good position heading into the first turn.  (more…)

Preakness Week Is Here

2010 Preakness Stretch Duel

As the countdown to the 2nd leg of the Triple Crown nears, a few questions remain.  By tomorrow at this time we should get final confirmation on who will be entering the starting gate in attempt to put a stop to Animal Kingdom’s Triple Crown bid.  While there are contenders returning after the Kentucky Derby, there are several fresh faces making their Triple Crown debut.  With the field expecting to reach the Preakness maximum of 14 horses, there is a chance that over half of the field will be horses that bypassed the Kentucky Derby.

Dating back to 2000 there have been 3 Preakness Stakes winners that did not run in the Kentucky Derby, the most recent being Rachel Alexandra in 2009.  The other two horses were Bernardini in ’06 and Red Bullet in ’00.  Between the years of 1997 and 2004 is when we saw 6 Triple Crown attempts make it through the 2nd leg and onto Belmont before being unraveled.  Those Bids: Sliver Charm, Real Quiet, Charismatic, War Emblem, Funny Cide, and Smarty Jones.  The most recent horse to follow-up a win in the Kentucky Derby win by taking the Preakness was Big Brown in ’08.  (more…)