In the days and weeks leading up to the Kentucky Derby the discussion regarding the racing style of the top contenders always comes up. It’s a fun conversation so let’s carry it into Preakness 2013. In recent years the winner of the Preakness Stakes would be described as either a Stalker, Front Runner or sometimes Closer. As for the Deep Closer that’s a style that brings us to one important horse in particular, the 2013 Kentucky Derby Champion Orb.
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Following the 1982 Kentucky Derby, the connections for the winner, Gato Del Sol, made a very surprising decision. For the first time in 23 years the Kentucky Derby winner would by-pass the second jewel and rest instead for the Belmont Stakes. The absence of Gato Del Sol took away the chance of a Triple Crown but it also introduced us to Aloma’s Ruler, a horse that skipped the Kentucky Derby.
The following year Sunny’s Halo made it to Pimlico to race in the Preakness Stakes but the Kentucky Derby winner was not able to carry his win streak into the third and final leg of the Triple Crown. As a substitute story line we were once again introduced to another winner that did not run in the Kentucky Derby. This time it was Deputed Testamony, a Maryland Bred that proved he didn’t need the Kentucky Derby in order to win on his home turf.
Since 1983 however, the rare feat has remained somewhat unusual as only 3 of the last 29 Preakness Stakes winners skipped the Kentucky Derby. Although it has occurred twice in the last eight years I recommend we look at whom two of these horses were.
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And so the pursuit of another Triple Crown continues. The Triple Crown can be described many different ways. However, since the quest has taken a hit in 2012 it leads to the interpretation that it is an impossible feat. Another word that sums things up to date is Curse. But is it? The truth is that the facts don’t lie and right now there aren’t many things that can dismiss this perception.
The 34 years that have passed since Affirmed was crowned in 1978 puts us in the middle of the longest Triple Crown drought of all time. Because the dry spell has carried on this long we’ve also seen more bids unravel in the final leg. Ahead of Secretariat changing the sport in 1973 you had to go back to Citation in 1948 to find the last Triple Crown winner. In those 24 years 7 different horses won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes before they were denied at Belmont Park. But when you add 10 more years to a drought and include I’ll Have Another in 2012, the total of Triple Crown near misses since Affirmed has now climbed to 12. (more…)
I’ll Have Another Wins the Preakness Stakes
Going in to the Preakness Stakes it was common to analyze this race as a battle between two elite contenders. Those predictions were nothing less than spot-on as the battle went all the way down to the wire. As for the forecast that Bodemeister’s speed would be too tough catch, we now know that I’ll Have Another would not allow it. For the 3rd consecutive time, the colt that refuses quit in the stretch has won again so now the question is how far can he go?
Waiting to receive him is one of the grandest stages of them all, New York City and the final leg of the Triple Crown. The good thing is that there will be plenty of time to dissect his chances of becoming the first elite member of the Triple Crown club since Affirmed in 1978. So for now let’s look at how we managed to get by Bodemeister once again en route to a win in the Preakness Stakes. (more…)
Odds Favor Bode Over I’ll Have Another
The majority of racing fans are pulling for a Triple Crown. The City of Baltimore seems to be locked in with the Kentucky Derby winner. The general public would love to see a name like this carry its legacy on to the final leg where New York City will be waiting with open arms. But the odds maker has spoken and Bodemeister is your Morning Line Favorite once again. Meanwhile, the Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another is stalking close behind. Oddly enough this story is setting up to be a precursor to the race itself, round two between the front vs. the stalker. Buckle up race fans, this one could get interesting.
Click Here for the 2012 Preakness Stakes ML Odds and Post Positions (more…)
As the countdown to the Kentucky Derby closes in every year the more talk there is about the so-called Derby Trends that a select few entries will be facing. The Preakness Stakes on the other hand doesn’t hold nearly as many. But since handicapping trends can be an intriguing element to consider, lets dig in. Now that the field is set, the post positions drawn and the Morning Line Odds deposited, let’s analyze a Preakness Trend that has had a very tough run as of late.
Only 3 of the last 28 winners skipped the Kentucky Derby. Although two of them have come in the last eight years, it’s recommended to first consider exactly who these two are – Rachel Alexandra in ’09 and Bernadini in ’05. What’s fascinating about these two Preakness Champions is that you might as well throw them out because of how great they went on to be. In fact, both horses ended thier Preakness victory year by winning an Eclipse Award. (more…)
Bodemeister Is Headed to the Preakness Stakes
The decision has been made; our Kentucky Derby runner-up is headed to Baltimore on Wednesday for a date with the horse that denied him the roses. In the opinion of Trainer Bob Baffert and Owner Ahmed Zayat Bodemeister has returned from the Kentucky Derby better than expected and looks fantastic. Following his gallop at Churchill Downs this morning is when Baffert made it official so it’s time to get ready for Bodemeister to make a 2nd run at getting the best of the Kentucky Derby winner.
The assumption has been that Bodemeister would be back for the Preakness Stakes but nothing is ever certain until the green light is given. This is especially true when a horse is coming off of back to back races where speed was the name of his game. In attempt to steal the race from the front of the pack, Bodemeister proceeded to torch the track at Churchill Downs behind a sweltering pace. Although it was a magnificent effort he wasn’t able to bring it home without behind gobbled up in the final 100 yards. (more…)
Yes vs. No in the Preakness Stakes
So here we are just one week away from the second leg of the Triple Crown. As the Preakness Stakes draws near and more contenders confirm their entry, the big lingering question continues to surface. Will the Kentucky Derby winner head to Belmont with a chance at immortality? It’s a question that is asked every year but the more that pass without a Triple Crown winner, the easier it has become to analyze why the Kentucky Derby winner will not be the next. That’s a good point but there are always counters to that arguement. (more…)
I’ll Have Another Settles In
The journey from Kentucky to Maryland is complete and I’ll Have Another is already getting comfortable at Pimlico Race Course. Arriving on Monday, 12 Days before the Preakness, makes I’ll Have Another the earliest Kentucky Derby winner to arrive since Monarchos left Louisville four days after the race in 2001. Trainer Doug O’Neil opted not to waste anytime because he thinks his colt will benefit by warming up to the surface and getting used to his new surroundings. You can’t blame a first time Kentucky Derby winning team for being a little anxious, plus who’s to say that the extra days in Baltimore will work against his chances of winning the second leg. (more…)
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…)