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On to 'Old Hilltop': 138th Preakness May 18, 2013 at Pimlico Race

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  • #41
    Originally posted by lizathenag View Post
    The name Preakness has been right at the top of the racing vernacular for years, as the second leg of the Triple Crown, yet many people have no idea what or who Preakness is.

    There just might be a reason why the Preakness Stakes has been the scene of some of the most bizarre occurrences in the annals of the Triple Crown.

    Sloppy tracks, muddy tracks, hard tracks, stifling heat, interference, injuries, a misjudged workout, and a suicidal pace have all had a hand in preventing Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winners from sweeping the Triple Crown.

    The Preakness and Preakness Day have also seen a massive power failure on race day; some guy running on the racetrack and throwing a punch at Artax in the final yards of an earlier stakes race; America’s foremost race caller Clem McCarthy calling the wrong winner on a nationwide radio broadcast in 1947; Afleet Alex clipping heels and nearly falling at the quarter pole and still winning in one of the most remarkable recoveries in racing history; Codex and Genuine Risk involved in one of the most heated and controversial incidents ever; and a teletimer malfunction that cost Secretariat a track record that finally was rectified nearly 40 years later.

    And how about a horse winning the Kentucky Derby by four lengths and the Belmont by 10 lengths, only to finish second in the Preakness after being blocked at the quarter pole…by his own stablemate? That ignominious incident happened in 1931 to Greentree Stables’s Twenty Grand, who appeared to be making a winning move when his own stablemate, Surf Board, began to tire and backed up right into him, blocking his path. Twenty Grand managed to gather himself and find another run, but his closing rally fell 1 1/2 lengths short of catching the winner…a horse ironically called Mate.

    In 1939, Belair Stud’s Johnstown also destroyed his opponents in the Derby, winning by eighth lengths, and the Belmont, winning by five lengths. On Preakness day, a hard steady rain turned the track very muddy, and Johnstown just couldn’t get hold of it, tiring to finish fifth.

    So, how ironic was it that Twenty Grand was “wiped out” by a horse named Surf Board, and Johnstown was defeated in a “flood?”

    In 1972, Riva Ridge suffered the same fate as Johnstown, easily winning the Derby and Preakness, but floundered over a sloppy track in the Preakness.

    There are many ways to lose the Preakness and the Triple Crown, but Chateaugay came up with a new one in 1963. The Darby Dan colt won the Derby and Belmont impressively, but five days prior to the Preakness, trainer Jimmy Conway decided to work him a mile. Conway gave a leg up to his main exercise rider, Carlos Martinez, and told him to go a nice easy mile, between 1:41 and 1:42. But Chateauguay had other ideas and wound up working in 1:37 3/5, which equaled Pimlico’s track record for the mile set back in 1923. A disheartened Conway said after the work, “This was much too fast. I never knew the boy to miss by that much.”

    But this was the Preakness, where the unexplainable has become commonplace.

    In the race, Chateuagay was three lengths back in a 1:37, which means he ran the mile in the exact same time he did in his work. It was enough to result in a second-place finish to Candy Spots, a colt he defeated in both the Derby and Belmont.

    If ever a horse looked as if the Preakness would suit his style more than the Derby and Belmont it was Bold Forbes. But the speedster managed to win the Derby and Belmont, only to lose the Preakness when he wilted badly in the 90-degree temperature and high humidity while setting blazing fractions. In addition, he returned bleeding from his left heel, the result of several nasty cuts suffered during the running of the race.

    So, why have so many unusual occurrences plagued the Preakness? Perhaps it traces back to the horse for which the race was named.

    In 1868, a group of sportsmen got together at a dinner engagement in Saratoga and decided to form a new stakes race. Maryland governor Oden Bowie, who was in attendance, persuaded the others to stage the event in Baltimore. The governor must haven been extremely persuasive, considering there was no racetrack in Baltimore. He promised, however, that one would be built in time for the race, which was scheduled to debut in 1870. Bowie had put the cart before the race and it worked.

    Two years later, the inaugural Dinner Party Stakes was held on schedule. The race was so named because the winning owner was to host the losers at a dinner party following the race.

    The new Baltimore track was named Pimlico after…well, who knows? Most of the records of the Maryland Jockey Club were destroyed in the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904. Some say it was named for “Old Ben Pimlico’s Nut Brown Ale,” a favorite in England. Others believe it was named after an island called Pimlyco. Old Baltimore land records of 1699 show that a tract of land known as Pemblicoe was laid out in the same district where the racetrack is located.

    The inaugural running of the Dinner Party Stakes was won by a big, coarse-looking colt named Preakness, who was named after a small town in New Jersey.

    Years later, after being sent to England to compete in the long-distance Cup races, Preakness was purchased by the Duke of Hamilton for stud purposes.

    Unfortunately for Preakness, he developed a bad temper that was matched only by that of his owner’s. One day, the two clashed in Preakness’s stall, with the Duke coming out on the short end. In a fit of anger, he went into his house, grabbed his shotgun, and killed the horse.

    The incident enraged English sportsmen around the country, and the furor that resulted in Europe and all the way to America triggered a wave of reform, prompting laws and restrictions for the protection of animals. That law is enforced with such diligence today the Duke’s act surely would have resulted in a jail term and heavy fine.

    Through all the crazy misfortunes, the Preakness has remained one of the most popular and enjoyable racing experiences in America. If Orb can get by this race without anything bizarre occurring he will return home the conquering hero and overwhelming favorite to become the first Triple Crown winner in 35 years.

    This also is the 40th anniversary of Secretariat’s Triple Crown sweep, and what could be more appropriate than having Orb join this elite club, considering Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery (then Penny Tweedy) only got to own Big Red because she lost a coin flip with the late Ogden Phipps, who’s son Ogden Mills (Dinny) co-owns Orb with his cousin Stuart Janney III.

    If that isn’t a fitting Preakness storyline, what is?
    WOW! Were you quoting an article, or did you write this yourself? If so, I am deeply impressed!!


    • #42
      double post.
      Last edited by Vibrant Black; May. 17, 2013, 12:05 PM.


      • Original Poster

        How bad is breaking from the rail at Pimlico?

        In the past 52 years of Preakness history, only one horse — Tabasco Cat in 1994 — has won the race from that post position.
        Ok that's an historical take. How about being along the rail as of late? Honestly it only gets worse:

        A very dull rail strongly influenced the outcome of races on the main track at Pimlico for a period of about two weeks recently, starting on Thursday, April 25, and running through Sunday, May 5. That period encompasses eight cards, and during that time there were 52 races run on the dirt.

        Through the first week, from the 25th through the 28th, there was not a single winner who was on the rail for the duration of the race, outside of a 4 ½-furlong dash for 2-year-olds.
        It did improve with the bias fading and winners from the rail but that's spooky stuff if you're Orb's connections. Yet even the competition isn't suggesting he'll lose:

        A very dull rail strongly influenced the outcome of races on the main track at Pimlico for a period of about two weeks recently, starting on Thursday, April 25, and running through Sunday, May 5. That period encompasses eight cards, and during that time there were 52 races run on the dirt.

        Through the first week, from the 25th through the 28th, there was not a single winner who was on the rail for the duration of the race, outside of a 4 ½-furlong dash for 2-year-olds.
        By the way if you want Orb apparel - go here. All royalties generated from the sale of these items will be donated by the Janney-Phipps Stable to Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation.


        • Original Poster

          Team Orb will for the Preakness be again sponsored by Italian automaker Maserati (as they did in the Derby) with proceeds going to charity.


          • #45

            Working or not? Only a test!


            • #46
              Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post
              how can you not like the Cali invader "Fiftyshadeofhay"!
              Is this a Mike Pegram horse? It sounds like one of his names.


              • #47
                lizathnag- thanks for the informative and entertaining post!
                "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George


                • #48
                  I really enjoy racing years like this one, when I have a horse AND a horses' connections to hope for.

                  Such a pleasant thread. Thanks!


                  • Original Poster

                    I mentioned (with the unfortunate multi double posts!) the recent little success with post-position one, well those who have won from that slot are an impressive lot

                    Not unless they make him start the race in Annapolis. Or unless Orb is much more ordinary than he seems. Since three of the 11 Triple Crown winners have started the Preakness from No. 1 — Gallant Fox (1930), War Admiral (1937) and Whirlaway (1941) — the relevance of recent history is unclear.
                    Perusing the initial Preakness predicting few are willing to buck the consensus of saying it should be Orb's victory.

                    DRF's Steve Crist: "Each of Orb’s races is better than the last"

                    So, let’s try them in that order: Orb, Goldencents, Itsmyluckyday, and Departing, with the added hope that Orb wins with the authority that leaves us talking about him, and not the spotty field that he beat in Baltimore, as the series moves on to Belmont.
                    DRF Andy Beyer: "Hard to imagine Derby form won't travel to Baltimore"

                    If neither Goldencents nor Itsmyluckyday recaptures his best form, Orb can win the Preakness by default. I don't want to see him deliver a run-of-the-mill performance and generate the "superhorse" talk that invariably starts when a horse has won the first two legs of the Triple Crown.

                    If Orb is going to win, I would like to see him deliver a truly great effort. He could do so. His Derby victory, though it was accomplished under favorable circumstances, was certainly no fluke.
                    From the paulick report: 'Veteran trainers belive Orb is the one to beat"

                    Other horsemen at Churchill Downs picking Orb on top in the second jewel of the Triple Crown include Paul McGee, Jack Bohannon, Bret Calhoun, Norman Casse, Scooter Dickey, Brad Cox, Buff Bradley, Dale Romans and Phil Bauer.


                    • Original Poster

                      I have to say that this photo of Orb getting a bath is a different perspective on his built. Photo (Reuters) with Shug in background illustrates a more lean, narrow horse than one might expect.


                      • #51
                        The Blood Horse has a video of Orb's morning routine I think for today, his gallop at Pimlico. It has all the barn help I'm Maserati gear and in his graze after cooling out he had a Maserati sheet on. Is that a new sponsor?

                        I answered my own question! It is a new sponsorship deal with the proceeds going to charity. Could Orb's owners be more classy?



                        • #52
                          Glimmer,he always struck me as being "old school" in that way. A bit like the photos of Indian Charlie.

                          Malibu Moon looks like quite the chunk, however I have not seen a photo of him when he was racing fit, so can't tell if he is just fat, now, as many stud farms seem to keep their stallions, or if he was a heavier built horse.


                          • #53
                            Nice article!


                            • Original Poster

                              With everyone fawning over Orb (present company included) you have to love a tweet like this - from the DRF's Jay Privman this morning

                              Noted bath experts say Orb's bath this morning might be the greatest bath they've seen in the history of baths. #Orb

                              Of that Maserati deal (a holding of FIAT S.p.A) we might see Orb in ads ..

                              Under terms of the agreement, Maserati will have the right to use the image and likeness of all parties associated with and including Orb in Maserati advertising and promotional materials. Orb will wear a Maserati logo on his blanket tomorrow.
                              Previously at the Derby only Joel wore the name and Neptune Trident logo on his pants.

                              Well someone is putting it out there ... Wall Street Journal (5/17/13) Why Orb Will Win the Triple Crown


                              • #55
                                I am certainly continuing to look forward to the next two races. With a bit of a jump ahead from this race...

                                Looked at tickets for the Belmont on StubHub. I've never known the track to have "instant download tickets". Wary it might not be legit, since I've only used physical reserve seat tickets at NYRA tracks.

                                Anyone know if/how "instant download tickets" work for NYRA tracks, when purchased from StubHub?

                                Anyone else dreaming about/planning on going to The Belmont?

                                PS Do they still use the schoolbus from the far lot?
                                But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson


                                • Original Poster

                                  As posted in another thread by Vibrant Black it looks like Pimlico amazingly does have a free, live video stream feed to tap into to watch the racing. Unclear what will happen, if anything, when there are NBC/NBC Sports aired racing if they cease the signal.


                                  Article from 5-16-13 on the Vegas odds with a Triple Crown for Orb - "trending up"

                                  Back to this year, Orb also received support from early bettors at +240 and was bet down to as low as +210. Avello said that’s when the naysayers felt they had value and bet heavily on the “no” at -250 and -260. By Wednesday night, the prop was back up at -270/+230. The “no-vig” would be 250, or 5-2 against; in other words, it would give Orb a 28.6 percent chance that he will complete the Triple Crown and 71.4 percent that he won’t.

                                  Some race books are in a bit of a Catch-22. If Orb wins Saturday and continues to the Belmont, that would lead to a huge betting day in three weeks. If he isn’t still shooting for the Triple Crown, that drops Belmont Day to just another stakes weekend. However, Orb is the biggest liability at those books that offered Triple Crown odds. Orb opened at 15-1 at the Wynn and was bet down to 10-1.

                                  Orb was also the worst-case scenario for Avello’s future book at the Wynn as well as one of the losers for William Hill. He opened at 200-1 at the Wynn, and Avello said he was taking “pretty good-sized bets” on him at 6-1 in April and even at 4-1 leading up to the draw.

                                  But no one is going to cry for the bookmakers, especially when it comes to Triple Crown liability. No bookie has had to pay out on a Triple Crown winner in 35 years (and if Orb wins the Preakness, I’m making it my assignment to find out if anyone offered that prop back in the 1970s).


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by ravenclaw View Post
                                    Is this a Mike Pegram horse? It sounds like one of his names.
                                    Yes she is. I'd like to see some of the submissions he's put in that weren't approved.
                                    "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by Vibrant Black View Post
                                      WOW! Were you quoting an article, or did you write this yourself? If so, I am deeply impressed!!
                                      This was copy/pasted from Steve Haskins. Link here:

                                      "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                                      My CANTER blog.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Originally posted by Toadie's mom View Post
                                        Yes she is. I'd like to see some of the submissions he's put in that weren't approved.
                                        Yep, Fiftyshadesofhay is owned by owned by Mike Pegram as well as Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman. The name doesn't really have a play on the sire/dam - its just coy and trendy.

                                        WinStar Farm bred the winner in Kentucky. The bay filly, a $175,000 Keeneland September yearling in 2011, is out of Quiet Kim, a graded stakes-placed daughter of Pegram's classic winner Real Quiet.


                                        • Original Poster

                                          The official press release from Maserati North America

                                          By the way - dry, fast track? Eh, don't bet on it. The Weather Channel has now made the chance of rain Sat afternoon 50%