Sunday, May 17, 2009

THE REAL DEAL – TIMES TWO

Yesterday’s Preakness in Baltimore made four things very clear.

ONE – As Calvin Borel has said continuously, Rachel Alexandra may well be the best horse in the country. Even while she had some difficulty handling the track (according to Borel) she beat the boys and became the eleventh filly to win a Triple Crown race.

She joins an exclusive club that has as its members Rags To Riches (Belmont, 2007), Winning Colors (Kentucky Derby, 1988), Genuine Risk (Kentucky Derby, 1980), Nellie Morse (Preankess, 1924), Regret (Kentucky Derby, 1915), Rhine Maiden (Preakness, 1915), Whimsical (Preakness, 1906), Tanya (Belmont, 1905), Flocarline (Preakness, 1903) and Ruthless (Belmont, 1867).

If Rachel Alexandra’s connections decide to try the Belmont, she could become the first filly to win two Triple Crown races.

TWO – Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird proved his victory in Louisville was no fluke. If he had found an opening on the rail as he did two weeks about with Borel, MTB and Mike Smith may have caught the brilliant filly.

THREE – Nice exacta. You bet $2 on Rachel Alexandra – who won the most important three year old filly race of the spring racing season by more than 20 lengths, and Mine That Bird – who won the most important three-year-old race of the year – into an exacta and you get back $39.20. Go figure.

While the Preakness crowd collapsed from over 112,000 to approximately 77,000, they didn’t get any wiser when it comes to handicapping. An exacta involving the Kentucky Oaks winner and the Kentucky Derby winner should pay $12…!

FOUR - The Freakness is dead. Long live the Freakness. Pimlico officials decided the all day party in the infield had gotten out of control. Subsequently, they changed the cherished and traditional BYOB policy. Early beers to encourage attendance were $1, and regular ones later in the day were $3.50. The new policy, which all and all isn't a bad idea, wasn't popular and attendance plummeted. Officials expect it to pick back up once folks get used to the new policy which was designed to increase revenue and decrease debauchery. Churchill Downs made a similar move a few years back...

To see the full chart of the Preakness, click here.

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