What a great two days of racing at Pimlico! I was there both days and can't say enough about the racing on both cards Friday and Saturday. But for now let's focus on the Preakness and the hope of a Triple Crown. First I want to thank the connections of Creative Cause, Bodemeister and I'll Have Another for bringing their horses to Baltimore to run in the Preakness. They certainly brought the show and gave us what we wanted to see, but unfortunately there can only be one winner. I told my wife on the way home I've been in the Dean Dome when UNC beat Duke on a last second shot, but the roar that came from the crowd at Pimlico when I'll Have Another and Bodemeister distinguished themselves down the stretch and finally I'll Have Another gamely put his head in front at the wire was much louder. And what was really great was when they showed the replay on the screen the crowd let out that same deafening cheer.
To analyze the Preakness, let's take a look at the top three finishers:
3rd - Creative Cause
Creative Cause is won of those horses I am going to love to use in my exotics going forward. He is very consistent and always finishes well. Though he did not go on down the stretch with Bodemeister and I'll Have Another in the Preakness, he still finished 3 lengths in front of of the 4th place finisher. And let's not forget, based on time alone he would have finished in the top finisher if not won the Pimlico Special on Friday! The Pimlico Special was for older horse, and some good ones at that! You have to wonder how much the cross continent travel took out of him and he still trounced the rest of the field. Look for this horse to move forward and be a major player once he has been freshened.
2nd - Bodemeister
Bodemeister ran his race in the Preakness. And as in the Derby he proved he is head and shoulders above the 3yr old crop...all except I'll Have Another. Having things his own way in the Preakness, Bodemeister seemed very likely the winner coming off the 2nd turn at Pimlico. You have to wonder how much the hard races he ran in the Arkansas Derby and Kentucky Derby took out of him, but he did not fold in the stretch, he made I'll Have Another earn it when no other horse was even close. Once this horse is fresh again...lookout! Remember, if you take I'll Have Another out, Bodemeister would be heading to the Belmont to try for the triple crown!
1st - I'll Have Another
Wow! This horse closed into a pace where Bodemeister had things his own way. No other horse was moving forward and the top 2 finishers cleared the field by 9 lengths. I'll Have Another show just how game he is running down Bodemeister to win by a neck, that is not an easy thing to do, especially against a horse like Bodemeister. I'm not sure there is another horse in training right now that could have down that! This horse is something special and his trainer Doug O'Neil needs to send his jockey to Belmont right now to start riding to learn how to ride at Belmont - the longest race track in America. What is most impressive about this young jockey is he was competing with a Hall of Fame jockey, Mike Smith, who riding Bodemeister. There is no better jockey when it comes in finishing than Mike Smith, that was proven on Zenyatta and in last years BC Classic with Drosselmeyer. But I'll Have Another's jockey set him down to run and kept to task when they pulled along side Smith and Bodemeister. Hats off to this team for the stretch drive in the Preakness!
My Prediction -
I'll Have Another wins the Belmont and the first Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. He has the right style, a patient jockey and is bred for the distance.