The racing – most of it anyway – was at Pimlico this weekend as stakes-filled lineups dominated Friday and Saturday. Orb didn’t win, so we’ll have to wait for a Triple Crown winner (again), but the Preakness delivered a little bit of everything including a record-setting 14th Triple Crown race win for trainer Wayne Lukas with Oxbow. Amazing.
The morning two days before the Preakness Stakes is always a little more lively and laid back than just about any other during the American racing year, with each of the entrants and just about all their connections on hand along with the annual Alibi Breakfast, and Thursday didn’t disappoint. Here’s a little of what TIHR soaked in.
Only on the TIHR Tour . . . we stopped at Nashville for a weekend of jump racing between the Derby and the Preakness. It took 3 miles to separate Demonstrative and Divine Fortune and Derby starter Mr. Hot Stuff continued his second chapter. Now, it’s on to Pimlico where Orb continues his orbit.
Orb won the Kentucky Derby, Grinding Speed rebounded from a fall to win the Virginia Gold Cup and now it’s on to the Nashville for the Iroquois Saturday and Baltimore for the Preakness next Saturday. Here’s your Here and There for post-Derby, post Gold Cup.
Derby Week. Doug O’Neill returns for another Derby. Shug McGaughey aims for his first. Bob Baffert sits one out. Todd Pletcher unfurls a handful. Gary Stevens is back. John Velazquez is back. Lines Of Battle landed. Verrazano is undefeated in four starts. Revolutionary has won three in a row. Normandy Invasion is brewing. No horse has trained better than Orb.
It’s down to days for the Kentucky Derby, as 20 horses aim at flat racing’s greatest prize. And it was certainly down to years in the Maryland Hunt Cup, as 14-year-old Professor Maxwell won the timber classic. Black Quartz upset Alajmal and Mr. Hot Stuff at Queen’s Cup. Dave Carroll raided Pimlico with Abstraction, who showed moxie to win the Federico Tesio (nice to see the name restored). Here’s your here and There for Monday, April 29.
Hall of Famers Mike Smith, Bob Baffert – and Joe Torre – plundered Charles Town, taking the Charles Town Classic with Game On Dude. Al Stall continued his detour of the Derby with Departing, taking the Illinois Derby. In steeplechasing, perennial leading owner Irv Naylor returned to the top of the standings with stellar days at Middleburg and the Grand National. Here’s your Here and There for Tuesday, April 23.
It was another wild week in Thoroughbred racing. Horse of the Year Wise Dan returned energetically and victoriously, Todd Pletcher bolstered his Derby roster, Ken McPeek created his, Maya Charli upset the Atlanta feature and Moonsox upset the Manor. Here’s your Here & There for Monday, April 15. Pay your taxes because you have to, read this because you want to…