The Preakness is in the books and history awaits in – holy cow, is it that soon? – 18 days as California Chrome attempts to sweep the Triple Crown in the June 7 Belmont Stakes.
It was a busy few days at Pimlico Race Course for the Preakness, a race that’s annually a favorite of horsemen, fans and media types alike. Preakness 139 and it’s supporting cards didn’t disappoint and we were there, tracking the winners and losers, filling up our notebooks and voice recorders, doing our best to set the scene and grab a few good one-liners from the air.
“I’m not worried. I think they have to worry about me, to be honest with you.” – Trainer Art Sherman on California Chrome the day before their Preakness win
“I love my home of Maryland. It feels good to be home.” – California Chrome’s exercise rider and former Maryland jockey and trainer Willie Delgado
“Where’s the beer?” – Alan Sherman after California Chrome got a bath back at the test barn following his Preakness win
“Hey, I want Ride On Curlin to be stabled next to us.” – Alan Sherman to NYRA Senior VP of Racing Martin Panza
“This is an odd race.” – Nolan Clancy, 13, about Friday’s fourth race at Pimlico (where numbers 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 were scratched)
“I used to be the fastest guy on the racetrack. Now I’m not as fast but I could still beat Bernie Houghton in a race.” – King Leatherbury’s assistant Avon Thorpe, on his sprinting prowess, and ability to outrun a certain racing official turned trainer
“I hope it’s not at Goodwill after this.” – Trainer Phil Schoenthal, about a Miss Behaviour hat he was wearing before Friday’s Miss Preakness Stakes (she won, and it’s not) at Pimlico
“Say cheese. Let him go home, he worked hard.” – Jockey Joe Bravo, trying to hustle the win photo after Happy My Way won Saturday’s Maryland Sprint Handicap at Pimlico
“I like to make sure, you know?” – Trainer Neil Howard, sneaking a glance at the replay before going to the winner’s circle for Class Leader’s win in Saturday’s Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico
“I’ve done that a lot before.” – James Graham when asked if it was special to catch Joel Rosario on the wire after Class Leader caught Life in Shambles in the Sir Barton
“My nerves are OK, but my knees are a little weak.” – Owner Steve Coburn, moments before his California Chrome ran in the Preakness
“I hope he doesn’t start to graze.” – Trainer Art Sherman as California Chrome stepped onto the Pimlico turf course before the Preakness
“That’s what happens when you’ve been drinking beer all day.” – Paddock comment as Ride On Curlin stretched out to, ahem, see a man about a horse a few minutes before the Preakness
“It might say C.S.S. on my hat, but I work for Mike Gathagan.” – Preakness barn security guard about who’s in charge back there
“Be careful, he’ll leave you for a story.” – DRF columnist Jay Hovdey to Elizabeth Collins as husband and TIHR’s Tom Law got a few steps ahead as California Chrome approached the stakes barn after the Preakness
“I’ve said it ever since I claimed him, this horse is a stakes horse.” – Owner Tim O’Donohue after former $35,000 claim Wallyanna won the James W. Murphy on the Preakness undercard
“It’s a good story. Thankfully it’s not one of those stories where the horse wins and it becomes an instant marketing campaign for a guy to start getting more horses.” – Bloodstock agent combing the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic grounds early Sunday morning
“I hate to say they’re running for second. I know my horse is in good shape. He has such a nice record now and he’s coming in to this race strong. I’m just hoping everybody has a clean trip and we have a safe trip.” – Art Sherman
“I’ve never been to New York. No wait, that’s not true. I drove through New York one time.” – Alan Sherman
By The Numbers
50: Consecutive days of work on the Preakness for Pimlico’s Mike Gathagan; the streak ended with a day off Tuesday for the vice president of communications.
75: Flyers handed out on the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sales grounds for ST Publishing’s latest project with the New York Thoroughbred Breeders. Time to book your ads. Click here and get started.
7:25:Time trainer Barclay Tagg got to J. J. Crupi’s barn at Timonium to look at his first horse Sunday morning. (We’re pretty sure he was the first trainer on the grounds)
123,469: Attendance (a record) at the Preakness Saturday.
Name of the Day
Life In Shambles: Second in Saturday’s Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico, the 3-year-old is by Broken Vow out of Life.