Here & There – May 21

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Triple Crown mania went into high gear as American Pharoah splashed his way through Baltimore in a powerful victory in the Preakness Stakes. A little more than two weeks and he’ll go for the sweep in the Belmont Stakes. How will he do it? Can he do it? Will he do it?

Everyone wants to know the answer to those questions and so many more. American Pharoah, and the 12 furlongs of the Belmont Stakes, hold the answers.

In the meantime we’ll wrap the second jewel of the Triple Crown and some other events in our post-Preakness edition of Here & There.

We’re loaded with quotes and a few numbers for good measure.


Worth Repeating

“Are you Jack Van Berg?” – Fan to trainer Jim Cassidy at Pimlico

“Don’t forget your poncho.” – HRRN’s Jude Feld to Sean Clancy as clouds formed at Pimlico

“Getting better. Getting better.” – Jockey Sheldon Russell, recovered from injuries

“Johnny Velazquez yelled, ‘Javelitto, Javelitto, Javelitto, you got us again.’ ” – Jockey Javier Castellano, when asked if any jockeys said anything to him after wiring the Black-Eyed Susan

“When the overnight came out.” – Jockey Javier Castellano when asked when he decided to go to the lead in the Black-Eyed Susan 

“We win, we win. Graham Motion wins. We’re the first to get our horses out of here.” – Motion assistant Cat McGee late Saturday night in the Pimlico stable area

“The First Lady can’t hang. She wimped out.” – Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan getting out of the rain under cover of the paddock after the Preakness trophy presentation

“We meet again.” – Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes, as HRRN’s Sean Clancy interviewed him after the Preakness

“See you at Belmont.” – Trainer Dallas Stewart after finishing second in the Preakness with Tale Of Verve

“Arch Kinglsey just shipped in, alert the media. Oh wait, I just did.” – NYRA’s Tim McKinsey to TIHR’s Tom Law last week

“If you don’t have a Jay Griswold in your life, get one.” – W. Drew Perkins, producer and director of Racing The Times documentary on the history of racing in Maryland, on one of key individuals who helped provide seed money for the film

Nuno Santos, former assistant and exercise rider for Bobby Frankel: “I’m working with jumpers now. Show horses. Got any horses for me?”
Bob Baffert: “I hope not.”

“You’re still in the same spot.” – Ian Wilkes to TIHR’s Tom Law during training hours last Friday at Pimlico

“I thought we might have pitched the shutout.” – Oklahoma Training Track clocker Bob Hamlin after it looked like no breezers would turn up after the last break Wednesday but a handful of works were recorded

“Now I need to figure out how to post them on Facebook.” – Owner and trainer Jose Corrales after taking pictures on his iPad of Bodhisattva

“I’m banned from every golf course in the world. Just give me the horses.” – Old Friends founder Michael Blowen

“You don’t ever need to come to a big race again.” – Tammy Fox to Dale Romans after winning Black-Eyed Susan with Keen Pauline

“My idea of roughing it is Holiday Inn without room service.” – Oklahoma clocker Joe Williams

“He’s better than I was. At this stage of his career, not even close.” – Retired jockey and father Michael McCarthy about his son Trevor, who rode 14 of 14 races Preakness Day

“Now, that was something.” – Hall of Fame trainer King Leatherbury after Ben’s Cat won the Jim McKay Turf Sprint, his 29th career win

“Proper chasing weather.” – England’s Matt Coleman, about Preakness Day

“We’ll go to the Suburban next if he comes out of it good. He’s drop-dead gorgeous.” – Elliott Walden about Pimlico Special winner Commissioner 


By the Numbers

42,700: Attendance at Pimlico for Black-Eyed Susan Day, up 23 percent from last year

131,680: Attendance at Pimlico for the Preakness, up nearly 7 percent and a record

85,161,000: Total handle in U.S. dollars for Preakness Day card


Handicapping Update

No time like the present since we didn’t update the race for top TIHR steeplechase or Triple Crown handicapper earlier this week. How did our trio fare? So so at Pimlico, Radnor and High Hope.

Sean picked four of the 10 winners at the two jump meets – tabbing Alwaary in the maiden hurdle at Tafawuk in the maiden-claiming hurdle at Radnor and King King in the maiden-claiming hurdle and Fantastic Song in the allowance-optional hurdle at High Hope. Those wins give him 28 on the season, two more than Joe.

Joe picked three winners – Alwaary and Tafawuk at Radnor and Fantastic Song at High Hope. Tom is third with 24 winners after just a pair – Alwaary and Tafawuk – on the weekend.

Sean picked six winners of the 15 stakes races last Friday at Saturday at Pimlico, including American Pharoah in the Preakness and Watsdachances in the Gallorette. He’s got nine for the season after three in Kentucky and is tied with Joe in that battle. Joe picked five over Preakness weekend, including $11.40 winner Holy Boss in the Chick Lang Stakes.

Tom trails with six winners after five at Pimlico, including $12.40 winner Galiana in Friday’s Skipat.