Here & There – Preakness Day

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It’s Preakness morning. It’s raining. It’s 55 degrees. But this is a game played outdoors. Be prepared. Here’s a little this and that from Preakness Week.

Worth Repeating

“He’s a perfect athlete.” – Trainer Doug O’Neill on Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist

“I’d prefer to take my picture in the sun to be honest with you.” – Keith Desormeaux when asked if he was looking forward to a rainy day Saturday at the Preakness

“Nyquist got me dirty.” – Georgie Alvarez, exercise rider for trainer Bob Baffert, pointing to his dirty pants and boots after galloping Collected Thursday at Pimlico

“That’s just a taste.” – Baffert to Alvarez walking off the track

“We might stay up late for other reasons.” – O’Neill when asked if he would be up late Friday night worrying about the rainy weather forecast

“The first time it was shocking and surprising; the second time it was more of a relief.” – Paul Reddam, owner of Nyquist, about winning his second Kentucky Derby

“It’s a happy energy, not a dangerous energy.” – Desormeaux describing Exaggerator

“I know that might be a little bit of bull, but it’s called the Alibi Breakfast, right?” – Desormeaux, living up to the event Thursday

“Most City Zips, they want to zip down the hill.” – Baffert on why he ran Collected on the grass in his first two starts, including his maiden-breaking score going 6 1/2 furlongs on Santa Anita’s downhill turf course last October

“He hasn’t met any Muhammed Ali’s yet … I hope he just doesn’t know how good they are.” – Ned Allard on the competition his Preakness longshot Abiding Star will face Saturday   

“He ought to be paying me to ride a horse like that.” – Trainer Neil Howard about jockey Brian Hernandez, who won the Allaire du Pont on Ahh Chocolate Friday

“You feel like a winner when those things open.” – Doug O’Neill, as the elevator doors opened at Pimlico

“I want to challenge Doug to get in front at the five-eighths pole. We want a lot of pace to run at.” – Trainer Dale Romans, on the chances of his Preakness starter Cherry Wine

“Why not go mooch off little brother? – Trainer Keith Desormeaux, on why he moved to Maryland to live with Kent (whose jockey career was rolling) for the summer; Keith worked for trainer Charlie Hadry among others.

“Don’t doubt him.” – Jockey Trevor McCarthy, on how he rides Ben’s Cat


By the Numbers

10: Times Ben’s Cat has finished worse than third in his 55 lifetime starts.

32: Wins in the amazing career of 10-year-old Maryland-bred Ben’s Cat, after taking Friday’s Jim McKay Turf Sprint for the fifth time.

47,956: Attendance for Friday’s card at Pimlico, a record for Black-Eyed Susan Day.

Infinity: Yahoos in rain ponchos wandering around the streets near Pimlico Saturday morning.