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  • The Mean Queen leaps to Grand National crown

    Running to the last fence of Saturday’s American Grand National hurdle stakes at the Far Hills Races, The Mean Queen cocked her right ear and braced for a challenge. She got one as Snap Decision arrived to her outside, intent on avenging a defeat a month earlier and snatching the Eclipse Award in the final Grade 1 of the season.
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  • Far Hills 2021 Recap: Stars all around

    The Mean Queen won the big one, but Saturday’s Far Hills Races included plenty of other thrills as the New Jersey meet went to the post for the 100th time – and first since 2019 after Covid shut down last year’s schedule.
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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.