Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rachel Alexandra to run in Saturday's Preakness Stakes!

And she's the favorite. How great is this? After a Kentucky Oaks dominated by Rachel Alexandra and a Kentucky Derby stolen by an outta nowhere run by Mine That Bird, we get a Preakness that promises more excitement. Rachel Alexandra's regular jockey, Calvin Borel, having committed to the filly before taking on Mine That Bird, will ride the filly instead of the Derby winner. Mike Smith will ride Mine That Bird. And the forecast for Friday and Saturday for Baltimore is thunderstorms and rain, so Mine That Bird may be very comfortable with the going again.

There are depressing stories aplenty surrounding the Preakness; the fate of the racetrack itself is uncertain, there were unattractive stories of an attempt by Mine That Bird's owner to get the filly bumped from the race, and the whole spectre of ZZ Top and beach volleyball in the infield trashfest. But forget it all and watch the filly run.

Television coverage begins at 4:30 on NBC, following a one-hour special about this year's Rolex 3-Day Event. The network won a media award last year for its coverage of the Preakness in the wake of both the breakdown and death of Derby runner-up Eight Belles and steroid controversy about Derby winner Big Brown.

News Stories
Rachel Wears The Bullseye - ESPN
Rachel Alexadra Adds Girl Power To The Preakness - AP
A discussion of Rachel Alexandra's pedigree - Paulick Report
Can Mine That Bird Repeat His Derby Run? - Philadelphia Daily News
Preakness Future Clouded By Bankruptcy - Baltimore Sun
Mine That Bird Owner Mark Allen Won't block Rachel Alexandra's Preakness Bid - Fox Sports


The Preakness home

Odds and ends about the Preakness and its racetrack, Pimlico:
It was run for 15 years in Brooklyn (1894-1909)
The first winner was named Survivor
Pimlico was where the 1938 match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral took place.

And a past winner:
Sir Barton at the 1919 Preakness Stakes. The first winner of the Triple Crown, he won it in slightly more than a month but his reputation suffered inevitably due to his contemporary, Man O'War, and a largely unspectacular record as a sire. He ended his life as a ranch horse in Wyoming, where he was buried.

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