Orb, winner of the Kentucky Derby will break from the #9 hole has been listed as the prohibitive 6-5 Morning Line for the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes.
Early evening on Wednesday the Post Positions were drawn for Saturday’s 138th running of the Preakness Stakes. A field of 9 will break from the starting gate on Saturday at approximately 6:18pm for this 1 3/16 mile middle jewel of the Triple Crown. Below is how they’ll line-up in the starting gate, along with track oddsmaker Frank Carulli’s Morning Line and what I (G.Q.) predict will be the Post Time odds…
Recapping Pimlico Day 24 selections from Sunday’s 10-race card posted 7 winners (5 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $2.80 (1st race), $8.80 (3rd), $2.40 (4th), $10.60 (5th), $4.80 (6th), $5.60 (7th) and $2.60 (9th).
The BEST BET (23 9-4-2) Tell Me a Story (R9 #2 1-5 PT; 8-5 M/L) the plethora of scratches on the Sunday card absolutely destroyed the price on this Sagamore Farm runner. She saved ground on the turns, set a pressured pace, bumped with a rival in upper stretch and drove clear late to return a paltry $2.60 to WIN and $2.10 to PLACE (no SHOW wagering).
The LONGSHOT PICK (23 5-1-2) Next Level (R3 #7 3-1 PT; 12-1 M/L) reluctant to load into the starting gate, sped to the early lead, saved ground setting the pace and was under urging in the stretch to score by 4½ lengths to return $8.80 to WIN, $5.00 to PLACE and $4.20 to SHOW.
Even though there is Sunday racing at Old Hilltop, this handicapper put his priorities in order (for once) and put his Mom first. She may not have taught me how to read past performances, or how recognize a track speed bias and/or determine a horses’ readiness by observing his/her physical movements in the post parade, but she taught a whole lot more. How to cook, to be accountable for my actions, have faith, respect others and to love, just to name a few.
Thanks Mom for loving and believing in me. To everyone who reads this blog, spend time with your Mom, whether it be in the same physical location or spiritually. Every Mom is a special person. Make sure you express your feelings and love for her, not only on Mother’s Day, but every day of the year.
Recapping Pimlico Day 23 selections from Saturday 11-race card posted 8 winners (4 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $5.60 (2nd race), $3.60 (3rd), $4.60 (4th), $12.20 (5th), $4.60 (7th), $10.80 (9th), $3.20 (10th) and $6.00 (11th).
The BEST BET (22 8-4-2) Brand New Moves (R3 #1 5-1 PT; 7-2 M/L) chased the 4-5 betting favorite pace setter in vain, then faltered entering the stretch to finish 4th.
The LONGSHOT PICK (22 4-1-2) Grand Sam (R6 #3 7-1 PT; 15-1 M/L) was up close early on, dropped back after a half mile, altered course to be four wide entering the stretch but lacked a rally to finish evenly in 5th.
Frankie Lovato’s JockeyWorld.orgracing term of the day is #132… “Good Bottom”
BALTIMORE, 05-10-13—Sue Steel has been named 2013 Ms. Preakness Pink Warrior for the 138th Preakness Stakes. Ms. Preakness Pink Warrior serves as the official Preakness ambassador at all events leading up to and including the middle jewel of racing’s Triple Crown.
Pimlico Race Course and the Maryland affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, have developed a partnership to raise funds to aid awareness and research that will take place on Black-Eyed Susan Day, Friday, May 17. Seventy-five percent of the net funds raised will go to the Komen Maryland Affiliate to use for community outreach programs in Maryland and 25% will be used for life-saving breast cancer research.
The original Miss Preakness contest was refashioned in 2010 to honor breast cancer survivors and individuals who have made a difference in the lives of those fighting breast cancer. The name Ms. Preakness Pink Warrior is in recognition of Candy Coburn’s popular song, “Pink Warrior”.
Steel, who lives in Eldersburg, Md., is a 16-year breast cancer survivor. The 49-year-old was first diagnosed in 1997, only days before her mother succumbed to the disease. Six days after her mother’s funeral, Steel was admitted to the hospital for a double mastectomy and has endured 15 additional surgeries. During her initial recovery she decided to do something meaningful so that her daughter would not have to face this disease.
“My goal is to show other young women that they can survive this disease and go on to lead a healthy, active life,” Steel said. “Early detection is key.”
Ms. Preakness Pink Warrior will represent the Maryland Jockey Club at official Preakness events throughout the week, including the Post Position draw on Wednesday, May 15, the Alibi Breakfast the following morning and at a prominent place on the storied cupola for the presentation of the Woodlawn Vase following next Saturday’s Preakness.
In recognition of Komen’s signature shade, Pimlico will be awash in pink on Black-Eyed Susan Day. The color pink will brand the day, with horses and pony riders on the track who will be sporting pink saddle towels, featuring the unity logo representing both partners. Valets and starters will be decked in pink gear and festive linens, flowers and banners will blanket Pimlico. For the first time, the Pimlico starting gate will also be pink for the day.
Above photos credit Jim McCue, MJC
Recapping Pimlico Day 22 selections from Friday 10-race card posted a pathetic 4 winners (3 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $5.00 (4th race), $3.00 (6th), $3.80 (8th), $15.20 (9th) and $x.x0 (10th).
The BEST BET (21 8-4-2) Seattle Salute (R4 #6 9-2 PT; 6-1 M/L) did all the dirty work on the front end, left nothing on the track fighting off the #8 only to have the 3-2 PT favorite sneak up on the outside to get up in the last few jumps to snatch victory from Seattle Salute, who returned $3.80 to PLACE and $3.00 to SHOW.
The LONGSHOT PICK (21 4-1-2) Miss Speak (R3 #12 11-1 PT; 12-1 M/L) was never involved throughout this contest, running evenly while wide turning for home, never showed any interesting finishing 6th.
The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #131… “Going”
BALTIMORE, 05-09-13— While the Preakness is rightfully the centerpiece of the Pimlico spring meeting, sixteen (16) other stakes (six graded) for thoroughbreds will provide a weekend full of excitement for racing fans. A total of 499 horses were nominated to those added-money races.
The $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) and $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3) headline the Friday, May 17th card that features six other stakes races. Thirty-one three-year-old fillies were nominated to the Black-Eyed Susan, including Sagamore Farms Walkwithapurpose, who won a pair of stakes races at Laurel Park this winter. Thirty runners were nominated to the Pimlico Special, including Maryland-bred Richard’s Kid, who has earned $2.3 million and won three Grade 1 races.
When asked if there are any confirmed fillies for the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, Coleman “Coley” Blind, MJC’s Stakes Coordinator provided these… Emollient, Lady Banks, Manuka Honey, Maracuya and (possibly) Flashy Gray.
Thirty-five fillies were nominated to the $100,000 Miss Preakness Stakes. Thirty-two horses were nominated to the $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint, including 15-time stakes winner Ben’s Cat. Thirty-five female turf specialists were nominated to the $100,000 The Very One Stakes, while twenty-six were nominated to the $100,000 Skipat Stakes. Thirty-six three-year-old fillies were nominated to the $100,000 Hilltop Stakes and another sixteen to the $40,000 Kattegat’s Pride Starter Handicap for Maryland-breds.
The Pimlico racing office will draw the May 17th card on Sunday afternoon.
The Saturday, May 18 Preakness undercard features eight added money races, including four graded. Thirty-six top grass specialists were entered in the $300,000 Dixie Stakes (G2). Thirty-two fillies and mares were nominated to the $150,000 Gallorette Handicap (G3). The $150,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap (G3) features forty-one nominations. Twenty-five fillies and mares were nominated to the $150,000 Allaire duPont Distaff (G3). Thirty-three three-year-old sprinters were nominated to the $100,000 Chick Lang. Forty-four turf specialists were nominated to the $100,000 James Murphy. Twenty-eight two-year olds were nominated to the $75,000 Rollicking Stakes. There were nineteen Maryland-breds on the list for the $40,000 Deputed Testamony Starter Handicap.
The Pimlico racing office will draw the May 18 card on Wednesday, May 15th.
Recapping Pimlico Day 21 selections from Thursday 9-race card posted had 5 winners (3 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $3.80 (1st race), $3.80 (2nd), $2.40 (3rd), $11.80 (5th) and $5.80 (6th).
The BEST BET (20 8-3-2) Bert B Don (R2 #1 5-2 PT; 3-1 M/L) saved ground around the turn, swung out in upper stretch and rallied, but was no match for the 4-5 winner, settling for second to return $2.80 PLACE and $2.80 to SHOW.
The LONGSHOT PICK (20 4-1-2) Our Silver Crown (R4 #4 19-1 PT; 12-1 M/L) raced three wide turning for home, failed to rally and lugged in near the sixteenth pole to finish a well beaten 6th.
Less than 12 hours after the blanket of roses was removed from Kentucky Derby winner Orb, representatives from the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) were busy at Churchill Downs recruiting Derby runners for the second leg of the Triple Crown.
One of the first to commit to running in the Preakness and shipped in to Old Hilltop was Goldencents, 17th in the Derby. The 3-year-old son of Into Mischief, trained by Doug O’Neill is following the exact schedule as the 2012 Derby and Preakness winner, I’ll Have Another.
Goldencents arrived at Pimlico in the wee hours of Tuesday morning (1:30am) with assistant trainer Jack Sisterson and much of the same crew who handled I’ll Have Another while in Baltimore. The only diversion is the jockey. Last year Mario Gutierrez was the jockey, but this year Kevin Krigger got the call, as he is the only jockey who has ever ridden Goldencents in his seven career starts.
In an unusual move, Krigger came to Pimlico 10 days in advance of the Preakness to prepare, gallop and workout Goldencents. At the same time, Krigger is sacrificing mounts on the west coast in return for dedication to Team O’Neill. It’s a gamble the St. Croix native has no qualms taking.
As of this writing (Wednesday, May 8th) the list of Preakness contenders stand at 12, they are:
Goldencents (Krigger/O’Neill; 17th in KY Derby) – confirmed; arrived on May 7th
Orb (Rosario/McGaughey; 1st in KY Derby) – confirmed; will ship on May 14th
Departing (Hernandez/Stall; 1st in Illinois Derby) – confirmed; will ship on May 15th
Oxbow (Stevens/Lukas; 6th in KY Derby) – confirmed
Will Take Charge (M. Smith/Lukas; 8th in KY Derby) – confirmed
Itsmyluckyday (J. Velazquez/Plesa; 15th KY Derby) – confirmed
Titletown Five (Leparoux/Lukas; 4th in Derby Trial) – confirmed
Vyjack (TBA/Rodriguez;18th in KY Derby) – probable
Governor Charlie (TBA/Baffert; 1st in Sunland Derby) – possible; decision after workout on Sunday or Monday
Normandy Invasion (TBA/Brown; 4th in KY Derby) – possible; decision over the weekend
Mylute (Napravnik/Amoss; 5th in KY Derby) – possible; decision will be made Saturday
Street Spice (Sanchez/Geier; 5th in Illinois Derby) – possible; decision after weekend workout
Recapping Pimlico Day 20 selections from “Chalky” Sunday 10-race card posted had 6 winners (4 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $4.40 (2nd race), $8.00 (3rd), $3.80 (4th), $10.20 (5th), $4.00 (8th) and $2.60 (9th).
The BEST BET (19 8-2-2) Sir Cotton (R3 #5 3-1 PT; 2-1 M/L) received no early action at the betting windows (6-1) which is never a good sign for a 2-1 M/L. Come Post Time the foolish public thought they were getting a deal with those odds, and bet him down to 3-1, but he ran like a 6-1 or worse, racing along the rail towards the back, outrun beating just 1 rival in a six horse field.
The LONGSHOT PICK (19 4-1-2) Star Maneuver (R5 #7 13-1 PT; 20-1 M/L) was forwardly positioned early, turned for home in the four path while in contention to hit the board, but weakened in the final 1/16th to finish 4th.
Christmas has finally arrived for thoroughbred horse players everywhere. Churchill Downs is to horse racing as Augusta National is to golf, as Daytona Speedway is to NASCAR, and as the Rose Bowl is to College Football. Rain or shine, nothing will dampen our enthusiasm come 6:24pm EDT on Saturday as we watch the most exciting 2 minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby.
The forecast for the Louisville area is for showers from Friday evening through Post Time on Saturday, high in the low 60′s degrees. That really throws a wrench into an already tough task of handicapping this race due to the fact the track will most likely be sealed and sloppy come the Derby, which is the 11th race on the 13 race card.
On Friday the field was reduced by one when #1 – Black Onyxwas scratched due to the discovery he had a chip in his ankle. The balance in this 19 horse field is uncanny as far as their running styles. The way I see it there are…
There are many schools of thought when it comes to handicapping the Kentucky Derby. The sheer size of the field itself can be overwhelming. Every runner has his positives and negatives. The key is to somehow pull it all together then imagine how the race will be run.
With that being said, and my past performances marked up as if a pre-school class were turned loose on them, here’s HOW I SEE IT (the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands) playing out, listed in my predicted order of finish. Odds shown are the current betting odds after Friday’s advanced wagering.
Keep in mind I’m picking horses nearly 48 hours BEFORE they walk out on the track. If at all possible, you should not make your wager until you’ve seen the horses in the Post Parade (12 minutes before the start). When horses reach the track, their physical appearance and body language can tip you off on which one(s) to include in your Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta or simply WIN, PLACE and/or SHOW bet. Good Luck!
1st – #3 – Revolutionary
Trainer / Jockey (Derby Mounts W-P-S): Todd Pletcher / Calvin Borel (10 3-0-1)
Running Style: Closer Why he COULD win the Derby: He’s a bulldog, a fighter, nothing bothers him. He’s like the super hero who pushes the villains’ henchmen aside, one by one into order to get to Mr. Big, who in this case is the Finish Line. His races are never pretty and often look in doubt, but just like in the movies, the good guy always prevails.If the track is sloppy it will only enhance his chances and they’ll have to alter the above Churchill Downs painting to have Calvin holding up four fingers. Why he SHOULD NOT be able to win the Derby: Traffic. His running style from well back of the pack means Borel will have to make all the right moves (aka split second decisions) to pass at least a dozen rivals. Add to that difficult task mud and slop hitting your face. Borel will probably go through 10 pairs of goggles during this 1¼ mile trip. Early Betting Odds : 5-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 10-1
2nd – #16 – Orb
Trainer / Jockey (Derby Mounts W-P-S): Shug McGaughey / Joel Rosario (3 0-0-0) Best Finish: 4th
Running Style: Mid-Pack Why he COULD win the Derby: Other than the obvious that he’s improved in every career start, winning his last four, he has turned heads since arriving at Churchill Downs. His only workout over the track was ultra-impressive, and seeing him gallop just days before the Derby hasn’t shown cause to be a detractor. Why he SHOULD NOT be able to win the Derby: It’s in his nature to get lathered up (sweat with nervous energy) in the Post Parade. So if he is on edge prior to a normal race day, will he have a total meltdown in front of 160,000 fans? Early Betting Odds: 6-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 7-2
3rd – #4 – Golden Soul
Trainer / Jockey (Derby Mounts W-P-S): Dallas Stewart / Robby Albarado (12 0-0-2)
Running Style: Closer Why he COULD win the Derby: He ran 2nd by a head in his career debut (1 mile) race at Churchill Downs. The Derby has been the plan from day one. Even when his Derby points seemed to have fallen short, he was shipped to Churchill Downs to train up to the Derby. He is crying out for more distance and ran his Derby preps over an oval at Fairgrounds (NOLA) that was kind to front-runners for most of the meet. Yet he still displayed a fine closing kick (and speed figure) in his last two races, finishing not far behind other shorter priced Derby runners… Palace Malice (by a nose in the Risen Star), to Revolutionary and Mylute (4+ lengths each in LA Derby) and just 1½ behind Departing who destroyed the IL Derby field and is heading to the Preakness. Why he SHOULD NOT be able to win the Derby: He only has one win to his credit in 5 lifetime races. His jockey has over 4,500 career wins, but is 0 for 12 in the Derby and this will be the first time riding Golden Soul. Early Betting Odds : 31-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 50-1
4th – #2 – Oxbow
Trainer / Jockey (Derby Mounts W-P-S): D. Wayne Lukas / Gary Stevens (18 3-2-1)
Running Style: Speed Why he COULD win the Derby: On Wednesday A.M. I witness most of the Derby horses gallop the track and this one looked the fittest (i.e. on the muscle). Add the fact his Arkansas Derby is a toss (finished 5th). Jockey Gary Stevens thought he’d “experiment” (in a G1?) and take him back behind the leaders instead of risk being hung out 6-wide into the first turn. Both jock and horse learned a lesson that day and will not make the same mistake again. Especially if the track is sealed sloppy, it could favor the early speed. This Hall of Fame trainer/jock combo teamed up to win the Derby 18 years ago with Thunder Gulch. Why he SHOULD NOT be able to win the Derby: last Derby winner to have finished worse than 4th in his prior to the Derby came in 1957 (Iron Liege). If he doesn’t break out of the gate quickly and get to the lead, he’ll be toast. Early Betting Odds : 25-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 30-1
5th – #5 – Normandy Invasion
Trainer / Jockey (Derby Mounts W-P-S): Chad Brown / Javier Castellano (6 0-0-0)
Running Style: Closer Why he COULD win the Derby: came closest in last outing to handing Verrazano his first defeat, mounting a furious late run; this will be his 3rd race off a layoff; one of top riders in the country took off Revolutionary to ride him in this race. Why he SHOULD NOT be able to win the Derby: He’s this years’ “Wise Guy” horse… the one who gets all of the press based on how he looks, trains or ran his last race. I cannot not recall one of these ever winning the Derby. Early Betting Odds : 8-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 12-1
6th – #8 – Goldencents
Trainer / Jockey (Derby Mounts W-P-S): Doug O’Neill / Kevin Krigger (1st Derby)
Running Style: Speed Why he COULD win the Derby: Won the Santa Anita Derby; is the lone West Coast Derby starter; 3rd race off layoff angle; followed same road and training schedule as last year’s Derby winner (I’ll Have Another). Why he SHOULD NOT be able to win the Derby: bloodlines indicate he’s short on stamina to get the 1¼ miles; history- a jockey “of color” has not won the Derby since 1902. Early Betting Odds: 5-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 5-1
Post Positions for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby were drawn Wednesday evening at Churchill Downs. Native Kentuckian and veteran Derby Oddmaker Mike Battaglia set the Moring Line odds and made Florida Derby winner Orb the 7-2 favorite, who will break from post #16 over the undefeated Verrazano (Post #14) the 4-1 second choice among a full field of twenty 3-year-olds.
Among the many hats that I’ve worn, setting the Morning Line odds at any thoroughbred horse racing track in America is not yet one of them, but on my Bucket List. Over the years, many of my friends and blog readers have come to enjoy, look forward to or simply tolerate my yearning to see how close my odds for a particular race come to the actual Morning Line. Battaglia has been working his craft for nearly 40 years whereas I do it for big races and friends and some horse owners who are eager for an opinion on a probable Morning Line or predicted Post Time odds.
PP – HORSE———— JOCKEY / TRAINER—————- M/L— GQPPTO*
1. Black Onyx Joe Bravo / Kelly Breen 50-1 46-1
2. Oxbow Gary Stevens / D. Wayne Lukas 30-1 21-1
3. Revolutionary Calvin Borel / Todd Pletcher 10-1 6-1
4. Golden Soul B.Hernandez Jr / Dallas Stewart 50-1 51-1
5. Normandy Invasion J.Castellano / Chad Brown 12-1 11-1
6. Mylute Rosie Napravnik / Tom Amoss 15-1 16-1
7. Giant Finish Jose Espinoza / Anthony Dutrow 50-1 48-1
8. Goldencents Kevin Krigger / Doug O’Neill 5-1 8-1
9. Overanalyze Rafael Bejarano / Todd Pletcher 15-1 23-1
10. Palace Malice Mike Smith / Todd Pletcher 20-1 18-1
11. Lines of Battle Ryan Moore / Aidan O’Brien 30-1 31-1
12. Itsmyluckyday Elvis Trujillo / Eddie Plesa, Jr. 15-1 21-1
13. Falling Sky Luis Saez / John Terranova 50-1 53-1
14. Verrazano John Velazquez / Todd Pletcher 4-1 5-1
15. Charming Kitten Edgar Prado / Todd Pletcher 20-1 44-1
16. Orb Joel Rosario / Shug McGaughey 7-2 4-1
17. Will Take Charge Jon Court / D. Wayne Lukas 20-1 27-1
18. Frac Daddy Victor Lebron / Ken McPeek 50-1 42-1
19. Java’s War Julien Laparoux / Ken McPeek 15-1 15-1
20. Vyjack Garrett Gomez / Rudy Rodriguez 15-1 19-1
AE Fear the Kitten Alan Garcia / Michael Maker — —
AE – Also Eligible IF any other runner scratches prior to Friday
* – GQ’s Predicted Post Time Odds
Recapping Pimlico’s Sunday 9-race card posted had 5 winners (2 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $5.40 (1st race), $2.60 (2nd), $11.80 (5th), $4.80 (6th) and $5.00 (8th).
The BEST BET of the Day (15 7-2-1) Classic Wildcat (R4 #5 5-2 PT; 6-1 M/L) started in good shape, but was pulled up nearing the lane then walked onto the van on his own courage.
The LONGSHOT PICK (15 4-1-1) Lil Escape Artist (R8 #5 5-1 PT; 10-1 M/L) ran the race I anticipated, but was only good enough to be second best. She allowed the speed duel to take place, but so did the winner, as both made their move entering the stretch, passing their tiring rivals, but the winner was much the best, but the runner-up returned $5.00 to PLACE and $3.20 to SHOW.
SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $20 on Elkhorn Creek / Sting Boy (R2 #2/2X 1-5 PT; 1-1 M/L) brought out the bridge-jumpers (bettors who wager thousands to SHOW thinking they can make a quick 5% ROI), after the second choice (#6 –Ram) was scratched. As predicted, these two proved to be the best in here as they finished 1-2 well headed of the third place runner, but nearly 90% of the SHOW pool was on the 2/2X entry, returning $2.60 to WIN, $2.10 to PLACE and $2.10 to SHOW.
In addition to the 11-races scheduled at Old Hilltop on Saturday afternoon, items from Preakness and Pimlico past will be awarded as part of a Piece of the Past promotion giveaway available at the Grandstand entrance. All fans will receive a chit that can be exchanged for a pair of vintage Preakness glasses plus one other choice. Fans can choose from Preakness T-shirts, Pimlico caps and much more through the last live race.
The unofficial Preakness prep, the $100,000 Federico Tesio Stakes, is run as the 10th race on the Saturday card. Former Maryland riding star Edgar Prado is named to pilot #9 - Heat Press (8-1), trained by Graham Motion. The Malibu Moon colt broke his maiden at Laurel Park in December and won an entry level allowance start at Parx Racing last time out. Earlier this week, owner Kevin Plank of Sagamore Farm indicated he would like to see Heat Press compete in the Preakness if all goes well in the Tesio. The stable was represented by Tiger Walk a year ago.
#4 -Rienzi (8-1) moved from the Chad Brown barn to John Servis’ stable after returning from Florida and won an entry level allowance at Parx Racing in April. He posted a bullet workout there on April 22nd and is scheduled to have Kendrick Carmouche in the irons. The 7-5 Morning Line is #3 – Abstraction based on his dominating 9 3/4 length maiden victory at Fairgrounds for trainer Daivd Carroll. Two races back #7 – Dynamic Strike (4-1) won the Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel Park, but then had a troubled 5th place finish in the Private Terms Stakes.
Rounding out the field of ten 3-year-olds are #1 – Just Win Baby (10-1), #2 – Handsome Tiger (20-1), #5 – Wry Me (12-1), #6 – Indian Companion (20-1), #8 - Hanky Doodle (10-1) and #10 – Wabbajack (15-1).
The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #117… “Free Handicap”
There’s less than 6 days until the Post Positions are draw for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby, first leg of horse racings’ Triple Crown. It is likely that twenty (20) 3-year-olds will be entered to run in this race on Saturday, May 4th at approximately 6:20pm EDT, because at least 22 are still in line to run.
In addition to those, there could be another one that muscles into the #20 spot. This Saturday’s Derby Trial is officially the final Derby Point system race, offering 20 points to the winner. Of the nine (9) entered here, only one (Titletown Five) would be entered in the Kentucky Derby, according to his trainer D. Wayne Lukas, “We’ve been trying all winter to give this colt a shot at making the Derby,” he said. “This is his one chance. We’d love to see him make the most of it.”
Here’s the latest line-up…
The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #116… “Fresh (Freshened)”
Recapping Pimlico’s Thursday 9-race card posted had 6 winners (3 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $3.40 (2nd race), $7.00 (3rd), $5.20 (4th), $83.00 (7th), $6.60 (8th) and $9.40 (9th). Also worth mentioning at my “Editor’s” request, was having the LATE PICK-3 (race 7-9) which paid $682.40 for a .50 ticket!
The BEST BET of the Day (12 7-0-1) Marataya’s Tune (R3 #8 5-2 PT; 9-2 M/L) led gate-to-wire, at times by 12 lengths then coasted to victory returning $7.00 to WIN, $3.60 to PLACE and $3.00 to SHOW.
The LONGSHOT PICK (12 4-0-1) Gottalovethedrake (R5 #6 3-1 PT; 6-1 M/L) raced 4 wide throughout most of the contest and then was unable to rally in the stretch, only able to get a minor share of the purse, finishing 4th.
SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $20 on Marataya’s Tune (R3 #8 5-2 PT; 9-2 M/L) was also the BEST BET, so no additional commentary is needed. As hoped for, she did indeed return 50% on the SHOW wager, paying $3.00 to SHOW. Add $10 to the $20 initial SHOW wager amount for the parlay on Friday (Day 14).
As a result of the overwhelming success of 2012′s Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue TB Show, the Totally Thoroughbred Show at Pimlico Race Course and the Fair Hill Furlongs to Fences TB Show organizers formed the Thoroughbred Alliance Show Series. The series consist of several TB only horse shows in the Mid-Atlantic region including a year-end awards banquet to be held at Laurel Park.
Fran Burns, the Alliance Coordinator recently encouraged me to attend one of these shows and speak with the gals from one such TB Rescue Group, EHM Stables, which I did this past Sunday at St. Timothy’s School in Stevenson.
Betty McCue, a 2nd grade school teacher for the past 35 years in the Baltimore County School system, started EHM Stables for retired thoroughbreds (aka TBs) circa 1998. Betty, her sister Evelyn Martin and three (3) of the most energetic, young ladies I have met in quite some time work tirelessly to care for numerous retired TBs in order to transition them after racing to new careers as show jumpers, fox hunters or recreational trail horses. They also have a handful of ponies which they race and show.
From Left: Evelyn Martin, Meredith Miller, Sydney Parker, “Giant Talent” with Anastasia Vialov in the irons, Betty McCue
All three (3) young ladies, Sydney Parker, Meredith Miller and Anastasia Vialov are freshmen at Baltimore County High Schools when not spending time at EHM Stables, located on a farm in Whitehall, MD. When talking about the horses on the farm, their faces light up like proud mothers boasting about their “babies” accomplishments and cute mannerisms, which make each unique. I was AMAZED at their racing and breeding knowledge of each of the horses they are retraining.
Sydney shows Saratoga Jet (out of Pierpont Account by A.P. Jet) and points out, “He won over $100,000 in his career… now he loves to jump over water, from a small puddle to a wide stream, he’ll take a huge leap over it. I also ride and work with Caymen Condo who is a beautiful bay who is coming along.” Beaming from under her pink EHM Stables cap, is a child-like excitement seldom seen on a teenagers face as she proclaimed, “I LOVE TBs! So rewarding… all they want to do is please.”
Meredith rides Big Deal (out of Song of Dixie, by Petitionville). She has a soft spot in her heart for this 5-year-old who, “… never raced and just stood idle in a field for more than half of his life. We broke him (i.e. teach a horse how to allow humans near/on them) 2 years ago and just started showing him.”
Both Sydney and Meredith started helping McCue four (4) years ago. Under Mrs. Betty’s tutelage, they learned to ride in return for performing the daily tasks required on a horse farm… feeding, bathing, mucking out stalls, walking and riding. All which must begin at the ungodly hour of 4:00am. That’s right, 4:00am!!! How many teenagers do you know are willing to get out of bed at 3:00am in order to start their day at 4:00am?
Anastasia rides Prideland (out of Tequila Sheila, by Lion Hearted) pointing out, “He’s a MD-bred from Dark Hollow Farm who earned over $150,000 and was stakes placed during his racing career.” She added, “I also ride Giant Talent (out of Lady of Talent, by Giant’s Causeway). He was given to us by the Gaudet’s (Edmond and Linda). We love picking up horses straight from the track and turning them into our show horses. I started riding with Mrs. Betty while in 7th grade and fell in love with what she does with racehorses.”
On Sunday, April 7th at Pimlico, the Maryland Jockey Club presented the second annual Chasin’ for Children Pony Races between the thoroughbred races. Forty-eight runners took part in the six races. Anastasia “Nastya” Vialov guided EHM Stables’ Count Chocula to victory in the Mikey Smithwick Memorial Dash Medium Pony Flat Race.
Nicely done Nastya! Look out Rosie Napravnik. Bytheway, Count Chocula competed in a show 24 hours prior to winning this race. Pretty impressive little guy!
Mrs. Betty has a close working relationship with top Maryland-based trainers Hugh McMahon and Linda Gaudet. Hugh and his wife Demelza McMahon have been great friends of McCue. In addition to TB retirees, she takes his “lay-ups” (active racers who need some time off from training) and babies to break.
McCue finds new homes for her equine retirees simply by word of mouth, which has no geographical limits, as she shared one story. “I discovered through a friend, there was a young girl in Massachusetts who lost her father. She always wanted a horse, and her mom thought if she could have one now, it would help with her healing process. We had one available and she got a horse. It was truly amazing.”
Other trainers should consider EHM Stables for their “lay-ups” because McCue’s crew obviously does a great job with them. For example, a 5-year-old mare named Too Clever by Half who spent time at EHM Stables made her first start in 9 months last Sunday at Pimlico for trainer Hugh McMahon. The result was a convincing victory at odds of 15-1 to return $32.80 to WIN, $10.60 to PLACE and $7.40 SHOW.
What better endorsement could you ask for when talking about top-notch care for a thoroughbred? If you have a horse, looking for a horse or interested in riding lessons, I encourage you to contact (text) Betty McCue at (410) 404-0857 or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).