Maryland, My Maryland…

Rachel Alexandra OaksOne of these days, I’m going to finally make that road trip to Pimlico for the Preakness Stakes.  I’ve been thinking about it for years;  the closest I’ve ever come to trekking to Baltimore was in 1990, when Unbridled and Summer Squall were going to square off.  My best pal, Kathy, and I really wanted to go;  we were big fans of both colts and all their classy connections.  However, being broke college students, reality soon prevailed, and we stayed home and watched it on TV.

Actually, come to think of it, there was another time I really thought seriously about going-it was in 2006, when Melinda and I (and everyone in racing, I think) were positive that Barbaro was going to sweep the Triple Crown on his way into the history books.  Needless to say, I’m very grateful that again, financially, I wasn’t able to make the trip.

So, here I find myself again, in 2009, really wishing I was in Baltimore tonight.  What makes me want to be in Baltimore rather than Lexington?  Maybe it’s the thought of crabcakes.  I know that Baltimore is not high on my list of ‘cities to visit’.  I mean, if it’s anything like what’s portrayed on “The Wire”, well then, that’s just damn scary!  I guess it must be the racing….

I do know I am very excited about Rachel Alexandra running in the Preakness.  Actually, I don’t know if ‘excited’ is really the word I’m looking for.  I wish she were still with her original connections, trainer Hal Wiggins (one of the classiest men in the business) and owner Dolphus Morrison.  Of course, if she were, then she wouldn’t be running on Saturday.  I must be blunt–I’m not a fan of her new owner, Jess Jackson (the White Jesse Jackson, as ‘Indian Charlie’ calls him) or trainer, Steve Asmussen (my nickname for him is not printable).

There’s been a lot of  drama the past week in the lead up to the big race.  One of the owners of Mine That Bird, Mark Allen (the shifty one of the entire ‘Bird’ bunch…the guy whose dad was involved in that plea-arrangement deal up in Alaska) apparently tried to make some sort of deal with Ahmed Zayat (the Egyptian beer king), the owner of Pioneerof The Nile in order to keep the filly out of the race.  What a bunch of pinheads (to put it mildly).  Thankfully, ‘Mutt and Jeff’ abandoned their plans, and Rachel will go to the post, more than likely as the favorite.

I honestly think she’ll do very well;  in fact, I think she can win the race, and I hope she does.  However, I think ‘Pioneer’ and Friesan Fire are both sitting on big races, and they really scare me.  Let’s just hope for a safe outcome…and that Bob Baffert doesn’t win it. 😉

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Filed under Spring Racing, Triple Crown Racing

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