Saturday, May 17, 2008

The horserace

Big Brown wins Preakness; poised for Triple Crown
By BETH HARRIS, AP Racing Writer
17 May 2008
BALTIMORE - Not once but twice, jockey Kent Desormeaux sneaked a peek to see if anyone was gaining on Big Brown. "I looked between my legs, under my arms, and they were eight (lengths) behind me," Desormeaux said. "I stopped pushing. I said, `That's enough.'"

You weren't expecting a comment on the campaign, were you?

I watched the Kentucky Derby, missed today's Preakness.

Once upon a time I routinely dropped $$$ on horse races - not much $$$... I was in the Army, after all - not a lot of expendable cash! I'm not much of a handicapper. No, that's not quite right. I'm a TERRIBLE handicapper!

... that said, I was impressed by Big Brown's Derby victory - the jockey ran the race very well, keeping Big Brown 4 or 5 back till final turn.

Accounts of the Preakness suggest a similar winning strategy - holding Big Brown back till the final turn, then turning it on.

We'll see if this wisdom prevails in the Belmont Stakes. I recall that Smarty Jones, after winning both Derby & Preakness in 2004, was pushed to an early lead in the Belmont... and faded.

The first time I paid any attention to horse racing was 1973 - spring semester, junior year in college. Secretariat took the Triple Crown. Jackie Stewart was named Sports Illustrated "Sportsman of the Year" for 1973. I was unhappy with the choice, believing it ought have gone to Secretariat... tho' then I suppose it'd have been awarded as "Sportshorse of the Year".

It's been 30 years since I've bet on a horse race. This is a good thing.


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