Haskin's Preakness Report: Classic Reunion

When the field goes to the post for the 138th Preakness Stakes (gr. I), don’t be surprised if two of the participants, who could go off as the two top choices, begin gaping at each other, as two childhood playmates might do meeting years later.

With horses at Pimlico sharing the same grazing area, the two could very well cross paths prior to race day, just as they did every day grazing together as babies at Claiborne Farm.

Kentucky Derby winner Orb and one of his main threats in the Preakness, Departing, grew up together in the same paddock, along with seven other colts. For nine months they interacted on a daily basis without a care in the world. Now they are finely tuned athletes about to confront each other in one of racing’s most competitive arenas.

“They were together from Sept,. 2010 until June, 2011,” said Claiborne farm manager Bradley Purcell. “We had nine colts in that paddock and they were two of them. How neat is that? We liked both of them quite a lot. They were both very strong, classy individuals and easy to handle and had very good heads on their shoulders. We couldn’t have asked for anything better out of them. Now, everyone wants to know if they used to race each other and who won? It was great to see Blame grow up go on and win the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and now the excitement is starting all over again.”

Orb, like all the Phipps--Janney horses, was sent to Niall Brennan’s farm to be broken, while Departing, like all the Claiborne and Adele Dilschneider horses, was sent to Jane Dunn’s Holly Hill Training Center in South Carolina.

Said Purcell, “We just kind of oversaw them to make sure they stayed healthy and strong, and Mother Nature did the rest.”

Did she ever. What is ironic is that one of the horses who could now stand in Orb’s way in his quest for the Triple Crown not only was his old childhood buddy, he comes into the Preakness off an impressive victory in the Illinois Derby, the race that was snubbed by Churchill Downs and prevented from remaining a viable Kentucky Derby prep. With zero qualifying points, Hawthorne was forced to move the race up two weeks and make it a prep for the Preakness.

While Orb continued to exude class and professionalism at Niall Brennan’s and later at the racetrack, Departing began taking after his mother, Leave, who was considered a bad actor and whose two previous foals had to be gelded. It didn’t take long for Departing to start exhibiting those same characteristics and he soon would join the ranks of the gelded.

“I was the one who gelded him,” Dunn recalled. “The mare could be exceedingly difficult and her foals are inclined to be that way. As Dell Hancock would like to say, ‘His mother was coming out in him.’ They have no control over their behavior; it’s the hormones that kick in. You don’t normally see it on the farm. It isn’t until they get to a training center that somebody asks them to start focusing on one thing. When they’re babies they do what they want when they want other than getting led in and out. Nobody on the farm tells you to look down the racetrack and pay attention to yourself, not the horses next to you or the birds or any other distractions. It’s sort of like taking a kid who’s always done what he wanted and putting him in boot camp and telling him what to do.

“He was a late-developing colt, and I don’t believe he’d be the horse he is today if I hadn’t gelded him. Seth Hancock has always been very good whenever I’ve called and said we need to geld a horse. I’ve never had him tell me no. Mentally, it took him a while to come around. I always liked him once he started behaving. He just had attention deficit disorder, worrying about everything other than what he was supposed to be doing. Once I gelded him he was a different horse; very focused and professional. And he’s always been a beautiful moving horse. Even before we gelded him he was very talented, but he could never connect it together for any particularly long sequence. After he was gelded he didn’t have all these other distractions going on in his brain.”

And so the Phipps-Janney-Claiborne connection keeps growing, evoking images of years past when champions such as Buckpasser, Easy Goer, and Ruffian, just to name a few, came off Claiborne Farm to carve their place in the history books.

Will Orb continue on his path to immortality, bringing Shug McGaughey and the Phippses to the threshold of where they thought they would be in 1989 with Easy Goer, or will Orb’s former paddock mate end the dream, just as Claiborne’s dream ended in the 1984 Preakness when their Kentucky Derby winner Swale finished seventh as the 4-5 favorite before winning the Belmont Stakes?

And remember, after Bull Hancock’s death in 1972, it was the three-man advisory committee, which included Ogden Phipps, who played a major role in Seth Hancock taking over Claiborne Farm instead of his older brother Arthur, who was devastated by the committee’s recommendation of Seth. Arthur then built up the neighboring Stone Farm into a major breeding establishment, and it was his colt, Sunday Silence, who upset the Phipps’ Easy Goer in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, and later in the Breeders’ Cup Classic to nail down Horse of the Year honors. And it was Easy Goer who thwarted Sunday Silence’s Triple Crown attempt in the Belmont Stakes.

Whatever happens, this is racing at its finest and classiest, filled with drama and compelling storylines. The link between the Phippses and Claiborne Farm has been one of the sport’s most enduring relationships. The great Phipps and Wheatley Stable horses were born at Claiborne, stood at stud at Claiborne, gave birth to future stars at Claiborne, and are buried at Claiborne. You can’t get more enduring than that.


59 Comments

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steve from st louis

Steve, plenty of time for your Preakness pick but where is your favorite crab cake griddled?

08 May 2013 11:32 AM
Old Old Cat

Steve, you always have an interesting column, but the slant on your topics is impossible to predict.  Nobody could bet on what you are going to write next.  This column hits home having been near my broodmare and her younger siblings from when they were born to retirement.  My broodmare, very smart and aggressive, can recognize her brothers after years of separation.  We moved her to a farm where my daughter was preparing her gelded younger brother, somewhat dense and laid back, for a second career.  She instantly recognized him, but he looked at her like Elmer Fudd, "Who are you?"  Once they romped together, they were inseparable, and obviously loved each other's company.

I think you are right about different horse personalities, physical and mental growth patterns, and ability to take training.

Thanks for bringing out the human side of horses.

08 May 2013 11:58 AM
lunar spook

I think unlike past yrs the preakness will be harder on ORB than the belmont judging by his running style , if he can win the preakness , LOOK OUT !!!!

08 May 2013 12:12 PM
genie918

Classic reunion--classic story.  This story would have made a fine Hollywood script back in the movie industry's golden decades of the 30's and 40's.

08 May 2013 12:28 PM
smarie

I'm rooting for Orb to take the Preakness, and then if he remains healthy, the Belmont Stakes. I am like everybody else - wanting to see another Triple Crown winner. I think Orb might have what it takes to be added to that exclusive list.

08 May 2013 12:32 PM
SOUTHBENDFARM

I don't see Departing beating Orb.  He is bred to run as far and has been facing lesser competition.  The Derby took nothing out of Orb.  He did not even look like he was blowing very hard standing in the winners circle.  If that is the case....and I believe it is.....Orb is just getting started as they hit the top of the stretch.  He is as serious a Triple Crown threat as we have had in all the years since 1978.  Lets all hope he can pull it off.  Then he can return to Claiborne to stand at stud.....which he probably will do anyway.

08 May 2013 12:35 PM
livewire

As usual, your column is entertaining as it is informative.  Whichever came first, your column or the ad...Claiborne farms has pictures of the three classic contenders, Orb, Lines of Battle, and Departing as foals in their May 4, 2013 The Blood Horse ad.  Look at their facial markings to match them up.  Each one has a distinctive star to identify them as foals.

08 May 2013 1:01 PM
Pghfans

I am sure Steve won't mind me answering the crab cake question. That would be G&M Restaurant.

08 May 2013 1:05 PM
nordancer

Very informative and interesting article, Steve.  Will you be listing a Preakness dozen and, if so, where would you now rank Revolution?

08 May 2013 2:14 PM
steve from st louis

PGHFans: Just ordered four of those babies online pretending I made money on the Derby and coughing up the $14.50 for each. Thanks for the tip.

BTW, I'm a sucker for BBQ shrimp from Pascal's Manale in New Orleans, Joe's Stone Crab's in Miami, any crab crakes in Baltimore and good pastrami and corned beef from Carnegie in New York. As for Pascal's, any restaurant outside of St. Louis with a lifesize cutout of Stan the Man Musial right when you walk in the bar has to be special. 3,630 lifetime hits--1,815 hits at home and 1,815 hits on the road!

08 May 2013 2:21 PM
lunar spook

STEVE FROM ST. LOUIS- I HAD TO CHIME IN ON THAT STAT YOU POSTED ABOUT MUSIAL , IM A STAT FREAK AND THAT ONE ABOUT HIM HITTING THE EXACT SAME AMOUNT AT HOME AND AWAY JUST BOGGLES MY MIND !

08 May 2013 4:36 PM
m.tutor57@gmail.com

Really, I do believe "we're" do for another good story by "Steve Haskin!"  Just from the comments it appears that your readers are in that, "story~frame of mind" of "Days Gone By" but most important the story now,

"Days Ahead," "In The Line of Fire," "Orb" will not be

"Departing" anytime soon •' ' ~~*!"

08 May 2013 4:40 PM
Plod Boy Phil

If entered,  Normandy Invasion will win the Preakness.

08 May 2013 6:49 PM
Criminal Type

Best Crab cakes in Baltimore are at G&M Restaurant in Linthicum. They are the size of softballs, big lumps of backfin meat....So yummy..Just stay away from the dessert case, your ass will get bigger just looking in it.  haha ! GO ORB !!!!!

08 May 2013 7:49 PM
Criminal Type

Steve from St Louis, I see someone beat me to the G & M thing but trust me you will not be dissapointed. We have some pretty good Corned beef and Pastrami here in Baltimore too, it comes from a little ol place on Lombard street you may have heard of, Attman's.

08 May 2013 7:56 PM
Alex'sBigFan

General Pletcher's post Derby speech and strategy for the Battle of Pimlico to his rather disheveled, muddied, war weary troops, the Pletcher Platoon:

"What's gotten into you boys???  Palace who shot you out of a cannon and told you to lead The Charge Of The Light Brigade?  And you, Verrazano, he goes off half-cocked and you follow!  This is no way to win the Battle of Pimlico.  I want spys in Orb's camp.  I want you to infiltrate Orb's "inner circle" of friends in N.Y.  I want to know what he eats, where he trains, what time he goes out and for that matter what damn soap they use on him!  I need information.  Run rings around him if you have to.  I want propaganda out there that we can win it.  And if you all don't shape up when we reach the Battle at Fort Belmont then I'm putting the WACS (played by the fillies) in charge there!  Attention!  Forward march!"

08 May 2013 8:20 PM
steve from st louis

Phil: If ever a race looked like a lead-pipe cinch it was Bodemeister in last year's Preakness. He ran pretty much like your Normandy Invasion did in the Derby. And he'll run pretty much like Bodemeister did at Pimlico. Unfortunately, Shug's horse will come breathing fire once again. So I'll take Shug's horse over your pick and we can bet a milkshake on it.

And Lunar S., as far as Musial,think about playing in the bigs for 22 years and posting the kind of consistency Musial did. .331 lifetime average, seven NL batting titles, three MVP awards and never got thrown out of a game.

08 May 2013 8:45 PM
Paula Higgins

Yes, O can see Normandy Invasion winning the Preakness too if he's entered but I hope he isn't. It would make my year to see Orb win the Triple Crown. Given decent trips by his very smart jockey, he may pull it off because I think he has the ability.

08 May 2013 9:09 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Steve this is another great article and as one poster said their history does sound like an old movie from the 30's and 40's.  This should be made into a movie. Last night a movie called "Thoroughbreds Don't Cry" was on TCM where Mickey Rooney was a jockey and Judy Garland was a young girl.  They were vanning the winning horse back with them at the end of the movie and the horse looked like Revolutionary, his head was looking out the front window of the van at them in the car in front.  He was a dark, dark bay with the little white diamond on his head like Rev.  

I think Orb is a tough, classy horse.  Unfortunately, Verrazano met his match or didn't relish the slop, same with Lucky.  Lucky gets another chance for a rematch in the Preakness but with Orb's tactical speed it won't be easy.  I want Lucky to win but then again I want the chance to have a TC winner so it will be emotionally hard to choose.  The sport needs a Triple Crown winner.  Affirmed's name has been lonely at the bottom of that list for far too long.

08 May 2013 9:26 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Steve,

Any news on Team Valor's Crop Report?  He's a Medaglia D'Oro bred by Liberation Farm, Lucky's breeder.  Your last comments on him were he looked like he had an amazing turn of foot and looked like he could be special.  Any chance of him showing up in the Belmont or summer races?  I would love to know how he is progressing.

08 May 2013 9:42 PM
Jean in Chicago

 The part of Steve's column about gelding Departing and his dams other colts leads to a continuation of the 'Man O' War was not a nice guy' comments.

 Man O' War's grandfather Hastings would just as soon kill a person as look at him, his father Fair Play was no gentleman and Fair Play's son Display was known for being extremely hard to handle.  

  Man O' War passed along the Hastings temper.  As Laura Hillenbrand says he "was a prolific sire, populating the racing world with beautiful man-eaters".  War Relic killed a groom, War Admiral frequently started from outside the gate because he refused to load, and Hard Tack was such a notorious rogue that even when Gladys Phipps offered his stud services for free, she couldn't get any takers.

  Eventually the nastiness disappeared.  Display's son Discovery and Hard Tack's son Seabiscuit were both sweet, polite horses.  

   Since we still can't predict the genetics of a horse's running ability, I wouldn't even try to guess the genetic basis of their personalities.

08 May 2013 9:56 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Steve in StL-

The 2012 and 2013 Derbys are not comparable. Bodemeister had the benefit of a strong speed bias to offset the rapid pace.  Thus, the results of the race were legit.  As a result,  we at Racing Flow neither upgraded Bode nor downgraded IHA.  The Preakness result was not a surprise to us.

This year, not only was the early pace more stressful due to a quicker 2nd quarter than last year, the final time as it relates to those early splits made the race all the more closer friendly.  It was the most closer favoring Flow in the last 23 years.  One needs only to look at the race chart to understand it was a perfect storm for those in the back.

Normandy Invasion, while not the best horse last Saturday, ran the best race to prepare him for a huge effort in Baltimore.  Those that benefited from the Derby Flow have had their day.

08 May 2013 10:35 PM
Cassandra.Says

Orb was best on the day and none behind him had excuses.

Some reasons that weren't excuses appeared, though. For instance, Revolutionary was short. How come this colt, who was everywhere reported as over-running his works and coming back not breathing hard enough to blow out the proverbial candle, came up short?

Maybe it's because if you aren't put into oxygen debt by your work you need to go out and do it again -- you'll have no training effect from it.

Losing Eskendereya would test anybody's willingness to lay the hammer down, but this was not the Revolutionary who circled his field seven-wide on the bend and had lots left. This horse had run for less than a furlong.

Summing up going into the Preakness, he needed that last race.

08 May 2013 10:50 PM
JoyJackson21

Another interesting, informative column, Steve.  You never fail to  bring to light the hidden elements of equine history in a situation.  I found the story about Orb and Departing growing up together very thought-provoking.  It was once again enlightening reading.  I'm looking forward to your next entries leading up to the Preakness Stakes.  

And look at you, Steve Haskin.  You've nailed two Kentucky Derbies in a row:  I'll Have Another and Orb.  The clarion calls you issued on both rang loud and true.  Last year, only those with imagination, previous loyalty to the winner, and the truly savvy heard the call and pounced on the epic opportunity they found before them; this year, many more picked up on the call, almost immediately.  Way to go, Steve!  Now, on to the Preakness!  It looks like it's going to be an interesting race.

08 May 2013 10:56 PM
Vistoso

Normandy Invasion dropped to 4th in a hurry after having the lead for ashort time, he has only won once. His guts and heart are questionable, am I wong

08 May 2013 11:04 PM
Aleine

I'm as interested in a Triple Crown winner as the next person, but Normandy Invasion WAS impressive in the Derby.

By the way, no nod to the late, great Secretariat who played a role in the Phipps and Hancock story as well and who lies in repose at Claiborne Farm (although the laminitis at age 19 fate is still a travesty in my opinion)?

08 May 2013 11:31 PM
Steve Haskin

Cheryl, Crop Report came down with a minor injury and will be out for a while.

09 May 2013 1:04 AM
Jean in Chicago

Aleine--in an interview that aired on Derby day one of 'the Family' (I don't remember if it was a Phipps or a Janney) said "We don't like to talk about the 'S's--Glady Phipps' Wheatley Stable selling Seabiscuit and Ogden Phipps making the wrong call on the Secretariat coin toss".

09 May 2013 2:36 AM
Davids

Steve, I really enjoy your 'what might have been' and possible consequences, 'retribution.'

At this stage, I believe Orb has everyone's measure but this does not guarantee him the Preakness Stakes, another can happen in a horse race.

Hopefully, this crop is going to provide some spirited completion, rivalries which has been lacking in racing over the years.

09 May 2013 4:09 AM
Soldier Course

Departing's owners are Blame's owners. I get a little nervous thinking about that now, remembering what happened in the Breeders' Cup Classic in 2010.

09 May 2013 3:21 PM
Pedigree Ann

Jean -

The report I read relayed that when Fair Play shipped to England to race at 4, he was a high-spirited colt but manageable. When he came back from England, unraced, he hated the touch of man. Fair Play had very sensitive skin, of which the new groom engaged to take care of him apparently did not know. And when the horse expressed his dislike for such hard pressure on his skin, the groom likely took it for defiance of his authority; at that time, the response to defiance was usually physical punishment. Is it any wonder that Fair Play reacted as he did?

I would not be surprised if what the descendents of Hastings inherited was unusually sensitive skin. If standard daily grooming felt like a torture treatment, what horse wouldn't try to defend himself? And keep those nasty, pain-causing humans as far away as possible?

By the way, starting gates were new in the mid-thirties and War Admiral may have merely had a bit of claustrophobia; nowadays, we use Roberts rugs and blindfolds to help horses enter that scary place.

I have heard any number of apocryphal stories of horses who have killed grooms but nary a one has named the person so dispatched. I heard the same thing said of John Henry by a guide at the Horse Park, yet no mention of such an occurrence was reported in the racing press during his active years on the track, or after. And you know it would have been.

09 May 2013 3:53 PM
Old Old Cat

For my money as a Baltimore native, best broiled crab cake Balto style (Old Bay) Pappas Restaurant (from the track, north on I-83, East on I-695, South on Perring Parkway, right at Taylor Ave, (second light).  Best broiled crab cake mustard style Friendly Farms, almost in Pennsylvania (up I-83 to Madonna Rd, West, look for little sign on right, call for times).  G&M has Imperial Sauce baked on outside that I don't like.  

09 May 2013 6:28 PM
JIMF552

PB Phil - Titletown Five entering Preakness, another pace melt down???

09 May 2013 7:36 PM
Jean in Chicago

Pedigree Ann--very good point.  They sure didn't ever try to see things from the horse's point of view.  And I've heard that chestnuts are more likely to have super sensitive skin.   I've always wondered about Ribot.  I've read that when he was in Italy he was fine.  It was only after he came here that he became so hard to deal with and he got along fine with his groom, just nobody else.  Italian visitors were shocked at how he had changed.

09 May 2013 8:08 PM
Fran Loszynski

Happy Birthday A fleet Alex. 11 years old but your mane still challenges the wind when you romp at Gainesway. My dear friend hope to see you soon. Yes Steve who could forget the coin toss  the Phipps now have Orb we all had Secretariat and the legacies always will shine as your love of horseracing and writing will always keep our eyes big and wide when it comes time for the cry for you to take pen in hand---"Writer, UP!

09 May 2013 10:03 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Fran,

Love your "Writer, Up!"  Very clever and thank your for reminding me that it is Afleet Alex's birthday.  I miss him so.  Last time I saw him was Sept. 10, 2005 exactly on his own special day at Delaware Park.  Please plant a big kiss on him for me when you see him.

Pedigree Ann,

I think the starting gate needs some reconfiguration and tweaking.  A lot of them, including quarterhorses are afraid to enter it.  Since the horses are neophobic and claustrophobic, some engineer somewhere should redesign it with that in mind.  At least make it higher so if they rear up they are not banging their heads on all that metal. I'm not too keen on the blindfold approach either, it worked in reverse for Quality Road.  Maybe it works more often than not but can't they think of a less draconian way to divert the attention of an already agitated animal?  What is a Roberts Rug?

09 May 2013 11:15 PM
Jean in Chicago

Pedigree Ann (and all)--sorry, I didn't mean to post pretty much the same thing twice.  I got an error message the first time.

Alex'sBigFan--a Roberts Rug (introduced by Monte Roberts) is a blanket that covers the horse's hind quarters when he is in the starting gate.  With it on he doesn't feel the metal of the gate.  Its actually attached to the gate so it pulls off as the horse runs  out.  Its especially effective on horses with very sensitive skin.

  I think all horses need a lot more schooling in and around starting gates.  Walking through them and just standing in them until a horse finds them basically boring.  There is enough excitement with all the noise, people, the other horses, the assistant starters climbing around and knowing that a race is coming.  The last thing a horse needs to think is that he is being shoved into a giant, horse-eating metal monster.

10 May 2013 4:29 AM
AngelaInAbilene

It's not the gates that need "reconfiguration and tweaking," it's the gate training that needs work.  The secret to good gate behavior is time.  It takes time to get ANY horse comfortable going in, standing well & leaving the gate.  Time is money and most owners/trainers don't want to take the additional time.  

It is very difficult to compare QH's & TB's when it comes to the gates.  QH's have yards to run (unless they're going around the hook) and must leave the gates bellydown, TB's have plenty of realestate and don't have to leave as sharply.  The way they are taught to leave the gates is what causes most of the QH's bad behavior.  [I learned this the hard way when I started training QH's in addition to TB's 18 years ago.]  

10 May 2013 7:16 AM
Plod Boy Phil

JIMF552 -

It's certainly possible,  but I'm hoping not.  As I posted over in Pete's Blog,  Titletown Five would be best served winning an 8 or 8.5f one turn Alw1x race (Belmont), then heading to the 7f G1 Woody Stephens on Belmont Day.

10 May 2013 9:46 AM
Louie Dula

reading your article and seeing SWALE'S name brings a question maybe you might know the answer to or can find out....  what really DID he die of?  no one seems to know the cause.

i'm friends with Sandy Bruno who was holding Swale while he was getting his bath that day he died.  she said all of a sudden he just sat down on his hind legs just like a dog and then just fell over and died.  she said they never found out what killed him.                                        

10 May 2013 1:14 PM
CHIEF PICAWINNA

I know I am only using two samples,but the track at Churchill in the Oaks and the Derby were playing best for closers.

Last year I think it was the opposite.

At Pimlico they could run on a much different surface, one where speed carries much better, and I think that is a way Orb could come in 2nd if he drops too far back on that type of track in the Preakness.

Animal Kingdom dropped too far back in his Preakness and was not able to catch Shackleford.

10 May 2013 1:49 PM
CHIEF PICAWINNA

I also think that Lucas having 3 colts in the race and his proclity to strategize before the race will render him more control over the early pace of the race.

10 May 2013 1:52 PM
Steve Haskin

Louie, I'm 99% sure I know what happened to Swale, but I'd rather not say on a public forum because I wasnt there. But the cause of death is known in some circles, just hasn't been made public.

10 May 2013 4:13 PM
Alex'sBigFan

AngelainAbilene,

Good point about how quarterhorses leave the gate differently and I appreciate your training expertise here.  I agree schooling needs patience, working with the animal instead of trying to fit the animal into the human racing agendas and schedules.  I was referring more to their "balking" going in.  One try, two, maybe three and that's it, if they don't want to go I don't think they should be forced any more than that.  I've seen the blanket but did not know it was called the Robert rug.  The gates themselves could use some revamping to avoid what happened to Smarty and goodness why are they still getting caught underneath it?  Both need work I guess, schooling and more patience and less obtrusive metal.  I guess whatever the breed of horse they are a prey animal and are going to be apprehensive about going into a contraption that looks like a predator's entrapment.

10 May 2013 8:21 PM
Mary

Govenor Charlie, Itsmyluckyday, and Orb in that order.  Swale had a heart attack obviously, but what caused it is a mystery, perhaps, oh no I won't go there.  

10 May 2013 10:58 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Preakness picks so far:

1.  Orb

2.  ItsMyLuckyDay

3.  Oxbow

11 May 2013 12:14 AM
AngelaInAbilene

ABF- Thank you.  "...working with the animal instead of trying to fit the animal into the human racing agendas and schedules."  You hit it, that's exactly the problem.  I tell potential new owners, a)They're going to spend a lot of money.  It takes TIME to properly prepare a horse for the track & I take NO shortcuts and b)If they're doing it to make money, don't bother.  You gotta get in this business because you LOVE it. Be happy if the horse just pays his/her feed bill.  [Consequently, I have very few outside horses.]

"One try, two, maybe three and that's it..."  Again, you are more than right.  If a horse has a bad experience, with anything, it is 10X's harder to get them to do it again and give it their all.  Additionally, it is not in any way fair to the other entries to stand in the gate while another horse balks and creates a disruption.  What they done to Quality Road was beyond my comprehension.  

The newer gates are a lot roomier and safer than what we used to have.  They remain a dangerous place to be, for both horse and human.  That's why it is so important for gate training to be done right and the horse handled properly each and every time it goes anywhere near a set of gates.  [I've never had a horse, QH or TB, refuse to go in and act right in the gates.]  

11 May 2013 9:41 AM
Mary

Govenor Charlie is the most beautifully and thoughtfully bred horse that you will ever see.  The broodmare sire's female line is loaded with stamina, as well as the tail female line.  There also are many sprinters in his pedigree.  Govenor Charlie is galloping through time with a heart of gold,not metaphorically, but literally.

11 May 2013 1:25 PM
Mary

Chief P, I agree, the track at Pimlico is much faster, so I think that Govenor Charlie and IMLD, have the advantage here.

11 May 2013 1:32 PM
tjconway

Not concerned about Freedom Child. No way he gets 1 1/2 miles carrying 126 lbs. The Preakness won't be easy,but you can put Orb  on the Sports Illustrated cover if he wins it! Another certain magazine if he wins the one after that!?!

11 May 2013 7:59 PM
louie

I think orb wins any race with a slow time.This next race might tell us if the weather compromised other horses chances.Iam leaning towards hes much better against inferior competition in the next race.There is not alot of competition in the preakness. However that being said gov charlie fresh has a chance and you can stick a fork in normandy invasion, his backers always have a story for his losing im sure they will come up with another one .

12 May 2013 1:01 AM
CHIEF PICAWINNA

Mary Re Pimlico, track of the Preakness.I think the track is more narrow than Churchill and the turns are banked at a differnt degree.I dont think the turns are tighter,and weather will play a factor on the track condition(best part of the track)running style providing the most winners etc.

There is also the human element(track superintendent)I understand the track superintendent at Churchill was employed at that position for his FIRST Kentucky Derby in 2013.

12 May 2013 9:39 AM
robinm

Normandy Invasion out of the Preakness.  Actually, I thought he would be one of Orb's tougher challenges.  Itsmyluckyday looked pretty good breezing today and I imagine he will be the pace along with Gov Charlie next Sat.  I'm not too worried about Charlie.  Still concerned about the foot  issue; no foot, no horse they say and after last Thur., I know that well.  I lost one of my horses to the effects of laminitis. Sad day for me and others who loved him well.

12 May 2013 3:22 PM
Uncle Smiley

Old Old Cat

Thanks for the heads up on qualty MD crab cakes.  The gold standard.

Crab cakes are the indicator for decent eateries in surrounding states like Delaware and Pennsylvania. If the crab cakes are good, then chances are you went to the right place.

Crab soup is another story.  The best I have encountered is at Rooney's, a deli on the premises of Delaware Park, Stanton Delaware.

Please let me know if you can recommend crab soup in MD.

US

12 May 2013 8:35 PM
Fran Loszynski

Thank you Alex,s Big Fan. Will hug Alex for you when I see him.  My Preakness picks are Orb Governor Charlie and Goldencents Good luck everyone  and can't wait for Steve,s  post Preakness report Yeeehaaawh

12 May 2013 8:57 PM
Alexlovesleo

Uncle Smiley, for crab soup go to the Crackpot off Loch Raven Blvd. It's about a half mile from Pappas', so you can get your crab cake too. Take a left on Taylor Ave out if Pappas' and continue until you cross over Loch Raven Blvd, immediately turn right into the Giant shopping center and Crackpot is at the top of the hill.

13 May 2013 10:16 AM
Uncle Smiley

Alexlovesleo,

Thanks.

We get to the area once a year, and Crackpot sounds a natural to me!

Pleased to know Steve H  appreciates such off topic, but essential communiques.

US

US

13 May 2013 7:31 PM
smarie

Another wonderful column, Mr. Haskin, but I wouldn't expect anything less from you.

I see where Orb has arrived at Pimlico. Has anyone else noticed this horse's calm expression? His eyes have the look of a happy, contented horse. I would think that this comes from being around the good horse folks that he is, plus having such a good, caring trainer as Shug McGaughey.

I would be interested to see you do a "Preakness Dozen" list too, if you were so inclined. I have Orb at the top of my list and I wonder which horses you pick to be in the money in the Preakness.

14 May 2013 12:00 PM
sara futh

Jean,

Stallion behavior is mainly environmental, mare behavior is not just inherited, it is from the way the mare brings up her foal. A nervous mare will communicate that to her baby, as will nastiness come through.

The Secretariat-The Bride story has been told often enough that Steve didn't have to bring it into the mix - and her groom once told me she was another nasty one. It took several more generations before the good genes from their dam came out.

15 May 2013 1:44 PM

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