The New Shooters' Stakes

Bill Christine,

You'll need a scorecard for the 133rd running of the Preakness. Yankee Bravo? That name sort of rings a bell. Behindatthebar? Seems familiar. Giant Moon? I remember him. Vaguely. The Preakness has always been a haven for the Triple Crown's new shooters, but this is ridiculous. This isn't a field, it's a road company of "Ben-Hur." These were the understudies for the Kentucky Derby. They weren't good enough to run in Louisville, and now some of their names will actually be hung on the marquee in Baltimore. This Saturday, Pimlico should let everybody in on twofers.

What happened to Denis of Cork? Didn't he earn enough shipping money at Churchill Downs? Recapturetheglory, fifth in the Derby, was Preakness-bound for a while, but now he's not scheduled to run. Louie Roussel, his trainer, says that Recapturetheglory has a temperature. Roussel may have also noticed that his horse finished 11 3/4 lengths behind Big Brown in the Derby.

There have been some pretty bland Preaknesses--the 1982 running, which didn't even have Gato Del Sol, the Derby winner, comes to mind--but unless Big Brown wins by 50 lengths or sends the timer spinning, this version is as pale as an albino, and will be as thrilling as fishing through the ice. It figures to be as one-sided as a bullfight. Rick Dutrow, who trains Big Brown, said that he'll ship his charge from Kentucky to Maryland on Wednesday, but why bother? Big Brown ought to be able to mail this one in.

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