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Sunday, May 22, 2005

Racing at its Best

I like this quote from Jeremy Rose in the LA Times: "I have relatively good balance and fear makes you very, very strong....I was willing to hang on."

Even with the acrobatics, it was the fastest time since Real Quiet's 1:543/5 in 1998 as Afleet Alex became only the third Preakness winner from post 12 and the first since 1981. [Louisville Courier-Journal]

Closing Argument’s connections are saying that he didn’t like the track.

"My horse did not like the track today," jockey Cornelio Velasquez said. "He broke well, but I had to do a bit of a check on the first turn. And after that, he didn't seem to run his best race today."

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin agreed that Pimlico wasn't a favorite of his horse.

"He fought the racetrack today," McLaughlin said. [Philadelphia Inquirer}
Still, it was a profitable day for his owners; owner Philip Cohen said the price tag for the half-sale of the colt was "quite a bit" more than the $2 mllion he was asking earlier in the year. Not a bad deal; he paid $100,000 for the colt at Ocala April last year, and he’s earned nearly $1 million on the track.

Though Mike Smith said that Giacomo galloped out really strong after his traffic-filled trip, John Sherrifs would not immediately commit to the Belmont.
"I think it takes a few moments or maybe a day of reflection," he said. "You know, talk to Mike a little bit, get to see the replay, find out a little bit more about it. Right after the race, it's sort of a little emotional time."

Still, Shirreffs said that Smith told him he "had a lot of horse at the wire. He was full of run," and did not rule out the Belmont.

"I think we're going to go back to California," Shirreffs said. "The plan is to go back, just give it a couple of days, think about it and then decide. It's three weeks, so we have time." [Courier-Journal]
I think it would be a pretty compelling matchup of the Derby and Preakness winners if he does come to the Belmont. If fans come up from Philly like last year, perhaps we could still get a decent crowd. One thing about the Triple Crown series thus far - it has generated interest that goes beyond that of just the core fans, even though no one will sweep the races again. After the publicity over the unlikely winner and big payoffs in the Derby, Alex's stumble, along with the human stories connected to him, should definitely continue the buzz. Rich Bozich of the Courier Journal wrote:
Racing won't have a Triple Crown winner for the 27th straight year. It has something almost as good -- a legitimate "Did you see that?" moment. Rose, 26, rode with courage and strength. Afleet Alex ran with determination and dexterity. This was racing at its best.

1 Comment:

jillian said...

Didn't get to see the race...was up at the Getty Center for the day. But was rooting for Alex...who can resist the human interest story that comes with him.

Saw the reruns. Wow...did he show gumption and bravery. it certainly was a "did you see that moment"

I am very thankful that it didn't end with him going down and breaking something.

Alex certainly does have a little angle riding along with him on his saddle blanket.

Although the distance would suit Giacomo and it looked like he would enoy gobbling up more real estate on the track, I am not so sure that he would do well on the surface at Belmont. We'll see. But he didn't disgrace himself yesterday.