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Sunday, May 15, 2005

Preakness Past and Present

- Greeley’s Galaxy worked 5f in a sharp 1:00 1/5 in the slop at Churchill on Saturday. His exercise rider said that “He finished for me better than usual.” [Bloodhorse] Recall that he did not finish up strongly when he worked prior to the Derby. So maybe he’s improving - or maybe he liked the slop. Or both. He has in his dam’s pedigree Better Bee, the sire of Bee Bee Bee, who won the Preakness in the slop in 1972 over Key to the Mint. That was a little bit before I started following the sport, and I don’t remember the race as much as the call of the race. In subsequent years I remember going over to a friend’s, and we’d get really wasted and listen to his collection of great race calls he had on cassettes. He had the album Secretariat - Horse of the Century, which had the calls of nearly all his races including some classic calls from Dave Johnson in his prime. I know I have it somewhere here; I’ll have to find it and post about it some other time.

But I also remember that he had a tape of Ray Haight’s call of Bee Bee Bee winning the Preakness. I believe it may have been a call for CBS Radio rather than the ontrack one. His gravelly voice made his calls particularly dramatic, and it raised to a climactic crescendo as Bee Bee Bee raliied to the win. My friend would get all excited each time he played it and start whipping and driving himself along with the winner. Listening to those calls is one of the things that helped to convert me over from the standardbred set.

Back to the current Preakness, High Limit worked 5 in 1:00 1/5 on Sunday and will add blinkers. "He seems like he needs something to make him focus," Frankel said. [Bloodhorse] Closing Argument galloped, and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said “we’re all set.”

If the track is fast Monday, Closing Argument will have a light workout. Otherwise, the colt will gallop up to the 1 3-16th-mile Preakness, he said.
Giacomo will ship to Pimlico on Wednesday.