Preakness Recap: How Champions Look

Greatness comes from everywhere.  Even from a $2,500 Stud Fee and a $8,000 mare.  California Chrome looked all the part of a champion today.  Social Inclusion ran well — right up to him on the turn — and California Chrome had more.  When Ride on Curlin made a solid run at his down the final furlong, I yelled at the TV “DIG DEEP!” as to implore the big fella to fight on for another hundred yards.  He obliged, quite willingly.

Ride on Curlin ran well out of the Derby, and Social Inclusion was solid off both the injury and the foot bruise.  Not sure that anyone else really impressed at all in this group.  There will be plenty of return shooters from the Kentucky Derby in three weeks at Belmont, plus some notable new shooters, like Tonalist and Commisioner, who both come ran in the Peter Pan Stakes.

It will be an exciting three weeks, with coverage of the sport at its likely highest level since Smarty Jones’ Belmont try in 2004.  We’ll be back with the race of the day on Monday at around 6:00 ET with the 4th race from Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver.

Quick Thoughts about Every Preakness Horse

#1. Dynamic Impact developed late but still well below these. Has some style flexibility which could be an asset from rail.

#2. General A Rod is a notch below these.  I’d like him in the Indiana or Iowa Derby later this summer.

#3. California Chrome is best on paper.  If he wins, he’ll become the biggest public horse since Smarty Jones.

#4. Ring Weekend hasn’t moved forward since the Tampa Bay Derby.  Seems a stretch.

#5. Bayern is intriguing.  Talented, but will he relax?  Pedigree questions as well.

#6. Ria Antonia doesn’t belong in this race.  Not terribly sure why she is.  I guess anything can happen.

#7. Kid Cruz has the right style, but may not be fast enough to win here.  He’s going to be coming in the final furlong!

#8. Social Inclusion is as fast as California Chrome.  Can he survive the fast pace, and if so, can he match California Chrome’s heart and will to win?

#9. Pablo Del Monte is another pace factor among many.  Could appreciate the added distance in the stretch.

#10. Ride on Curlin is a closing threat.  An improvement is needed, but not impossible.