may1409preakmine1.jpgLUCKY NUMBER 13?

Rachel is widest!

(Photo is MINE THAT BIRD and his flock heading out to the track at Pimlico. Cindy Pierson Dulay photo)


– MINE THAT BIRD (PP #2; 6-1) – Chip Woolley, trainer: “We’ve got speed on both sides of us, speed on the inside and outside of us. That should clear away from us and leave us in a nice spot to coast down the front side and into the backstretch. It’s a good spot.”

“I like the fact that Big Drama is inside of me because he’ll move on and should leave me a little bit of a break there.”

RACHEL ALEXANDRA (PP #13; 8-5) – Scott Blasi, assistant trainer: “I was just speaking with Jess (Jackson) and Steve (Asmussen) and we’re very happy with it, being on the outside. You’ve got a long run to the first turn here.”

“With having a filly in the race, what you’re worried about is traffic and everything that can happen. In the Derby, when you break they all come together. I think it’s a very good spot for us.”

“I think the race will sort itself out before the first turn. We know that she does have good tactical speed and she should be able to get a good position going into the first turn.”

“I’d rather have than 13 than 1.”

Read more from the Pimlico media staff…


may1409preakgen2.jpgGENERAL QUARTERS is a longshot chance to redeem himself in the Preakness. In fact, ignore all the bad efforts by horses in the Derby – track was sloppy, inside was biased. Terence Dulay photo.


With Closer Looks and all the stats…



(the last filly to win Preakness)

Nellie Morse wins the Preakness, 1924

– Much has been (and will be) written about fillies competing in the Preakness as Rachel Alexandra looks poised to capture the middle leg of the Triple Crown in Baltimore this weekend. The name Nellie Morse – the last filly to win the Preakness in 1924 – will be bandied about during Saturday’s broadcast on NBC but it won’t go beyond a name and a date.

Here at Colin’s Ghost, we like to go beyond names, dates, facts, and figures. In fact, you’re likely to get more than you need to know (or care to know). If you like historical minutiae – you are in the right place.


Beginner The Boy’s Ring posts 84 Beyer

The Woodbine Polytrack was on the quick side last evening (but seemed to get faster as the night went on – something to investigate), unusual for a Wednesday night, and a lot of races were at 5 furlongs so horses close to the pace and even inside, did the best running. In fact, so many riders seemed to be hustling their horses hard and fast out of the gate, suggesting that maybe some of them thought you had to be close.

The featureed race of the evening was a maiden allowance with some possible WOODBINE OAKS fillies but the race was a weird one and the time was very slow. The predicted winner was the Chiefswood entry but it was the one who was thought to be slightly lesser, GORE BAY, who won the race. With Chantal Sutherland getting the ride as Jim McAleney took Indigo North, Gore Bay (Dynaformer) stalked covered up and between fillies a couple of lengths off the pace and then took the lead late on the turn and held off a charging Soul of Nataka (Perfect Soul). The entrymate was a tired fourth.

The time of 1:47 1/5 was a 66 Beyer Figure, down from the filly’s previous 81 Beyer Figure. GORE BAY is a great grandaughter of LOUDRANGLE, a foundation mare for Sam-Son Farms and producer of Oaks winner Tilt My Halo.

Other stuff from last night…

The favourites in most of the races were heavily bet and, to some extent, overbet. In race 1, Maxwell’s Demon was 3 to 1 in the morning line and went off at even-money and didn’t hit the top 3. The winner was PHOR PHILIPPE, one of 2 winners for the stallion WHERE’S THE RING on the night. The maiden $16,000 race was the first claiming start for the 3yo gelding owned by Howie Fishman and trainer Robert Tiller. In that race first time starter AWKWARD BEGINNING had an… awkward beginning from the gate but finished a good third. One to watch.

Race 2 was a 3yo filly race for $50,000 claiming and coubling up in 2009 was SMART BLONDE, a Champali filly bred in Ontario by Stubbs Investment and owned by Gary Wellwood and trained by Scott Fairlie. Fairlie won 2 races on the night – his other was the clas plunging HEART OF COLD, a Trajector filly owned in part by Dr. Ted Coker.

Race 4, a maiden claiming race for $20,000 saw 2 to 1 morning line favourite ANGELS LADY go off at even money but she faltered in the 1 1/16 mile race (that went faster than the maiden allowance) and the winner was the timely PATIENCE OF JOB (Alphabet Soup) who was one of 3 winners on the night for Sutherland. David Belle trains the Ontario bred for the Firestome family estate.

Race 5 – a good claim by MORT HARDY, who grabbed TIME SHARING (Perigee Moon) for $10,000 on May 6, rushed her back in a week and watched her win for $12,500. It looked a bit grim since she was hard ridden all the way through 6 furlongs on the rail in a large crowd of battlers but she shrugged everyone else away.

THE BOY’S RING was a well meant firster that won the other maiden allowance on the night. By 2nd year sire WHERE’S THE RING, the dark bay 3yo, owned by Paul Buttigieg, had fast workouts and ran to them although he had to thread the needle in a crowd around to make his big. A homebred and the first foal from Buttigieg’s mare Paul’s Girl (by Bianconi), The Boy’s Ring ran in 57 2/5 for 5 furlongs and received an 84 Beyer Figure.

The barn has another first timer racing on Friday – EXECUTIVE STAR in the 9th, also with quick workout times plus FALWYN’S CAT on Saturday, she has had a fast recent workout.

And congratulations to  good samaritan STUART HYMAN and his Shyman Farm that won the finale with TALK FAST, who won off the claim for $16,000 and was claimed by Richard Lister.



– Woodbine’s Saturday feature is the MARINE STAKES for 3yos and only 6 horses entered and one of them COLONEL RUTLEDGE is entered in a grass stakes race at Pimlico on the same day.

Trained by Graham Motion, Colonel Rutledge would be a fringe contender in a weak Marine which featured just one Queen’s Plate eligible (PARABOLA).

Heading the field is Dominic Triumbari’s AWESOME RHTYHM (pictured, by Norm Files site at, the Wando Stakes winner, who is back to meet BEAR’S ROCKET, the 2nd in the Wando.

The Marine also has HIS GREATNESS, an in and outer who comes off a sizzling 57 3/5 breezing workout at Arlington on Polytrack and who was recently 11th in the Grade 2 Lexington Stakes. BEAR’S PROSPECTOR, a recent maiden winner, completes the field.



Blood-Horse – By Amanda Duckworth

Trainer Michael Matz switched Nicanor to the turf for his fourth career start and it clearly suited the colt well, as he demolished a maiden special weight field by 15 1/4 lengths at Delaware Park May 13 (VIDEO).

The 3-year-old Dynaformer colt, who is a full brother to 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Barbaro, took the lead early and never looked back. Under jockey Rosie Napravnik, Nicanor set comfortable fractions of :24.34, :49.0, and 1:14.35 before completing the 1 1/16-mile contest in 1:46.31.

“I am relieved that this is over with,” said Matz. “I think he has a good future and I think he is a real nice horse; I always did. I am not sure if it was the turf or the blinkers, or what, but he ran great today.”