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Casting a Long Shadow

We're at least keeping these two together, right?The Preakness field is still very much a work in progress, but in addition to Mine That Bird, Musket Man, Papa Clem, Pioneerof the Nile and General Quarters, Friesan Fire is now likely for the race. New shooters Terrain, Big Drama, Take the Points and Hull are planning to meet at Pimlico, and while there’s no official word yet on Rachel Alexandra’s next start, just the possibility of her entering the Preakness is enough to terrify more than a few owners and trainers.

It’s possible there could be a little gamesmanship from the Pioneerof the Nile camp insofar as keeping her out of the field:

“Can I theoretically fill the field out? Yes,” Zayat said. “I have enough colts that are nominated that have a legitimate shot to run. Can I get her out? Yeah, I can, but I’m not really sure that’s what I want.”

Gary Stute, trainer of Papa Clem, was thinking along the same lines:

“I was trying to convince (trainer) Bob Baffert this morning (to enter more horses) because if we get 14 entries she’d be on the sidelines,” joked Gary Stute, trainer of Papa Clem, who ran fourth in the Derby. “To be honest, it really disappointed me (when I heard of the possibility of her being entered) because … I thought I had one heck of a shot in the Preakness. But I think that filly is in a different world than the rest of us.”

I’m hoping she waits until the Belmont for a number of reasons, but not the least among them is the notion of her winning both the Preakness and Belmont without having been allowed a shot at the Derby would be a bit depressing (although equally rather exciting). I’d also point you to Claire Novak’s blog post regarding the trainer switch – I share her sentiment, but I also cannot wait to see where Rachel Alexandra goes next.

And while it’s a long way off at this point, this is very good news – Breeders’ Cup tickets will actually be available at a reasonable cost and there will be an online purchase option, just like in regular sports. While I doubt I’d be able to take the time off to head out to California (especially since I am taking Monday off to go to a bar at 9 am to have my MLS team officially get its already-leaked name), it certainly makes it an even more appealing idea. I do have a potential conference to attend on that coast a few days later…

In the meantime, have a look over at BelmontStakes.com, where I’ll be blogging for the next few weeks – and hopefully some of those posts will involve Rachel Alexandra being headed not just to Belmont Park, but to the Belmont Stakes itself. Fingers crossed!

3 comments to Casting a Long Shadow

  • John

    Congrats on the Belmont blog!

  • EquiSpace

    So your soccer team name abbreviated is PU…nice. 😛

    Congrats on the Belmont stint!

  • suebroux

    Just learned you’re a featured writer for the Belmont Stakes – congratulations! Greatly looking forward to some great insights over the next few weeks.

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