No Triple Crown Winner in 2016

The rain became much, much worse during the afternoon in Baltimore, Maryland before the Preakness race was to begin. That track was a boggy, soggy mess. Nyquist, who was undefeated, 8 for 8, before the Preakness, had never raced in that kind of mud before so it was questionable as to how he would fare on those kind of track conditions.

Exaggerator, however, had raced before in that kind of slop and apparently he likes it because he came from behind, blazing down the rail, and won the Preakness. It was a great race but the horse that I had been hoping would be able to go all the way and win all 3 of the races in the Triple Crown this year came in 3rd, after leading the field from the gates. So there will be no Triple Crown winner for 2016.

Just about 5 minutes before the Preakness began, I sent my daughter, Tara, a text and I told her that I had just then got a bad feeling that Nyquist would lose and that Exaggerator would win. She sent me a return text that said, “Stop that! lol” but when Exaggerator did win, and I immediately called her, Tara yelled in the phone, “How did you KNOW that? And where did Exaggerator come from? Holy shit!”

I laughed as I told her, I don’t know, that she knew that sometimes I get those weird feelings. But that Exaggerator had run a great race, he really does likes the mud and he held back until he found the rail and then blew everybody’s doors off.

We watched the re-run of the race again while we were chatting on the phone and she agreed with me that Nyquist lost momentum and some speed when he quick-switched around a horse to go to the outside shortly before the wire and that, along with perhaps the track conditions, caused him to lose or at least prevented him from coming in 2nd.

Oh well, such is horse racing. You win some, you lose some. I still love Nyquist, he’s a great horse but on such a muddy, sloppy  track, Exaggerator proved today that he was the superior horse.

On a more somber note, there were 2 tragedies earlier at the Pimlico race track hours before the Preakness Stakes were run. The horse, Homeboykris, a 9 year old gelding, won the first race of the day. After he had his picture taken in the winner’s circle and was returning back to the barn, he suddenly died on the track. He possibly had a heart attack but more will be known after an autopsy is performed.

Then in the the 4th race, the filly, Pramedya, broke down during the race from a shattered front left cannon bone. She was euthanized there on the track and her jockey, who was thrown off when she went down, broke his collar bone.

The really eerie part of that filly’s death is that she was owned by Gretchen and Roy Jackson. They had owned the wonderful Barbaro, an also unbeaten horse who had won the Kentucky Derby 10 years ago. Barbaro’s leg also shattered during the Preakness and even though he had multiple surgeries to repair his leg, he later had to be put down due to laminitis, a usually fatal hoof disease.

What are the odds that this couple would have two promising horses shatter their legs exactly 10 years apart and at the same race track? Spooky.

I am so glad that I don’t bet on horse races, but there are times like today and for the Derby last month that I wished I did. I could have really cleaned up!

My passion is seeing these horses run because they love to run. They enjoy it so much and you can tell when a horse is having a grand time by watching their ears get all perky. They know when they win and they know when they lose.

If I placed bets, that would take away all of my enjoyment because the money, win or lose, would become a focus and I don’t want to dilute my passion for horses by gambling on them. Racetracks do not like people who think like I do though lol.

Well the Belmont Stakes, the last jewel in the Triple Crown, will be held on Saturday, June 11. I will watch it but it won’t be as much fun as it would have been if Nyquist had won today. Rats.

 

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