Paddock to Post: A Look at The Preakness

By Michael-Louis Ingram
Updated: May 11, 2009

PHILADELPHIA — When Mine That Bird ran and hid from 18 other hosses in the Churchill Downs slop, the tote board was nuked to the tune of $103 to win, $2,000 plus in the exacta, over $41K in the trifecta, and an astounding $557K in the superfecta – the latter two prices being Kentucky Derby records!!!

As Calvin Borel (nicknamed “Bo-Rail” for his chilly riding style along the inside of the track) was counting his blessings, the prior showing by Borel during Derby weekend almost paled by comparison – until now.

Filly Rachel Alexandra, who was also ridden by Borel in the Kentucky Oaks, shocked the house by blasting the girls by 20 lengths; making “Rachel” a prohibitive favorite to be a Triple Tiara queen ( the Triple Tiara consists of the Mother Goose Stakes, the Coaching Club American Oaks and the

But hold on thar’ Baba Looey! Rachel says she wants to get it on against the guys. Undefeated in her four starts, her new connections (headed by Jess Jackson’s Stonestreet Stables) have kicked in the $100,000 supplemental fee to add her to the field in the Preakness.

Should Rachel end up covered in Black-eyed Susan’s in the winner’s circle this Saturday, it will set off an interesting scenario or two that could make Rachel a female complement to house stable mate stud Curlin.

With the Tiara races a little further down the road, Rachel could be a bad mamma jamma if she is able to come in as a Triple Crown race winner – if she decides to run.

While there are no plans to run her against the boys beyond the Preakness, she would be every inch the equine superstar should Jackson run her; and a very bankable broodmare – to – be down the road.

Can you imagine what the first Curlin/Rachel Alexandra babies might be worth out the gate?

Now all that said, let’s get back to Borel, who had a decision to make as to which mount to take. Borel jumped off ‘Bird and leaped atop Rachel.

From a class standpoint, it is a no – brainer; the lady reeks of pedigree; but if the track is wet on Saturday – and Pimlico Race Course has been on the soggy side the last couple of times they’ve come to Post – the ‘Bird could still be the word; and Borel could be a unique footnote in a jockey who got off of a Derby winner to lose to that same hoss in the Preakness!

Just remember – the hoss didn’t know he was 50-1; but if he did know, he showed what a Noble Beast he truly was!

When you add the initiative by thoroughbred racing to race steroid – free, the side plots and other variables will make this a very interesting weekend at Pimlico!

Next time: Can Rachel Alexandra prove that sistas are doin’ it by themselves? We will handicap the race later this week.

Until then, when you see your longshot eatin’ up mud and extending as they come into the home stretch, flex those lungs with pride as you scream…