Monday, May 25, 2009

May Is Ladies Month

     By Scott Morganroth
     This year's Preakness Stakes on May 16 showed me how little I know about Horse Racing. 
     I've always assumed that the winning  jockey of the Kentucky Derby would automatically race in the Preakness Stakes and go after the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes.
     Boy, was I wrong!
     Instead of riding Kentucky Derby Winner Mine That Bird, Jockey Calvin Borel chose to saddle up 1,095 pound filly Rachel Alexandra in the 134th Preakness Stakes, and for the 11th time in Horse Racing History, a filly won a Triple Crown race.
     Rachel Alexandra became the first filly to win the Preakness Stakes since 1924 and the first to win from the 13th position. For a days work, she earned a first prize payday of $660,000 from a gross purse of $1.1 Million.
     But for Horse Racing fans, the Triple Crown drought continues at 31 years. Affirmed was the last horse to win the Triple Crown in 1978. The only Triple Crown left is for Borel, who has not decided what horse he'll ride, on June 6 at the 1.5 mile Belmont Stakes.
     Mine That Bird is still an option for Borel but the Owners remain non committal about Rachel Alexandra's participation.
     On May 2, in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, and Preakness, Mine That Bird started back in the pack and finished strong. Had the Preakness Stakes been a little longer, we could be looking at a Triple Crown accomplishment since Mine That Bird was a close second losing by a length in Baltimore.
     I believe that if Borel rides Mine That Bird at the Belmont Stakes, in Elmont, NY, then a genius cap would be the next attire for him to wear if he pulls off this unique Triple Crown.
     On Sunday May 24th, another female named Danica Patrick, who weighs 1/10 of Rachel Alexandra, was my sentimental favorite to win the 93rd Indianapolis 500.
     Patrick put on an outstanding performance by finishing third which was the best finish ever for a female driver at the Indy 500, in front of 250,000 fans in Indiana. As a rookie in 2005, Patrick finished the Indy 500 in fourth place.
     Even though Patrick didn't get to drink the milk in the winners circle, this young lady, who has led laps at the Indy 500 in the past, has turned out to be a great inspiration for her gender competing at the highest level in one of the most dangerous sports. 
     Last season, Patrick did win a race in Japan topping the guys but her performances at the historic Brickyard are something she can feel proud of and a building block for her career.
     So May Is Ladies Month and the theme is speed with gallant finishes along with dramatic & historical story lines.
     Scott Morganroth can be reached at Scottsports33@aol.com 
     

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