COLLUSION, AN ONLINE FIRESTORM, AND SURRENDER

by | 11.17.2010 | 12:47am
By Ray Paulick

For those of you who decided to disconnect from the racing world on Sunday, let me just say that we had a little situation here.


Actually, it wasn't so little. Collusion between the co-owner of Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird and the owner of runner-up Pioneerof the Nile to keep Kentucky Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra out of the starting gate for Saturday's Preakness Stakes would have, if successfully orchestrated, created one of the biggest embarrassments this sport has seen in my lifetime.


Apparently, and thankfully, the plot to keep the filly out of the race was aborted on the same day it was hatched. And that says something about the world we live and how cable television and the internet not only have changed how we get our news, but have given the public an opportunity to swiftly react to it, and in some ways alter the course of events.


I was enjoying a quiet Mother's Day brunch Sunday afternoon with my family when I got an urgent message that Ahmed Zayat, Pioneerof the Nile's owner, during a telephone interview on HRTV said Mine That Bird's co-owner Mark Allen called Zayat and asked him to enter an additional horse in the Preakness to block Rachel Alexandra's entry in the race. The filly, newly acquired by Jess Jackson last week and expected to be supplemented to the Preakness at a cost of $100,000, would only get into the starting field if fewer than 14 horses were entered, because early Triple Crown nominees are given preference over supplemental entrants in the Preakness.


Allen said he would enter a maiden in the race, and if Zayat entered a second horse, there was a strong likelihood Rachel Alexandra would not get in. It would also put Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel back aboard Mine That Bird after he chose to ride the filly.


The Paulick Report linked to Dan Farley's timely dispatch in England's Racing Post that quoted Zayat, who repeated part of the conversation he'd had with Allen. Internet forums (Thoroughbred Champions, Pace Advantage, among others) and blogs lit up with comments about “cowardice,” “unsportsmanlike conduct,” and actions that were “terribly unflattering to the sport,” and would take “the racing industry's massive dysfunction to brand new levels.”


The late Paul Mellon, who for me defined the kind of sportsmen who helped make this game so wonderful, was, I'm certain, spinning madly in his grave over how racing has degenerated and deteriorated.


Officials of the Maryland Jockey Club must have had visions of angry, pitchfork wielding mobs of racing fans descending upon Pimlico Saturday in search of the two would-be evil-doers, Zayat and Allen. One of those officials called Zayat to explain to him that his actions weren't being very well received and that it might not be such a bad idea to reconsider.


NBC Sports, which pays a handsome sum to televise the Preakness and has been promoting the hell out of the anticipated matchup between Mine That Bird and Rachel Alexandra, might have been a little upset as well if the filly was somehow excluded.


Before sunset, a flurry of online articles was published by Bloodhorse.com, Sports Illustrated, New York Times and others, quoting both Zayat and Allen with abandoning their ill-conceived plan and waving white flags of surrender–but not before humiliating themselves and embarrassing the sport.


The whole news cycle was over in about six hours. I'm convinced the internet reporting and commentaries, along with the public outrage expressed in online forums, drove the decisions of Zayat and Allen as much as the phone call from a racing official in Maryland may have done.


Twenty years ago, before racing had two cable channels and the internet to provide an explosion of instant information, this Sunday storm might not have ever made into the public spotlight. The late Joe Hirsch, the executive columnist for Daily Racing Form, would have gotten wind of the conspiracy first (Joe always got it first), but by the time the Form had its next press run on Monday afternoon, someone (probably Joe himself) would have smacked some sense into Zayat and Allen.


For those of you who on Sunday were plugged in to HRTV (or TVG, which also did its own reporting on the issue), the Paulick Report or other web sites, this whole unseemly saga would be old news by the time your daily newspaper hit the front door Monday morning, or the weekly trade magazines are delivered later this week.


Times have changed.


One final thought: What is it about fillies and the Preakness that brings out the worst in some people?


Twenty-nine years ago, Angel Cordero Jr. used intimidating, and many of us still believe unsportsmanlike, riding tactics aboard Codex to beat the Kentucky Derby-winning filly Genuine Risk in the 1980 Preakness.


In 1988, the late Woody Stephens hit a low point in his Hall of Fame training career when he had jockey Pat Day employ suicidal tactics in the Preakness aboard Forty Niner against Winning Colors, the front-running filly who defeated Forty Niner in the Kentucky Derby two weeks earlier. It ruined both of their chances of victory.


Interestingly, in both cases, the Daily Racing Form published front-page editorials criticizing the tactics used against the two fillies, an extremely unusual occurrence by the Form. The 2009 version of Daily Racing Form might well have an editorial printed on the Rachel Alexandra saga in the next day or two, but by then will anyone care?

Copyright © 2009, The Paulick Report

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  • Lauren

    Am I the only one getting tired of the “Rachel, this” and “Rachel, that” superfilly phenomenon. Please, she may be a big, muscular, powerful, athletic, talented super filly but are there no other horses in this race to talk about? While I usually absolutely love the girls, this is one instance when I am truly hoping for an underdog and ANY underdog to squeek through. AND more importantly, that all the horses have a safe race. GEEZ!

  • Alison Thompson M

    This whole story behind Bird on The Wire cracks me up. Talk about biting off your nose to spite your face! Rather than embrace their story ala Casey’s Shadow, which has the potential to win the hearts of the world ane a multi-million dollar screen play (can anyone say Disney!) that would more than make up for lost stud fees. Instead, the connections come across on national TV as arrogant, ungracious, and carrying a marble chip on their shoulders. Now add to the story board an owner, who like his infamous father, resorts to cheating, or at least an attempt at cheating!!

    Well, like writers of box office blockbuster, Forest Gump, coined, “Stupid is as stupid does”!

  • Alison Thompson M

    Oops!!! Mine That Bird…(see what I mean?) My stupid slip!

  • Lauren

    and remember the quote by W.C. Fields:

    “Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.”

  • Al

    Allen comes from a line of “pay to win” players. I still don’t belive for a second that something wasn’t untoward in the Derby win. that’s how guys like that operate, attempting to detrmine the result before the contest starts. Zayat, he wants to be a winner, but perhaps he wants it too much, and he and his side kick confuse true sportsmanship with this lust he has to be the racing king? Did anyone mention greed and power? It’s at all levels of the game and quite often, too easily attained.

  • Benny the Bull

    A bone fide three ring circus.

    The Mind that Bird crew who are now starting to show their true colors despite a made for TV makeover. The clincher being that by the end of the day Allen was trying to pin the whole thing on Zayat.

    Zayat who got sucked into this scam and may have done untold damage to all the goodwill he has built up during his time in the game.

    And finally Jess Jackson,the wolf in sheep’s clothing, who issues a statement where somehow he tries to link Mother’s Day with a three-year-old filly’s participation in a horse
    race.

    Then again maybe these guys all deserve each other but the racing public deserves better.

  • Glimmerglass

    Benny the Bull, I could not have said it better.

    The only way this saga could’ve been any more weird is if IEAH somehow was to have put out a press release with long since peaked and regressed Stardom Bound was under consideration too. That would’ve been the topper!

    The kids in the sandbox better learn how to play nice. As it should be this dispute will be settled on the track Saturday – provided there are no last minute injuries – and luckily the fans will get to see the outcome.

    The MTB guys are no Sackatoga Stables with that genuine bubbly enthusiasm and sheer joy for what happend. Sackatoga played up the school bus as symbol of being outsiders while the MTB folks made that cross-country trailer story a chip on their shoulder the size of Gibraltar. Frankly the media, as someone cited above, could only hold on to that makeover for so long.

  • Terry

    Mr. Paulick, you ask, “…What is it about fillies and the Preakness that brings out the worst in some people?”

    Well think about it. When ever a filly is in one of the “big races,” such as the Derby, Preakness, Belmont, there is excitement. It is the “War Between The Sexes,” and more>>>>>

    Just like in humans, it is a fallacy that females are the “weaker sex.” The same with horses. The females have the strength, in more ways than one. Not as muscular and powerful as males, the testosterone, but the staying power to keep up with the best of ’em males and the ability to give it her all, especially at the last SURGE TO THE FINISH LINE. Most importantly, the mental and emotional strength.

    On the track, horses know they are in a race to win. It is the biological gift to females to give that adrenaline to fight to the end. And win, fair and square. No “dirty dealings” and unethical “sportsmanship.” The most recent was Eight Belles. Just look how she ran! It was obvious she gave it her all and did appear, in my estimation, to be having some difficulty before the finish line. I believe this beauty would have won the Derby with her final surge. But her internal organs were giving out on her. But she kept on and did finish. And she waited to collapse right after passing the wire.

    Maybe instead of steroids, the males should be given a touch of estrogen.

  • Barbara

    Good wrap up events Ray.

    I am still stunned by the sheer stupidity exhibited by Allen and Zayat yesterday. Just left shaking my head. Zayat’s attempt to determine the “rules”, and “manage” Rachel for Jackson and the sport in general were just, just….(cut to commercial.)

    Let me say this. My Derby horse was POTN and I like Baffert and Gomez. But I hope he finishes next to last in the Preakness. I am saving last for the Derby winner.

  • […] Read more at the Paulick Report. […]

  • Barbara

    Terry, Eight Belles internal organs were fine when examined in her necropsy. It was her ankle that gave out on the gallop out into the clubhouse turn, not right after the wire.

  • sara

    And another opportunity to enlarge the public’s interest in racing slides away, with this round of events. Instead of welcoming the opportunity to show off their horses against all comers, they look like greedy fools. So racing slides further into being a little niche sport, as people care less and less. So sad

  • Alison Thompson M

    Excellent point Sara!

  • wesly

    The only fools are the ones that think this entire episode somehow embarrasses or denigrates racing. It actually makes for good copy which is what is important. Unless you live in a vacuum or France you would realize that these type of stories swirl around every mainstream sport without a bit of negative impact. Racing is finally getting into the modern day sports landscape! Controversy sells!

  • Noelle

    I wish Rachel Alexandra were not being entered in the Preakness. If she runs according to form, she will run a great race and I will enjoy watching her, but I saw her entry as setting up a lose/lose PR situation for racing whoever wins. If MTB wins by some miracle, or any other colt wins, then RA’s reputation is tarnished. If MTB loses to any other horse, and especially to RA, given the Seabiscuit comparisons that have been made, many will assume that the loss of Borel disadvantaged the little colt that could.

    Now things are even worse. As Allison Thompson M noted above, Allen’s boneheaded attempt to fix the Preakness has tainted the MTB story.

  • Len L.

    Did Allen, a black-sheep son of Alaska, and Zayat, the vain beer king of Egypt, really think that Mary Lou Whitney would go along with their scummy scheme? Racing begs for a national commissioner to weed out the questionable characters who have invaded the sport in recent years. It’s getting almost as bad as Wall Street’s legion of dishonor.

  • Joe

    Allen is heading to Mike Gill country, wait until these two lovely fellows meet and decide to make magic together…

  • Let’s call overthrowing the plot a win for the online racing community.

    Ray – your last line regarding the immediacy of the web and the downfall of print reporting is well took. hopefully print media can adjust and find a way to stay alive and relevant. not an easy chore in today’s now now now, i want it now world.

  • GDMII

    I agree that this incident has once again given horse racing a black eye (or deepened the one it already had), but I am not sure how much tarnish was created outside of horse racing circles.

    My non-horse racing friends (the “casual” fans) do not watch HRTV or read the Blood Horse or the DRF or the Paulick Report. They have no idea what transpired last weekend. They did not watch the Kentucky Oaks (on Bravo on a Friday afternoon) and they really do not know who or how great Rachel Alexandra is.

    On the other hand, these friends ALL watched the Kentucky Derby and saw that incredible ride on that little horse that went off at 50-1, and they were all talking about it in the days following the race. They will be rooting for Mine That Bird in the Preakness, blissfully ignorant of any misconduct on the part of any connections, unless this story gets some sensational exposure in mainstream media and is not buried in a dark corner of the Sports section.

    For me? Well, I am not that surprised that someone tried to “affect” the outcome of a horse race, but I am absolutely dumbfounded by the unbelievable stupidity shown by the parties involved. For Zayat to spill the beans on HRTV and then for Allen to confirm the story in a subsequent interview, goes beyond incomprehensible. It shows they are not only untalented horsemen, but untalented criminals too.

  • MED

    I’d say Allen’s attempt at being a player is a FAIL. What a couple of bumbling idiots-Zayat and Allen are the un-funny Laurel and Hardy of horse racing.

  • This is an “inside Baseball” story.

    The guy on the street will not hear about this till the Preakness Broadcast when NBC will crank up the intrigue and make it seem like the story of the year.
    Tommy J

  • nosoupforyou

    Tommy J,
    Will NBC preempt their annual Barbaro complete with video of his breakdown, and hobbling around on that grotesque Rube Golberg contraption of his “repaired” leg?

    That would almost be a relief!

  • Alejandro Diezmacho

    Reading both the post and the comments, I think that all of you need to get off your high-horses (pun intended) and look at all of this from a different point of view.

    First of all, a conspiracy by deifnition is kept secret. If you tell the world about it, it isn’t a conspiracy. In any other setting, what Allen, Zayat and anyone else where discussing would not be considered underhanded but, rather, strategy. In baseball, if a hot hitter is intentionally walked and not pitched to, no one yells conspiracy – it is part of the game, even if does deprive that hitter of a chance to hit a home run.

    And speaking of the sport, it is amazing that no one is in an uproar that for the first time, the winning jockey of the Kentucky Derby is switching off of the winning horse to ride another in the Preakness. How is that in the spirit of “sportsmanship?” Or is it ok for a jockey to look out for his best interests but not an owner?

    Part of the bigger picture here, is that Triple Crown nominated horses go through a grueling process of prep races, grading earnings etc. to get to the top races. At each step, they are exposing themselves and their owners to risk not only of loss but of injury as well. To have another horse, however talented, waltz in at the last minute – well that does not seem to be very sporting. That is like saying that there are two paths to the Super Bowl. You can slog through the regular season and the playoffs to get there, or have one spectacular game and then just write a check.

    Maybe, just maybe, Allen and Zayat saw a bigger issue with the sport than the simplistic “they won’t let the horse run” analysis that seems to dominate the story.

  • Glimmerglass

    Alejandro you sounds way too much like Zayat and his half-baked explanation of why he was openly taking about sabatoging another horse’s entry. Look at the one statement:

    [quote]”..Triple Crown nominated horses go through a grueling process of prep races, grading earnings etc. to get to the top races. ”

    And do you think Rachel just fell out of the sky or something? She’s no maiden. She didn’t make the Kentucky Oaks her first graded stakes run.

    Look at her record. Aside from not paying the initial $600 fee to be considered “TC nominated” she won enough GRADED stakes money to have been eligible for the Kentucky Derby. So where in this argument is the distinction between RA and any of the 20 starters? Just a silly $600 fee? Come now that can’t be what anyone uses as logic is saying she’s somehow had it “easy”.

    Nick Zito started in the Ky Derby ‘Nowhere to Hide’ who didn’t even break $60k in graded money. Rachel Alexandra won in the slop the Grade 2 $400,000 (taking $240k) Fair Grounds Oaks. She then won the Grade 2 $250,000 Fantasy at Oaklawn (taking $150k). Those races were not walkovers although her skill made her look like they were just paid public workouts.

    If you are taking issue with Jess Jackson buying a winner well I’m not a fan of that either. However just look at 2002’s Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem who was bought and paid for post-Illinois Derby by Prince Ahmed bin Salman and was already assured of a Derby starting gate. Short of buying a Derby trophy at auction its about as close as possible to buying a Derby victory.

  • Patrick

    <>

    Jockeys are independent contractors and ride at the whim of owners and trainers. They can not be expected to be held to some standard of “sportsmanship” when by legal definition they are the equivalent of contract labor. Someone who follows the sport closely would know that.

  • Molly

    1. This is not an inside baseball story. This is a big deal and, once the Associated Press writes their own summaized version of it in the next few days (if they haven’t already), people will know before the Preakness.

    2. It’s embarassing to us, and it should be. However, the underhanded, sneaky backroom nature of this — and the fact they caved so fast — makes for a GREAT story. Not a happy story or the one that racing wants, but if the mainstream press gets wind of it fast enough it’ll build interest in the Preakness. If she wins, she’ll be Princess Diana in horseshoes. (for better or worse)

    3. You cannot compare Calvin Borel to Zayat and Allen’s actions. Calvin Borel said after the Oaks (and before the Derby) that Rachel Alexandra is the best horse he’s ever ridden in his life. Why would he not ride the best horse?….Borel didn’t try to keep MTB from running or run him down in the press…I don’t think I’ve heard Borel said even one bad thing about MTB.

    Besides, it’s my opinion that if anyone else rides MTB in the Derby that horse would have been five paths out turning for home and wouldn’t have won anyway.

    4. The triple crown preps aren’t a requirement for owning a 3yo horse. And, frankly, the way horses come to the Derby are already changing…where they prep, how many times they prep, how many weeks off they have prior to the Derby….And if they aren’t ready, they should skip the Derby (for their own well being) and wait for the Preakness and Belmont. To suggest otherwise is insane.

  • Steve D

    Racing should be publicizing this plot as much as possible, even if it isn’t going to happen. This is the story! So what we’ve done as an industry effectively is this:

    1. Become obsessed with appearing right, proper & fair.
    2. Failed to recognize that appearing right, proper & fair is only important as it relates to drugs and cheating.
    3. Been unable to come up with anything to solve the appearance of impropriety as it relates to drugs and cheating.
    4. In lieu of being able to enforce true fairness as it relates to drugs and cheating, we’ve created commissions and certifications and PR to give the impression of safety and contentedness.
    5. And LASTLY, we’ve gotten and idea that controversy, bad guys, collusion & conspiracy WITHIN the rules (such as playing with the entry box, using rabbits, agressive jockey tactics) make the public think there is something wrong with racing.

    Let’s not try to popularize racing by making everyone seem good! Let’s recognize that there are good personalities and bad personalities and let the story be out there for itself. A story without conflict is a boring story! The racing industry tries to take the conflict out of everything, thereby making racing a boring story.

    Not every horse has to be running for the cure for cancer. Not every jockey has to be a family man who all agree is the nicest guy in the world. Not every trainer has to be a positive role model for today’s schoolkids. The reality is that racing is one of the most competitive and jealous industries out there. It’s as if the entire industry is putting a stranglehold on the publicity horse and not allowing it to run.

  • Molly

    My favorite headline is “US owners gang up on glamour filly”

    You’ll notice sports/online editors at publications such as the Idaho Statesman and Newsday both appear to believe this is a story.

    And this is only day one.

    http://news.google.com/news?pz=1&um=1&ned=us&hl=en&q=Rachel+Alexandra+AND+Zayat&ncl=dAvkgEjH4qB-7DM&cf=all&scoring=d

  • Freespirit

    I am at a loss as to why Zayat felt the need to publicize this whole thing anyway. Why didn’t he just decide what he wanted to do and keep it to himself? I would say he wanted some attention, and boy did he get it.

    I think it’s too bad she is going to probably take the Preakness chance away from Mine That Bird and leave us with no Triple Crown chance once again. I know people think he couldn’t have done it anyway, but who is to say if he would have kept Calvin on board with no Rachal A. in the mix what he was capable of.

    And I do think it stinks that Jess Jackson can go buy a super horse and throw her in this race. I just don’t understand why he felt compelled to do this.

  • Barbara

    Ahmed, whoops, I mean Alejandro, should we go back and take the Preakness wins away from Red Bullet and Bernardini? And don’t you think Dunkirk should have been excluded from the Derby with only 3 starts and wins in a maiden and allowance? Wait, oh crap, who were you going to enter in Rachel’s place? A tried and true TC prepster? Or a maiden winner?

    Is Big Drama “swooping” in w/ his one and only start this year? He couldn’t even run straight. Or are his graded earnings from the Delta Jackpot last year ok w/ you? How about Pletcher, having the nerve to point Take the Points to the Preakness? Or maybe we should discuss the local horse with his less than 12k in graded earnings for a 3rd in the Tesio on Derby Day?

    You basically don’t want fillies to be eligible for the TC. Say it. Oh, wait, unless you own one that good. But not if she is going to kick your a$$? Gotcha.

  • wesly

    Steve D, You get it!

  • Don Reed

    “And that says something about the world we live and how cable television and the internet not only have changed how we get our news, but have given the public an opportunity to swiftly react to it, and in some ways alter the course of events.”

    Deja vu all over again: Dan Rather’s hare-brained 60 Minutes accusations about GWB’s National Guard military records – and the on-line firestorm that forced a complete retraction (and ultimately, Rather’s demise).

    The DRF had actually once criticized what had transpired at a racetrack? Shocking!

  • “And that says something about the world we live and how cable television and the internet not only have changed how we get our news, but have given the public an opportunity to swiftly react to it, and in some ways alter the course of events.”

    Deja vu all over again: Dan Rather’s hare-brained 60 Minutes accusations about GWB’s National Guard military records – and the on-line firestorm that forced a complete retraction (and ultimately, Rather’s demise).

    The DRF had actually once criticized what had transpired at a racetrack? Shocking!
    Oops…forgot to say great post! Looking forward to your next one.

  • Ray Chatsworth

    How about the fact that this “conspiracy” wasn’t going to work anyway. The call that was supposedly made by the Maryland official probably wasn’t to appeal to Zayat’s better nature. The conditions of the Preakness do not specifically give preference to original nominees over supplemental nominees. The MJC and Triple Crown Productions needed all this talk to stop or else they would have been hauled before a judge Thursday or Friday by the ever-litigious Jess Jackson to explain what “properly nominated” means. The Kentucky Derby specifically gives preference to original nominees. The Preakness and Belmont do not. The Triple Crown doesn’t want the idea to get out that you could win a race with a nice pot (like the Kentucky Oaks) and just waltz into the Preakness or Belmont by paying $100,000. They want all those $600 checks at the start of the year from the big operations like Zayat’s or the shoot-the-moon dreamers like Allen and Komlo.

  • Ghostzapper

    Ray

    Once again you use your mouse to stir it up. The picture on your website with the header “selfish and wrong” is totally misleading. You continue to amaze me with your biased opinions. Take the header off immediately. Only if they wore white hats huh Ray……

  • Barbara

    GZ,

    This is the first paragraph in C-J story link:

    “The co-owner of Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird said this morning that it “was selfish” and “wrong” for him to consider running a maiden in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes in an effort to exclude Kentucky Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra.”

    The guy wears a black hat for a reason…

  • Eilise

    Why are people so upset about something that might have happened? Zayat talked openly on HRTV about how he and MTB’s owner were considering entering enough horses to keep RA out of the Preakness. As this article admits, within a day they decided against it. So big deal, they THOUGHT about it and didn’t do it in the end. And keep in mind the actions they considered taking were perfectly legal.

    The thought police need to tone down your self righteous outrage, unless you’ve never even considered doing something that could gain you an advantage.

  • Barbara

    Ellise, the difference might be the “thought police” likes it when you think it through in private and don’t offer immoral ideas up for televised debate;)

    Honestly, and I will stop at this, but I think I am more put off by the stupidity to advertise it, than the unsportsmanlike “thought” itself.

  • Alejandro Diezmacho

    Sorry, I am not Zayat. I was just trying to get people to look at this whole story from a different perspective.

    As I see it, one owner bought a horse and wanted to enter it into a race, other owners discussed potentially blocking that move. Neither group was doing anything illegal, and from a truly objective point of view, neither had a moral upper hand. Everyone was quick to jump on Allen and Zayat without looking at the whole picture.

    And with all do respect to the commentor, you cannot compare the Derby Trail and the races that RA ran prior to the Oaks (or to the Oaks themselves).

    If you want to engage in a serious discussion regarding what is wrong with the sport and how to correct it, I am more than willing. But the hysteria and the hype over what was essentially an open discussion of strategy by some owners was disingenuous to say the least!

    I will conclude with the thought that I, along with everyone else, would love to see RA run against POTN and MTB. At the same time, I harbor more than a little concern that it is not in RAs best interest and that her owners are subjecting her to great risk for the sake of their own ego. If you ask me, having a 3-year old filly run with boys is the immoral act, and if anyone is to be pilloried it should be Jess Jackson. I would be much happier seeing this race being run amongst 4-year olds.

  • Barbara

    A – I do not disagree with your assessment of Rachel’s place in the race.

    But I it is not disingenuous to have a decided opinion that Zayat and Allen (and quite possibly Whitney) are poor sports trying to avoid a competitor they fear – and at the very least it is not their place to tell Jackson what to do with his filly. The public trial balloon they sent up Sunday popped rather loudly.

    I can think of a few horses in the Preakness that truly don’t belong. See Gov, Luv. I also would suggest that you are stating that you want to see the classics restricted to male horses. That is not the condition and had not been since Regret won the Derby in 1915 in her first start of the year, so Rachel has every right to run, just as the maiden winner does.

    Jackson hardly gets a free pass for his insufferable ego. But he is not a poor sport last time I checked and many fans do want to see Rachel run. I don’t buy that she is at more risk than the male horses although I do think she may be less of a horse for quite a while after the race. On that we agree.

  • Jr.

    Its strange we have not heard from Bob Baffert trainer of POTN owned by Zayat regarding the situation

  • Моя мысль незначительно отличается от изложенной автором, кому интересно, могу поделиться полученными результатами. Мой ящик:[email protected], Олег.

  • Hp Laserjet Cp1518ni Printer…

    By Ray PaulickFor those of you who decided to disconnect from the racing world on Sunday let me just […]…

  • E.V. Debs

    Not so “hare brained.” I suspect that Karl Rove set Rather up with well-faked records to divert Rather, thus keeping him from getting the real story about Dubya’s military escapades.

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