Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

14 May 2011

A Crucial Turning Point

The Preakness is now a week away; the Derby is considered the biggest event of the year, but the most important race of the year historically speaking is the Preakness. It has decided more year end honors than any other race has done in recent memory. Not to mention the obvious that it is the middle leg of the Triple Crown and is a single elimination playoff race for the Derby winner. There have been some dramatic finishes in recently as well. Recent memory speaks for itself on this one.

2010, Lookin at Lucky

After rough trips at Churchill and Santa Anita, he acquitted himself nicely with a jockey switch from Garret Gomez to Martin Garcia. Lookin at Lucky went on the clinch the divisional championship with a win in the Haskell. The Derby winner Super Saver was not the same after this race with the first of three off the board finishes. First Dude finished a resilient second after setting the pace, foreshadowing what the rest of the year held for this horse.

2009, Rachel Alexandra

Mine That Bird did not scare off many in this race and one of the chief opponents was a filly that just won by 20 lengths in the Kentucky Oaks. Breaking from post 13, Rachel Alexandra was wide most of the way while near the lead and still had enough left to hold off the surge of Mine That Bird. She went on to beat the male competition twice after this race en route to Horse of the Year and Champion three year old filly honors.

2008, Big Brown

After a dominant win in the Derby, he won with ease in the Preakness. If it weren’t for a quarter crack injury before the Belmont, this one would be referred to as a Triple Crown winner. He won two races at Monmouth Park and was named three-year-old champion.

2007, Curlin

The juvenile champion Street Sense and Curlin battled down to the wire in a photo finish that was about a fingernail difference between Street Sense going for a Triple Crown and taking an extended rest for the Travers and the Breeders’ Cup. Curlin was involved in two other thrilling stretch runs, the Belmont against Rags to Riches and the Jockey Club Gold Cup against Lawyer Ron. Both of those opponents went on to be named three-year-old filly champion and older male champion respectively. Curlin went on to win the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Breeder’s Cup Classic, which was the first of two Horse of the Year campaigns.

Animal Kingdom and Dialed In are the two horses that will immediately get a boost to the top of the class based on past successes. If one of the fresh horses or a Derby also ran wins it, a new challenger for the year-end championships has arrived. It will certainly be an interesting week.

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