winner of the Preakness Stakes with Gary Stevens up.
A record on-track crowd of 104,454 was on hand at Pimlico to witness Point Given's victory in the 126th running of the Preakness Stakes. Derby winner Monarchos and Derby favorite Point Given were sent off as co-favorites in the 1 3/16 mile contest, at 2.30-1. When the gate opened, Congaree bobbled and broke inward but was able to recover, as Richly Blended surged to the front to set the pace. Clear by 2 1/2 lengths early on, he set fractions of 23.84, 47.32, and 1:11.86 before the rest of the field passed him en masse at the top of the stretch.
As expected, the two co-favorites dropped back early on and made their moves on the turn. Monarchos was last around the clubhouse turn, went 5 or 6 wide down the backstretch and 7 wide on the far turn, and by the time the field straighened for home he had no run left and finished 6th, extending the wait for the next Triple Crown winner to 23 years.
A P Valentine was shuffled back the first time past the stands and raced in 7th most of the way, but was able to outfinish Congaree down the stretch for second place money. Congaree had to be rushed up in order to duel the speedy Richly Blended, and held second place the whole way until passed inside the 1/8 pole. Point Given was able to relax out of trouble down the backstretch then made his move on the far turn. Once he passed his stablemate Congaree early in the stretch, he was able to draw off to a 2 1/4 length victory. The final time was 1:55.51 over the fast track.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 11 Point Given Stevens 6.60 5.00 4.00 4 A P Valentine Espinoza 8.20 5.20 5 Congaree Bailey 3.40 Winning Time: 1:55.51 $2 Exacta 11-1 81.40 $2 Trifecta 11-4-5 279.00Results Chart
The finish of the Preakness with Point Given in front by 2 1/4 lengths followed by A P Valentine, Congaree, and Dollar Bill.
Coming around the final turn with Point Given taking the lead from Congaree. Monarchos is the second horse on the left toward the back of the pack. Point Given's trainer Bob Baffert said, "I knew at the quarter pole he was going to win. I didn't lose confidence in this horse." The win was Baffert's third Preakness, the last two being Silver Charm in 1997 and Real Quiet in 1998.
Point Given winning the Preakness, vindicating his poor performance as the favorite in the Derby. His jockey Gary Stevens said, "I knew going into the first turn the race was over. He was taking to the track perfectly today. I can't understand or explain what happened at Churchill Downs, but the horse I rode today didn't show up at Churchill. As we went down the backside, I was sitting on a mountain. All of America knows what a good racehorse he is now. I've ridden a lot of very, very talented horses over the years, and this horse is equal to many in that group. When this horse is right, he is the horse."
Point Given and Bob Baffert coming over to saddle before the Preakness. Because he is such a nervous horse, Baffert opted to have him saddle in the indoor paddock instead of on the turf course.
Second place finisher A P Valentine in the infield saddling area. His trainer Nick Zito said, "Let's hope we get three good weeks for him now. This is a good horse. He's come back now to show the kind of horse that he is and I'm very thankful that he ran as strong a second as he did. Now he's back on track and will leave for Belmont tomorrow, and all we have to hope for is three good weeks."
Congaree entering the starting gate. He stumbled at the start but still managed to hold on for third. Jockey Jerry Bailey said, "The ground broke from under me at the gate. It didn't seem to cost me much. My horse ran a good race and he was strong. This horse could be a mile and an eighth horse and I think he'll be much more effective at that distance."
Post time co-favorite Monarchos, shown warming up after the post parade, finished a disappointing 6th in the race. Trainer John Ward said, "I had a terrible feeling in the first turn. He didn't want to go to his right lead. He didn't seem to be taking to the track. He wouldn't go to his left lead in the stretch. He just was uncomfortable. If you don't know how to lose in this business, you better get out of it." Jockey Jorge Chavez said, "He was fighting with the track. He was slipping. I'm proud of the horse for the way he tried. I think the Belmont Stakes will be different."
The Preakness jockeys pose for their class photo before the race.
More articles and info:
- Belmont Contenders - who will go on to the next race?
- Preakness Entries - lots of info about each
- Preakness Workouts - lots of photos from the backside
- Past performances from DRF
- Preakness Special from Equibase - free program, past performances, ChartPlus, and articles
- Current weather
- Scratches and changes
- Results Chart from Equibase (available late Saturday)
- News Index Search to find Preakness articles
Triple Crown quick links:
- DRF Preakness coverage
- Triple Crown Mania from the Blood Horse
- Road to the Triple Crown from Thoroughbred Times
- Kentucky Derby Results
- Triple Crown Trail (updated weekly)
- Triple Crown Index - the master list with even more info
On the Forum: