- Support for stricter gun laws drops: poll
- 10 whales dead, 41 others stranded in Everglades
- John Boehner faces bipartisan pressure to allow gay-rights vote
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over ‘ill-judged’ comments about Sarah Palin
- Rep. Duncan Hunter: While Obama prays for Iranian change, U.S. should ready its nukes
- Best company ever? Veteran Beer Co. exists to employ vets, provide quality beer
- Iran official: Sanctions ‘utterly failed’ to stop nuclear program
- ‘Black Santa’ display at IU sparks student outrage
- Joint Chiefs chair Dempsey: Pentagon, VA too slow in merging medical systems
- Sen. Ben Cardin hits Ukraine for crackdown on Kiev protests
‘Rachel’ draws outside post
Question of the Day
BALTIMORE | Rachel Alexandra is favored to become the first filly in 85 years to win the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, but she will have to run the longest race among the 13-horse field to do it.
The 3-year-old starlet of racing, who did not run in the Kentucky Derby, was installed as the early 8-5 favorite Wednesday after drawing the outside post position.
The last time a filly was favored to win the Preakness was in 1988.
"I'm very happy with the draw," said Rachel Alexandra's assistant trainer, Scott Blasi. "Ideally, we wanted to be toward the outside. There'll be a lot of pressure put on her, but I think she'll put herself in a good spot.
"I just like feel like with her being a filly and all the pressure that's gonna be put on her, she'll have a long run into the first turn. She's got good tactical speed, and that will give her a chance to get into position. ... I'd rather have 13 than 1."
Blasi was filling in for Rachel Alexandra's new trainer, Steve Asmussen, who was busy getting her situated after arriving from Kentucky only about an hour before the draw.
Mine That Bird, who was the second-biggest long shot (50-1) to win the Kentucky Derby, was installed at 6-1 starting just off the rail in the No. 2 post. But the second choice in the early odds was Derby runner-up Pioneerof the Nile at 5-1, trained by recent Hall of Fame electee Bob Baffert.
Calvin Borel will be the jockey aboard Rachel Alexandra. It was Borel whose spectacular ride along the rail, passing 18 horses down the stretch on a muddy track, propelled Mine That Bird to a 6 3/4-length win in the Kentucky Derby. It was the race's biggest margin in 63 years. But Borel chose to ride the filly, and Mike Smith will be aboard Mine That Bird.
"You never want to make that change right after winning the Derby, but it happened," said Mine That Bird trainer Chip Woolley, still on crutches from a broken leg suffered in a motorcycle accident. "But Mike Smith is a great rider, and we're glad to have him. I think his style of riding will fit my horse. He's patient; he doesn't make a lot of mistakes. He's got great instincts."
Woolley said he had no hard feelings about the move, citing professionalism from Borel's camp.
Rachel Alexandra is unbeaten in five starts since Borel became her jockey, winning by a total of 43 1/2 lengths. The filly was purchased by Jess Jackson after the Kentucky Oaks and was not an original Triple Crown nominee.
A couple of owners considered blocking Rachel Alexandra from racing in the Preakness, but negative public opinion dispelled such notions when news of the plot surfaced.
"She's just very special," Blasi said, echoing a popular sentiment. "She's one-of-a-kind."
Baffert said Rachel Alexandra's presence "brings a different flavor to racing."
"Maybe this is what racing needs," he said. "We need something like this to really boost that we have a great sport, and I'm glad she's in there."
She has been the subject of a majority of the talk at Pimlico this week. Now Rachel Alexandra is ready for her close-up.
The filly arrived at the racetrack just after 4 p.m. Wednesday following a charter flight from Louisville. Pioneerof the Nile and Terrain also got to the track, meaning 10 of the 13 horses entered are now stabled in the stakes barn in Baltimore. Musket Man, Take the Points and Laurel Park-based Tone it Down are set to get to Pimlico on Saturday.
New routine for 'Papa'
Papa Clem's trainer, Gary Stute, said Wednesday he altered his usual plan leading up to a race given his horse's slow workout time a day earlier.
Papa Clem ran five furlongs in 1 minute, 5 seconds on Tuesday, and though the track seemed to be playing slow that early in the morning, Stute said he would give the colt another run Thursday.
"Normally I walk two days, but as slow as he went, I'm gonna change my program and go back to the track," Stute said.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
Bad science puts rich nations on the hook for trillions in climate liabilities
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over 'ill-judged' comments about Sarah Palin
- First Dog Sunny knocks down Ashtyn Gardner; Michelle Obama yanks leash
- Puerto Rico caravan honoring Paul Walker ends in 6 drunken-driving arrests, 72 speeding tickets
- HURT: Postal Service misses address by a whole continent
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Apple wins facial recognition patent for iPhone 6
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- EDITORIAL: Motor City meltdown
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Wall Street news for retail investors who want to know what's going on.
Does it take over 25 years in public service to really know what goes on in Washington?
Despite cynicism about the law, it can provide you justice, protection, and ensure your rights.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch