- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 19, 2002

BALTIMORE Straight Gin's racing career ended with a disappointing and painful run in the Preakness.
The Nick Zito-trained horse hurt his right bow tendon en route to a ninth-place finish yesterday. The injury is not life-threatening.
"He'll be fine, but his racing career is over," Zito said. "He must have jumped and hit himself. The horse was training so well; he was poetry in motion."
Straight Gin was never a threat in the Preakness. He broke from the gate 12th in the 13-horse field and never advanced past 11th until passing several tiring horses in the stretch.
It was the third straight poor showing by the horse, who ran fifth, fourth and ninth after winning two straight races at Gulfstream.
Zito didn't have much more luck with his other entrant, Crimson Hero, who was in last place for much of the race before surging to a seventh-place finish.
"I was disappointed in these horses. They looked good, they had a good week and they were both set up to win," Zito said.

Taylor to Belmont
Mickey Taylor, co-owner of Seattle Slew, is going to the Belmont Stakes and he'll be rooting for War Emblem to capture the Triple Crown.
Speaking from Sun Valley, Idaho, Taylor said, "I was hoping that War Emblem would get the job done today. Slew would want me to be in the background at the Belmont, let them be in the front."
Seattle Slew, who died the week after the Kentucky Derby, was the last living Triple Crown winner and one of 11 in racing history. Taylor would like to see War Emblem make it an even dozen.
He likes the horse's chances, and those of trainer Bob Baffert.
"This horse probably has a better shot than Baffert's other ones because he's a front-runner," he said. "Front-runners win the Belmont more often than the come-from-behind horses, like Real Quiet or Silver Charm."

Whiz kid
The surprise of the Preakness was Magic Weisner, a Maryland-bred horse who surged from well off the pace to take second place in his hometown.
Trained by Nancy Alberts, the 45-1 shot came within a length of pulling a shocking upset.
"She told me that the horse was game and didn't know the meaning of the word quit," said jockey Richard Migliore, chosen Thursday to ride the horse.
Alberts said she doesn't plan to enter Magic Weisner in the Belmont.

Not Proud
After running second at the Kentucky Derby, Proud Citizen dropped to third in the Preakness.
But trainer John Ward had no complaints about the performance of his horse or jockey Mike Smith.
"He settled back early and was perfect at about third, late third, all the way down into the backside," Ward said. "Then (Magic Weisner) came along the outside of him right about the place he should've jumped in and started to run. He just kind of fell out."

Big crowd
Despite wet and cold weather, attendance at Pimlico was announced at 101,138 the second-largest crowd in track history and the third time in four years that attendance topped 100,000.
"Given the weather, we're thrilled to death with the crowd," said Joe De Francis, president and CEO of Pimlico.
Added security at major sporting events has become a fact of life since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and at Pimlico, uniformed security guards checked bags and purses at the clubhouse and grandstand entrances. But the searches did not create logjams.
Fans couldn't bring coolers, backpacks or thermoses into the clubhouse or grandstand. But clear, plastic containers were allowed.
"By and large, everything went very smoothly," De Francis said. "I think we were able to get the word out effectively, and we got a great job from the Baltimore city police."

Home sweet home
The Preakness served as a homecoming of sorts for three jockeys.
Chris McCarron, Kent Desormeaux and Edgar Prado rode hundreds of winners in Maryland earlier in their careers.
Prado took fourth with Harlan's Holiday, Desormeaux was sixth aboard U S S Tinosa, and McCarron came in seventh on Crimson Hero.


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