Bill Finley’s take on the Preakness is spot on.
Preakness Lessons: It’s a tough game – ESPN
Shackleford? His win in the Preakness defied all handicapping logic. That and other reflections of the middle jewel of the Triple Crown:The Preakness was just another reminder of why there are a lot more broken-down horseplayers out there than rich ones. If you know anything about horse racing you knew Shackleford had no chance to win the Preakness. At least that’s what this “expert” and most “experts” thought.
With all due respect to a horse who is obviously pretty good, he stunk in the Derby. Inexplicably, every jockey but Jesus Castanon fell asleep during the early running of the Derby, allowing Shackleford to crawl through opening fractions of :48 3/5 and 1:13 2/5. Those were the slowest half-mile and three-quarter-mile fractions since 1947 (on a day when the track was listed as “slow”) and a quality horse, with that kind of trip, should have won. Instead, he was passed by three horses inside the final furlong and finished fourth.
In the Preakness, there was no way he was going to get the same sort of trip, not with speedball sprinter Flashpoint in the race. So when Flashpoint, who finished last, and Shackleford battled through opening fractions of :22 3/5 and :46 4/5, Shackleford had to be done. Right?
Posted on May 24, 2011