2010 Preakness Stakes Recap
Make it 32 years without a Triple Crown winner.
Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver put in a good effort for as long as he could, but just didn’t have enough this time. Outsprinted at the start by First Dude, jockey Calvin Borel found a comfortable spot in the two path just behind First Dude and was content to track that one for the first six furlongs. However, as the field started to bunch leaving the final turn, and Super Saver moved up to engage the leader, he simply ran out of gas. Clearly, Super Saver needed more time to recover after the Kentucky Derby, but when you’re the Derby winner you go on to the Preakness, ready or not. Trainer Todd Pletcher said after the race, “Coming off a huge effort in the Derby, the two weeks was too short.”
The two week layoff wasn’t too short for Lookin at Lucky. Sent off as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby, he endured a troubled trip and did well to finish sixth. This time, it was Lookin at Lucky who benefited from the perfect trip. Breaking well under new jockey Martin Garcia, who quickly guided him to the two path to save ground around the first turn, Lookin at Lucky raced in sixth down the backstretch, angled out for clear running room and moved up four wide around the final turn to draw even with the leaders (First Dude and Caracortado) entering the stretch and outfinished a dead game First Dude to win by three-quarters of a length. Lookin at Lucky’s final time of 1:55.47 was only two-fifths of a second slower than Rachel Alexandra’s winning time last year and earned him a Beyer Speed Figure of 102.
First Dude ran an awesome race. Breaking from post position eleven, he quickly took the lead and made all the pace, setting fast fractions of :22.91, :46.47 and 1:11.22. When collared by Lookin at Lucky at the top of the stretch, First Dude never backed down. Lookin at Lucky took a short lead in midstretch, but First Dude battled back, and may have even stuck a nose back in front, before yielding late to lose by only three-quarters of a length.
Also running big races were the third and fourth place finishers, Jackson Bend and Yawanna Twist. Jackson Bend ran in tandem with Super Saver for the first six furlongs chasing pacesetter First Dude through rapid fractions. Whereas Super Saver faded to eighth, Jackson Bend continued to fight on, getting within a head of First Dude and only losing the race itself by less than a length. Yawanna Twist was steadied a couple of times early, but was in good position in the stretch and actually moved into third ahead of Jackson Bend when that one was caught in traffic, but could not sustain his bid to the wire and ended up a length behind Jackson Bend.
Finally, what can be said about Dublin? The starting gate opens and everyone takes off down the stretch, except for Dublin, who, for some reason, makes a sharp turn to the right, scattering the outriders stationed along the rail, before correcting course and joining the race. That little stunt left Dublin in last, five lengths behind Aikenite running in eleventh, and a full eighteen lengths behind the leaders. Dublin stayed in last, and hugged the rail to save ground, for the first six furlongs before swinging out five wide into the stretch and closed well to lose by only six lengths. Much like with Ice Box in the Kentucky Derby, it’s easy to wonder if a better trip might have resulted in a visit to the winner’s circle for Dublin.