I've always had a passion for horses and thoroughbred horse racing. Unlike many young women my major influences growing up had four legs, manes and tails. Secretariat being my main inspiration - if I could be like him when I grew up - I'd have it made. The second I laid eyes on the likes of Smarty Jones, I was hooked, without even realizing he was a descendant of the grand Secretariat. It shone through. There's nothing brings tears to my eyes quicker than the sight of a stunning thoroughbred and when the horn sounds, the gate flies open and thundering hooves storm the air, I weep like a baby!Hence my excitement for The Preakness Stakes. My emotions are still tender after the Kentucky Derby's tragic outcome for the incredible filly Eight Belles and I'm not convinced that Big Brown will win this race.
My gut is going with Riley Tucker. Not just because Triple Crown Hall of Famer William I Mott is this horse's trainer -- he also trained one of my all time favs Cigar -- but because the jockey is Edgar Prado. I believe his emotions are tender too and he'll want to win this race not only for Riley Tucker but for his former mount Barbaro. So I think 30-1 is underestimating this duo. I hope they shock everyone. At least two spirits just might be guiding this baby.
Other beauties that have grabbed my attention and could give Big Brown a run for the money are:
Kentucky Bear - I love that he's trained by Canadian-based Reade Baker and maybe the marriage of young blood between colt and up-and-coming jockey Jamie Thierot might be a winning combination.
Gayego didn't have much of a chance in the Kentucky Derby but he certainly has a great trainer - Paulo Lobo - and jockey Mike Smith who road Giacomo to victory in the 2005 Kentucky Derby. I read this horse has an affinity for dirt, this could be his day to stir it up.
Icabad Crane, apart from being incredibly beautiful, has a frightening element of fire emanating from those eyes. His look is threatening enough, not to mention the jockey on his back is Jeremy Rose of Afleet Alex fame.
However, never count out the grey. Macho Again could prove superstition is not a bunch of...
Well Big Brown as incredible as you are - you are under the most pressure. You're lucky #7. Your jockey Kent Desormeaux must be feeling confident after your Kentucky Derby win. But I think the race will come down to how you're feeling today, to what side of the stall you woke up on.
After all, it's the mighty horse that decides what its going to do.
My money's on Riley Tucker.
See you at the races!