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Monday, May 23, 2011

Preakness Weekend: Did You Love Shack?

Ever since his solid performance in the Florida Derby all I can think about is two pretty good  college hoop players with the surname Shackleford, whenever I heard his name.

One, Dale Shackleford, was a star for my hometown Syracuse Orangemen, who went all the way to the Final Four in 1975 before being unseated by powerful Kentucky in the semis.

The other player was Lynn Shackleford who was on the Lew Alcindor/Lucious Allen UCLA juggernaut teams of the great John Wooden in the late 60s.  But I digress.

I was on Shackleford earlier in the week, but got spooked and left him off my plays. The other five horses I used in all of my exotic wagers finished 2nd through 6th. Looks like I need to hit the books again as my bet structure has been horrible. I probably should have read what I wrote in The News on Friday

"Fourth-place finisher and early Derby pacesetter Shackleford is 12-1 in the morning line and may covet the 1/16 mile less distance the Preakness offers in contrast to the Derby. He's run two giant races back to back and also stands to make a $550,000 bonus with a victory for his participation in both the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby."
Regardless of the wagering results, I had a terrific time in Baltimore seeing a lot of friends and meeting several new folks who I've only met online through social media or the blogosphere. Racing people are generally some of the nicest people you'll ever meet, that's for sure. I consider myself lucky to know so many people who share my passion and enjoy the game so much.

My post race commentary piece can be found here.

I found myself at the hotel bar on Saturday night sitting next to two sets of friends, two fellows from Oklahoma City sat on my right, were being tortured by the Thunder, but as enthusiastic as they come. On my left side sat two young servicemen who were heading overseas to Afghanistan on Sunday afternoon.

Let's just say the servicemen put everything in perspective for me. They are a big reason we get to enjoy the freedoms we sometimes take for granted, like going to the track on big racedays. They were real inquisitive about horse racing and asked about a million questions, which I was more than happy to answer each one. I hope they come home safe in November, their scheduled return timeframe.

I did my usual snapping of amateurish pictures during my time at Pimlico, so I hope you enjoy them...

Pimlico Third Floor Grandstand

Row of Winners Banners

Stakes Barn

Royal Delta holds off Buster's Ready in the BES

Lookin at Lucky Jockey Statue

Andy Beyer interviewing a tree

The Baffert Chill Photo

Old Fashioned Pimlico Tote Board

Hammerin' Hank & Jerry Bailey

Nick Zito supervising Dialed In's Bath Time

Jeannine Edwards doing the  ESPN morning report

Shared Account grazing

Infield Tunnel

NVL Volleyball Competitors

Hotspur on the Infield's Main Stage

Be Legendary

Jager Stage - Notice the Photo Finish on the Big Screen

Who said Bow Ties are out of style?

Shameless A-B Plug

Sippin a Susan

Packed Infield
Gallorette Gate Break

No Explaining Takes the Gallorette
Baryshnikov trying to hold off Paddy in the Dixie

Paddy O'Prado wins his last career race

Preakness Third Place Finisher Astology in Preakness Paddock

Derby Champ Animal Kingdom in Post Parade

They're Off in the 136th Edition of the Preakness

Flashpoint leads over Shackleford on backside (see famous weather vane)

The Coronation

That's a wrap from Baltimore...on to New York in what could be a very good horse race if things come together....


Kevin Stafford said...

Love the photos, bro. Glad you had a good time. Wish I would've listened to my filly who was all over Shack Attack all week. On the plus side she got to meet him on Thursday morning and talk with Dale Romans about how she "needed him to beat the Animal since that's her husband's favorite horse." She got her wish!

Wish I could've met up with you. Friday I was just not feeling in the zone and was extremely rushed - then I was off in the turfside terrace for Saturday (first year I haven't seen us in any photos).

Amateurcapper said...

Great shots! Made me feel like I was there, jealous that I wasn't.

Brian Appleton said...

Great photos, love the one of Beyer interviewing the tree! :)


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