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Exaggerator, son of the millennial all-timer Curlin, and under the savvy ride of an experienced Kent Desormeaux, used Nyquist's precociousness against him to win the 141st Preakness Stakes, dashing Nyquist's hopes of a Triple Crown.
Yeah, the angle for Exaggerator was the mud, but he won this race. He won it.
Sending Nyquist right out of the gate, it appeared the named-after-a-hockey-player horse wanted to run away and hide, slop or no, and maybe not to get dirty.
He led the first quarter in a too-fast, as it turned out, 22 and one, although we'll say it became a bit more logical with a 46 and three for the second quarter.
Exaggerator was behind so far early, announcer Larry Collmus got nervous. But Desormeaux was on the rail, in the water, saving ground.
Uncle Lino, at least minimally a half-brother to Nyquist out of the Uncle Mo love shack, pressed Nyquist all the way. Earn it, bro.
But Nyquist was actually green. Or was it Mario Gutierrez? He sent the horse and the horse said "OK, let's go!" It was a samurai mission.
But don't take anything from Exaggerator. He seen his duty and he done it.
Desormeaux's mounted interview after the race was fantastic.
Donna Brothers: "Your first of three Eclipse Awards came here 30 years ago largely in part of because of your accomplishments in Maryland. What's it mean to come back here with your brother and do this over this race track?"
Desormeaux: "Well, Donna, I'll say this about that. I was on the fence and they all stayed wide. These (Pimlico) turns you want to be paintin' the fence. We did, they didn't and I think, uh, not for nothin', but knowledge is power. He just slid up the fence."
Cherry Wine got up for second, the target of conversation I just didn't understand. But Nyquist screwed up his own pace, so why not?
The 12-furlong Belmont Stakes is such an unusual race, think of others, think of these, and contemplate a good summer.
Or hope for a good summer.
See also Tom Chambers' Pre-Preakness report: Dumb Asses.
Excerpt: "First, the weather at Baltimore's Pimlico is forecasted as miserable. Cool and rainy all day. That changes the angle to Exaggerator, a veteran and winner on off tracks. He'll take a lot of money."
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