WriteSocially Reviews the 142nd Preakness Stakes (G1)

The Preakness has been taking a beating these last few days. You wouldn’t think that we had just seen a thrilling stretch run by winner Cloud Computing as he nipped 2 year old champion Classic Empire at the wire. You wouldn’t think we had just witnessed a first crop classic winner by sire Maclean’s Music, an insanely fast son of Distorted Humor, who raced only once. All those who supported that stallion (who has had some other good stakes winners before Cloud Computing) had their acumen validated on May 20. WriteSocially Social Media summarized the prevailing sentiment of the day:

So while the sighs of disappointment mounted over the loss of a Triple Crown for 2017, WriteSocially continued to celebrate the achievement of the day – Maclean’s Music had emulated his sire with a first crop Preakness winner!

But an increasing outcry had already started about The Belmont Stakes (G1), three weeks away. You’d think we had not just seen a Preakness that smashed handle and attendance records.

This is the challenge that the horse racing industry faces: they have trouble sustaining interest in the sport. And I hate to admit it, but it gets harder for me to stay interested as the years go by.

There’s a tremendous gap between the time the Triple Crown races end and the Breeders’ Cup begins. In the meantime, it gets tiresome watching workouts on social media. Thank God for the Saratoga meet and the emergence of two year olds that will get us dreaming about next year’s classics!

Sometimes I long for the glory days of the New York Handicap Triple Crown. The weight carriers. Forego – you are missed!

But there are signs of hope…like the growing interest in turf racing in this country. The Pegasus World Cup is discussing adding a turf race to its event. Aqueduct is changing its inner track to a turf course.  And…don’t forget Fasig-Tipton will hold a turf prospect special yearling sale this September. Plus some farms for a number of years have been adding turf specialists to their stallion rosters, with some recent big names – Flintshire, anyone? We need even more ways to build and sustain excitement. If we have more races on the grass, we can attract more top horses from around the world. Why not create a grass handicap Triple Crown? Once the 3 year old Triple Crown ends, we can move to the Grass Crown. (I beg someone to find a classier name for it than that.) And to make it really interesting, make one of the Grass Crown races take place in England or Ireland.

But I digress…instead of crying about Pimlico not being fit to host the Preakness, let’s talk about the fantastic race we saw on Saturday. Clearly something went right at Pimlico that day. Why can we not enjoy the day for what it was, instead of wishing the race were at Laurel, or being disappointed that there will be no Triple Crown winner this year?

Hat’s off to you Cloud Computing. You won the Preakness. And no one can take that away from you. It was the best ‘Cloudy Day’ ever!

 

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