The Belmont Trio

May 2, 2013: Palace Malice takes an early morning gallop at Churchill Downs.

Palace Malice, Oxbow, and Orb ran 1-2-3 in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. How can you not love them?!

I didn’t make it to the Belmont this year, though. In fact, I’ve never actually even been to the track. I’ve flown over New York once, does that count? But I did watch the Belmont Stakes on television and was very pleased with the results. The winner, Palace Malice, is a colt from Curlin‘s first crop–and I really loved Curlin. It’s a little ironic that Todd Pletcher trains Palace Malice, since it was Pletcher who denied Curlin a win in the Belmont in 2007 when his filly Rags to Riches won by a neck. That’s okay, though. I’ve forgiven them for beating Curlin… mostly!

It’s also interesting to note that Oxbow and Paynter are both by the stallion Awesome Again out of full sisters to the dual-Classic winner Tiznow. This makes them very closely related, and now they have something else in common: both finished 2nd in the Belmont Stakes (Paynter finished 2nd in 2012 to Union Rags).

I have tons of photos from the other two legs of the Triple Crown. This collection mainly highlights Orb, but that’s just because I saw him everywhere I went at Pimlico!

May 2, 2013: Oxbow at Churchill Downs.

May 18, 2013: Orb heads to the paddock at Pimlico with his exercise rider, Jennifer Patterson.

May 18, 2013: Orb heads to the Pimlico paddock before the Preakness.

May 18, 2013: Orb checks out the other horses at the barn while he gets a post-Preakness bath. The old injury to his nose is quite pronounced.

May 18, 2013: Orb has his legs hosed off after the Preakness.

May 18, 2013: Orb waits impatiently for Alison McGaughey (left) and Barbara Livingston to unwrap his peppermints.

Oxbow’s Preakness

May 18, 2013: Oxbow’s saddle cloth and garland on display at the Lukas barn after the Preakness.

I’m still slightly bitter about Pimlico’s policy this year of not allowing SLR cameras, but my second-string Panasonic did a passable job.

Based on my recent posts, you might have noticed that I’m slightly obsessed with Oxbow. I love his unique coat, his quirky and overly energetic attitude, and his fantastic pedigree. I did want to see Orb win the Preakness, but my sentimental favorite was Oxbow. Once it looked like Orb wasn’t going to get it, I screamed and yelled like a crazy person for Oxbow.

After the race was over, my friends and I went straight to the stakes barn where the Preakness horses are stabled. What an amazing experience. I was so starstruck at every turn. There were so many racing personalities that I watch all the time wandering about, along with other famous people that even non-horse people would recognize. As usual, though, I was focused on the horses. My friends got to pet Orb, I got to hang out with Optimizer (who I’ve been in love with since I first saw him race in 2011), and I got a flower from Oxbow’s garland.

Even with the rain episode, it was a great day!

May 18, 2013: Oxbow on his way to be saddled for the Preakness.

May 18, 2013: Gary Stevens and Oxbow stole the Preakness on the lead. I love this win! Ironically, the only bet I won all day was my win wager on Oxbow, but by the time we were done at the barns the windows were closed and I couldn’t cash it!

May 18, 2013: Oxbow finally returned from the test barn at about 8pm after the Preakness. A crowd of photographers was waiting for him, and this is just about the only frame I took where he’s standing still. This horse has SO much energy!

Oxbow

Oxbow is one of three entries in this year’s Preakness for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Check out his grey-flecked hind end!

I really love Oxbow’s pedigree. He is by the fantastic Adena Springs stallion Awesome Again out of the mare Tizamazing, who is a full sister to two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow. If this sounds a little bit familiar, it might be because last year’s phenomenal colt Paynter is also by Awesome again out of Tizso, who is another full sister to Tiznow. Certainly seems to be a blueprint for success! 

May 2, 2013: Oxbow has an unusually grey-flecked coat.

Onward to the Preakness!

May 2, 2013: Impressive Kentucky Derby winner Orb flies around the track a few mornings before his win in the slop at Churchill Downs.

I’m headed to Baltimore for racing at Pimlico on Friday and Saturday. This will be my first Black-Eyed Susan day, but I’ve been to the Preakness for the last few years. Once again, I’m not allowed to take my good camera because of increased security due to the Boston bombings, but at least the weather should be better than the freezing rain we had at the Derby!

Speaking of the Derby, several of the horses that ran in the Derby are also taking a shot at the Preakness. Here’s a look at a few that I spotted on the track while I was at Churchill Downs.

May 2, 2013: Oxbow will get another shot at Orb in the Preakness. It’s interesting to note that while he’s technically a bay, Oxbow’s coat is full of grey hairs that make him look slightly pale in photos.

May 2, 2013: Will Take Charge gallops at Churchill Downs. His half-brother, Take Charge Indy, ran in the 2012 Kentucky Derby.

May 2, 2013: Itsmyluckyday will hopefully have more luck in the Preakness after finishing 15th in the Kentucky Derby. He’s just so lovely!

May 2, 2013: Goldencents is a bright, beautiful son of Into Mischief, but faded to finish 17th in the Derby.