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Saturday’s 132nd running of the Preakness was as good a horse race as you will see. I’ve watched the stretch run a dozen times now and never get tired of seeing these two terrific animals hit the wire together. I know a lot of racing fans are disappointed that the Belmont will be run in three weeks without the possibility of a Triple Crown hope. But I would rather witness a thrilling race between two exceptional horses end in a headbob—even one that ends the hope of a Triple Crown—when that race makes an impression for a lifetime. This was the best Preakness since Sunday Silence and Easy Goer in 1989, so let’s hope CURLIN and STREET SENSE come back for the rubber match on June 10.

After Robby Albarado escaped injury in a spill two races before the Preakness, didn’t you get the feeling that fate was smiling on him? And if he had been injured, imagine the heartbreak he would have experienced watching someone else win (assuming that jockey put up the same great ride that he did) aboard Curlin. Both Albarado and Calvin Borel rode excellent races on horses that were prepared expertly by their trainers. Steve Asmussen got his first win in a Triple Crown race and Carl Nafzger was all class in defeat. Saturday really showed off everything that is great about horse racing. Now if someone could have convinced Wayne Lukas not to run a hopelessly overmatched Cal-bred sprinter against the best sophomores in the nation, the day would have been perfect.

On the homefront: David Flores got his 3,000th winner today in the Laz Barrera Stakes aboard TIME TO GET EVEN, who he picked up when regular rider Alex Bisono injured his ankle during the warm-up of the 4th race. Not to add insult to injury, but in my opinion there’s no way ‘EVEN gets up without the rider switch. Flores is a much stronger finisher, which made the difference at the wire…closers pretty much dominated today over Cushion Track. It’s very refreshing to see horses be able to rally from far back and make up lengths in the final 100 yards—as long as speed doesn’t become a liability.

Tough Beat of the Year Award: Two horses were covered in the Pick Six heading into the finale. One of them was CANDYGRAM, who got nailed right near the wire. I was bummed about getting headed out of the Pick 4 for $2,257 ($81 ticket on my Premium Play sheet) but I shook it off a little easier when I thought about the life-changing P6 score that had been snatched away from some poor souls. I think it would take awhile before I could come back to the races after that kind of torture. The good news for the rest of us is that more than $850,000 is carried over to Wednesday. Can you say fresh money? With two days off, Pick Six players will beg, borrow and steal to be reloaded for the Wednesday card.

Congratulations to public handicapper Terry Turrell, who nailed $100+ winners on consecutive days. On Saturday, he had CAYAMBE ($123.20) on top and today he made SKY CAPE ($145.60) his BEST BET of the day. Incredible job.

SELVATICA won Saturday’s Desert Stormer Handicap and has now been first or second in 11 of 12 career starts…Hollywood Park handled $20.7 million (all sources) on Preakness Day, to go along with the $27 million handled on Derby Day. Both handle and on-track attendance figures are up from a year ago.

Rest up and get some fresh money for Wednesday.

To view Free Samples of Friday, Saturday and Sunday Premium Plays, click on the links below: Premium Plays for May 18Â Â Â Â Â Â Premium Plays for May 19Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Premium Plays for May 20

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