by Richard Hackerman

Richard Hackerman’s first piece for The Racing Biz was about his retired racer, Mississippi Storm (here).  He’s owned horses in Maryland for nearly 20 years and was a fan and bettor for years prior.  Here’s his post-mortem take on Preakness weekend.

Preakness day is always fabulous. Black-Eyed Susan Day usually tops it.

Wayne Lukas’ feat of winning a Classic for the first time in 14 years is incredible.  Gary Stevens’ winning a Classic — just five months removed from retirement, outriding his much younger rivals — topped it.

Oxbow, and Gary Stevens' game face.  Photo by Laurie Asseo.

Oxbow, and Gary Stevens’ game face. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

Gary Stevens looks like a movie star. Oh – he is a movie star.  He is also a better actor than OJ Simpson — and his theft of the Preakness was perfectly legal.

Incidentally, those who boldly played the Lukas/Stevens double starting with the Dixie — won in the same gate to wire fashion by the same duo one race prior to the Preakness — enjoyed a $557 payoff for choosing these unlikely heroes.  And well done.

The weather was better Black Eyed Susan Day. We met wonderful people. The food in the dining room was exceptionally good.

Honestly.  It was.

For me (and others), witnessing Orb co-owner Ogden Mills Phipps puffing on a fine cigar in the lower outside box seats during the hours prior to the Preakness was priceless. He and his wife were extremely gracious conversing with all well wishers — of which there were, predictably, many.

Meantime, Ben’s Cat is the most consistent and perhaps the best turf sprinter in the country and was impressive in the Jim McKay Turf Sprint. Let’s hope that that other rejuvenated septuagenarian, trainer King Leatherbury, who technically now is an octogenarian, supplements him to the Breeders Cup one of these years.  On the other hand, it’s awfully easy for me to spend King’s money on that.

It was a perfectly timed ride by Joel Rosario to take the Black Eyed Susan Stakes aboard Fiftyshadesofhay.  Love that name.  Second place finisher Marathon Lady opened a large lead and appeared on her way to being draped with flowers, until Rosario said otherwise.

The first two finishers in the Pimlico Special ran exceptionally well, as local hero Eighttofasttocatch nearly stole off with the big prize until he was run down by the well-regarded Last Gunfighter.

Did I mention that Preakness weekend is always fabulous?