Year in review: May’s top stories and photos
Starting December 25, we’ll be conducting our own “12 days of mid-Atlantic racing.” Each day we’ll revisit our most popular stories from a given month of the year, and we’ll highlight some of our favorite photographs.
Be sure to check in each day to review what 2017 brought us!
For Preakness drivers, an exhausting week they can’t wait to relive
In May the Derby dreams of New Jersey-bred Irish War Cry were dashed on the first Saturday in May, when Always Dreaming rolled home to win the Run for the Roses, but that runner’s Triple Crown hopes went up in smoke two weeks later when Cloud Computing narrowly won over Classic Empire while Always Dreaming, the 6-5 favorite, faded to eighth.
A few days before the Preakness, Frank Vespe reported on the folks who make up the squadron of Preakness drivers ferrying the big race’s connections to and fro’, and all around Baltimore and its environs. “It’s amazing,” they say of a job that might sound to some like a bit of drudgery.
Exercise rider Leiva making a life in his adopted country
Preakness winner Cloud Computing had made just three starts prior to his run in the middle jewel, and he was a 13-1 outsider on Preakness day. But at least one person — Cloud Computing’s exercise rider Peter Leiva — knew he was sitting on a big race.
Frank Vespe told Leiva’s tale, which took him from his native Chile to the U. S., where his first day as an exercise rider ended with him falling off a horse in the middle of the Belmont Park infield to, as it turned out, the Preakness winner’s circle.
Ted Black profiled jockey Matt McGowan, who, a year after retiring from racing following a broken leg, returned to race riding and was making an impact on the Charles Town jockey colony. For the year, McGowan won 22 races, including one, aboard Groomed to Rock, on West Virginia Breeders Classics night, and registered over $400,000 in purse earnings.
Gary Quill was onsite at Churchill Downs during Kentucky Derby week, where he caught up with Dr. Kendall Hansen, owner of Pennsylvania-bred Derby entrant Fast and Accurate. Fast and Accurate ended up 17th in the Derby but has had a solid season overall, winning three times and earning $384,767.
Jim Hague visited with Lisa Bell, one of the partners in Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming, who said that her small share still came with all of the excitement and emotion.