The on-the-fence Preakness status for Hansel in the days after his puzzling Kentucky Derby loss had Frank Brothers "going back and forth 100 times." said the trainer.
It was not the first time a trainer had anguished over whether to run his horse in the Preakness before winning it.
Three years ago, another Louisiana trainer -- Louie Roussel III -- vacillated before deciding to run Risen Star.
The track was soaked on the day before the 199 Preakness, and by midafternoon on Preakness Day, it still was wet. Roussel was inclined not to run, but finally decided to go ahead and keep Risen Star in the race.
The colt won. He then won the Belmont Stakes, his last start before retiring with an injury.
*Hansel's reversal of his Derby defeat was as unexplainable as Snow Chief's 1986 Derby loss. But Preakness bettors five years ago were much more confident that Snow Chief could rebound: Hansel was 9-1 yesterday, but Snow Chief was a solid, 5-2 second choice.
*The Triple Crown point standings going into the Belmont (based on a 10-5-3-1 system for first-through-fourth finishes):
Strike the Gold 10, Hansel 10, Mane Minister 6, Best Pal 5, Corporate Report 5.
*With his victory, Jerry Bailey became the sixth of the eight jockeys in yesterday's race to win a Preakness.
*Hansel is a son of the mare Count on Bonnie, who never raced. Count On Bonnie is a daughter of Dancing Count, a 23-year-old stallion who stands at Shamrock Farm in Carroll County and who has sired many Maryland-based runners.
*The $212.20 exacta payoff on yesterday's Preakness was the second-highest since Pimlico began offering the exotic on the race in 1975.
The highest came in 1976, when Elocutionist won and Play the Red fiinished second, combining for a $347.40 payoff.