Tabasco Cat claws past 'Gin' as bettors' choice

May 21, 1994|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Sun Staff Writer Sun staff writer Kent Baker contributed to this article.

Bettors have made sixth-place Kentucky Derby finisher Tabasco Cat a surprising early Preakness Stakes choice over Kentuky Derby winner Go For Gin.

Go For Gin is listed as the 2-1 favorite by Pimlico Race Course oddsmaker, Clem Florio.

But after $179,627 was initially wagered on the race yesterday, Tabasco Cat is the 5-2 favorite over Go For Gin at 3-1.

The rest of the early Preakness odds are: Blumin Affair, 7-2; the Robert Meyerhoff entry of Concern and Looming, 6-1; Numerous, 8-1; Silver Goblin, 9-1; Kandaly, 12-1; Powis Castle, 16-1 and Polar Expedition, 30-1.

The past two Preakness winners, Prairie Bayou and Pine Bluff, led in advance wagering pools.

However, the odds are expected to fluctuate as betting continues until the 5:31 p.m. Preakness post time today.

Quick with the wit

Jockey Chris McCarron, who will ride Kentucky Derby winner Go For Gin, flashed his sense of humor during a radio interview with sportscaster Jim Rome.

"If you call me Chris one time, I'm hanging up on you," McCarron said.

It was a reference to Rome's recent ESPN2 interview with NFL quarterback Jim Everett, whom Rome called Chris Everett.

No gray areas

Only three gray thoroughbreds in 118 previous runnings of the Preakness have won the race. They are Belmar (1895), Native Dancer (1953) and Spectacular Bid (1979). Silver Goblin is the sole gray in the 1994 Preakness.

Silver Goblin is also a front-runner and is expected to take the early lead today. Calipha, another gray front-runner, won yesterday's Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico.

But the last wire-to-wire winner of the Preakness was Aloma's Ruler in 1982.

Bet on 'yellow'

How many times have first-time bettors at the tracks made their selections because they liked the colors of the jockeys' silks?

If you're looking for winning colors in the silks of the Preakness horses, think yellow. Twelve Preakness winners have had yellow (or gold) prominent in their silks, including the past six.

This year, Go For Gin, the entry of Concern and Looming, Silver Goblin, Kandaly, Powis Castle and Polar Expedition have yellow or gold in their silks. Powis Castle fits the bill if "butterscotch" is considered yellow.

Rewarding day

The Old Hilltop Award, symbolic of longevity in racing coverage, went to WBAL Radio's Jim West and Ed Schuyler of the Associated Press. They were honored at yesterday's Alibi Breakfast along with Bill Mooney, who received the David F. Woods Award for the outstanding Preakness story of 1993. Mike Miller, president of the Maryland State Senate, was saluted with the Jockey Club Award of Merit.

No simulcasting

There will be no simulcasting from out-of-town tracks today at Pimlico, which will only take live-card wagers. But simulcast cards will be shown at Laurel, Rosecroft and all the off-track betting outlets.

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