Lukas colt burns 'Gin' in stretch PREAKNESS '94

AT THE PREAKNESS, IT'S A HOT TIME FOR TABASCO CAT

May 22, 1994|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Sun Staff Writer

Early favorite Tabasco Cat basked in the sunshine of a glistening afternoon at Pimlico Race Course yesterday, holding off favored Go For Gin at the wire to win the 119th running of the Preakness Stakes.

Jockey Pat Day guided the chestnut colt into the lead after the final turn and ended Kentucky Derby winner Go For Gin's bid for the Triple Crown by three-quarters of a length.

fTC It was a perfect ending for trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who brought this horse to Baltimore two weeks after a difficult run at the Kentucky Derby and five months after the colt trampled his son )) Jeff during a workout.

It was a perfect run for Day, who spent much of the race in the fourth position before breaking through at the final turn and taking the lead at the eighth pole to score his third Preakness victory.

And it was a picture perfect day for the crowd of 86,343 that packed Pimlico to celebrate the second act in the three-part passion play known as the Triple Crown.

"I think the real Tabasco Cat showed up today," said Lukas, who had watched the horse finish a disappointing sixth in the Derby. "Our horse fights back."

There was also a measure of redemption for owner W. T. Young, who, along with breeder David P. Reynolds, collected the $447,720 winner's share a year after his well-regarded Union City broke down in the 1993 Preakness and had to be destroyed.

That was forgotten in the giddy aftermath of a victory that set the stage for a possible rubber match between Tabasco Cat and Go For Gin in the Belmont Stakes June 11.

"We got a picture perfect trip today," Day said. "I waited till down inside the eighth pole, put him to his task and he just came home beautifully. It was a great race."

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