Draw gave 'Quiet,' 'Gallop' more than outside chances Poor post positions prove little obstacle to race's 1-2 finishers

123rd Preakness

May 17, 1998|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

The post-position draw turned out to be no detriment in the 123rd Preakness yesterday.

Bettors began looking for alternatives when the 1-2 finishers in the Kentucky Derby landed the two outside slots for the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, meaning that they would have to run farther than their eight rivals.

But, as the race developed, quality prevailed over position.

There were no strategic surprises whatsoever, as Real Quiet and Victory Gallop moved into contending spots on the backstretch, took over the race in tandem on the final turn and slugged it out down the stretch.

"Grinder" is the term most applied to Mike Pegram's colt, and he lived up to that description by out-dueling Victory Gallop on the turn to wrest control, then slugged it out to the wire in 1 minute, 54 4/5 seconds over a fast track.

Trainer Bob Baffert understandably was not enthralled by drawing the No. 11 post Wednesday when Coronado's Quest, the likely favorite, was still in the field and breaking from the 4 hole.

But he wasn't fretting, either.

"I'd love to have been inside him [Coronado's Quest]," he said. "I just got unlucky in the draw, but I'd rather have the 11 than the 2. I'm not going to worry about the draw. The horse could have gotten a good draw and then not broken good."

Real Quiet made his first advance coming around the first turn while D. Wayne Lukas-trained Baquero, as expected, played the rabbit role to perfection with honest fractions of 23 1/5 and 46 2/5.

By the six-furlong mark, Kent Desormeaux had Real Quiet running fifth and in perfect striking position. Victory Gallop was just ahead of him.

Baquero then started backing up badly, and Cape Town, the other highly bet horse, was still in the thick of the fray.

But the real race was being conducted out in the four and five paths between the horses with the worst of the draw.

Of the others, only Classic Cat was making a mild bid under Robby Albarado. He had a shot as they entered the stretch, but he didn't have enough kick to compete for the lead and settled into a comfortable third place.

With a steady rally, Hot Wells (who had stumbled at the start) passed some tiring horses and edged Black Cash -- who had found some energy after falling back to seventh -- for fourth.

Late-running Spartan Cat launched his usual come-from-behind effort but could only finish sixth against classier opposition than he usually faces.

Of the laggers, the biggest mystery was Cape Town, who has run three straight off races after winning the Florida Derby through the disqualification of Lil's Lad.

Cape Town beat only one horse, stopping badly after six furlongs. That one was Virginia-based Silver's Prospect, who flipped in the paddock before the race and was never a factor.

Real threat?

Real Quiet is the 27th horse to win both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. How those horses fared in the Belmont:

Year .. Horse .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Belmont

1919 .. Sir Barton .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Won

1930 .. Gallant Fox . .. .. .. .. .. .. Won

1932 .. Burgoo King . .. .. .. .. .. .. DNS

1935 .. Omaha .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Won

1936 .. Bold Venture .. .. .. .. .. ... DNS

1937 .. War Admiral .. .. .. .. .. .. . Won

1941 .. Whirlaway .. .. .. .. .. .. ... Won

1943 .. Count Fleet .. .. .. .. .. .. . Won

1944 .. Pensive .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Second

1946 .. Assault .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Won

1948 .. Citation .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Won

1958 .. Tim Tam .. .. .. .. .. ... . Second

1961 .. Carry Back .. .. .. .. .. . Seventh

1964 .. Northern Dancer .. .. .. .... Third

1966 .. Kauai King .. .. .. .. .. .. Fourth

1968 .. Forward Pass* .. .. .. .. .. Second

1969 .. Majestic Prince .. .. .. ... Second

1971 .. Canonero II .. .. .. .. .... Fourth

1973 .. Secretariat .. .. .. .. .. .. . Won

1977 .. Seattle Slew .. .. .. .. .. ... Won

1978 .. Affirmed .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Won

1979 .. Spectacular Bid .. .. .. .. . Third

1981 .. Pleasant Colony .. .. .. .. . Third

1987 .. Alysheba .. .. .. .. .. .. . Fourth

1989 .. Sunday Silence .. .. .. .... Second

1997 .. Silver Charm .. .. .. .. .. .Second

1998 .. Real Quiet

Triple Crown winners in bold

DNS - Did not start

* - Won Derby on disqualification

Pub Date: 5/17/98

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