Two weeks ago I was admittedly bitter about an “impossible” result in the Kentucky Derby that ended with Mine That Bird running away from the field in the final 16th to win by the biggest margin in over 50 years. From a handicapping perspective the result made no sense.
The bitterness is now gone thanks to Rachel Alexandra, who validated her favoritism status with a strong front-running victory in today’s Preakness, and Mine That Bird who proved that two weeks ago was no fluke with a solid second place finish despite a much wider and less perfect trip than he had in the Derby.
Both horses ran very strongly today, and Rachel Alexandra’s victory was all the more impressive after jockey Borel stated after the race that she didn’t handle the track nearly as well as she had previously handled the harder surfaces at Churchill and the Fair Grounds. That is really saying something if true (and I guess he should know).
Hopefully, the Mine That Bird naysayers (me included) will now face reality that this colt simply matured and improved tremendously with the change in running style. The Derby was not a fluke and he is better than these other colts at the present time.
Without Rachel Alexandra in the race today, would we be looking at another possible Triple Crown on the line in three weeks? It appears so from my perspective. That would have created quite a story if The Filly would have waited until the Belmont to put it on the line against a Triple Crown seeking Mine That Bird.
She has become horse racing’s top attraction. Enjoy her while she lasts, she is an elite filly and her level of excellence is rare indeed.
One more thing: if you don’t want to bet on her, don’t bet against her. Just enjoy the race. I look forward to her next Tour de Force.