In the Preakness, there are always new shooters. There are also local Maryland-based horses that get entered by horsemen with a dream. Sometimes these dreams almost come true, as in Magic Weisner in 2002 and Scrappy T in 2005, both of whom finished second behind horses that hit the board in the Kentucky Derby.
Back in 1983, some local Maryland horsemen had a dream (Bill Boniface and Bonita Farm, to be exact) and darned if it didn't come true. Deputed Testamony won the 1983 Preakness, defeating 1983 Derby winner, Sunny's Halo, in the process. Deputed Testamony had won the Federico Tesio earlier at Pimlico during the 1983 spring meet to earn a chance to run for the Black-Eyed-Susans. He came through and won the Preakness that year over a sloppy racetrack and although he ran sixth in the Belmont, he came back later that year and won the Haskell at Monmouth Park.
Deputed Testamony ran twenty times, winning eleven of those and running second in three others. The picture above is from well after his retirement. He won't go down as one of the great Preakness winners of all time, but in Maryland's eyes, he was a hero and he stands today as the focal point for all those Maryland dreamers who want those Black-Eyed-Susans, even more than the Roses or the Carnations. He gives them hope and hope is always a good thing (just ask Morgan Freeman).
There will be no post on Wednesday from They Are Off, but tune in again on Thursday for a look at the draw. For right now, I am Gone...GOODBYE!
Photo courtesy of bonitafarm.com