It has been determined by the connections of Kentucky Derby runner-up, Nehro, that he will skip the Preakness and instead wait for the Belmont Stakes three weeks from Saturday. This is a similar tack to the one taken by Nick Zito with Birdstone seven years ago that denied Smarty Jones the Triple Crown. Of course, this time the trainer is Steve Asmussen and the owner is Ahmed Zayat, not Marylou Whitney. However, the idea is along the same lines, which is to have a fresher horse ready for the longer race.
Of course, this idea didn't work last year for Zito, when he skipped the Preakness with Derby runner-up, Ice Box, and waited for the Belmont and he was never a factor at all. It will be quite interesting to see how this all falls out, especially if Animal Kingdom is able to come through on Saturday in Baltimore and set us up for a Triple Crown chance by winning the 136th running of the Preakness. It makes one long for the days when there was a healthy bonus in the millions of dollars that further connected the races and made it financially sensible for connections to try and run in all three races rather than cherry-pick their spots.
The draw for the 136th Preakness will be conducted later today. Tune in again tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone...GOODBYE!