Well that's over now. You know what I'm talking about. It looks like the much heralded filly Rachel Alexandra is going to get into the Preakness. As of Monday night, there are 13 horses likely to be entered into the second leg of the Triple Crown when the Pimlico racing office opens entries Wednesday morning for Saturday's races including the gr. 1 Preakness Stakes. The Pimlico starting gate holds 14 runners so it looks like she might even get in uncontested. So the plot by Mine That Bird co-owner Mark Allen and Pioneerof the Nile owner Ahmed Zayat failed.
After Zayat leaked the story on HGTV in a Sunday morning interview, the two owners were barraged with any number of unflattering noun modifiers in every media. It has also been reported that racing officials from Pimlico Race Course contacted both owners Sunday and informed them that it might not be a good idea. If that telephone call was made, I'd bet a dollar to a donut that executives from ESPN and NBC were listening in via speaker phone or conference call.
Zayat and Allen abandoned their plan before nightfall.
The Chicago White Sox wore uniforms that featured shorts during the 1976 season. The Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1919. The Portland Trailblazers took Sam Bowie in the 1984 NBA draft over Michael Jordon. Mark Allen and Ahmed Zayat proudly unveiled their plans to keep Rachel Alexandra out of the Preakness in 2009. One claimed it was a business decision - the other that the filly didn't belong in the race.
If Rachel Alexandra should win the Preakness Saturday afternoon, why do I have this vision of 100,000 race fans at Pimlico saying in unison, "AWK-ward!"
But as much as we all hate to admit it, we enjoy watching rich people make fools of themselves.
Excuse me Ms. Rivers - Ms. Joan Rivers - yes ma'am. Ms. Rivers I'd like to introduce you to Mr. Allen and Mr. Zayat. They just joined. They're new members to the club.
And to the relief of us all, there will be no legal challenge, even if somebody does decide to enter two or three more horses in the Preakness before Wednesday. It seems that one of colaborators of this plan was reading the conditions of the Kentucky Derby that state a supplemental entry, as Rachel Alexandra will be at an addition cost of $100,000 to her new owners, will not take preference over a horse that made the original nomination deadline in March.
Pimlico's top racing department executive and racing secretary Geoganne Hale reiterated that no such condition exists in the Preakness conditions. So the contriver(s) of this plot based their entire plan on the conditions of race that had already been run and at a different track.
Just so you know, each track publishes individual condition books for their respective races. These different books are published at three different times by three different racing secretaries. And they are different colors with different pictures too.
In the end, we dodged what Daily Racing Form columnist Jay Privman called "one of the more embarrassing scenarios in the history of the Triple Crown." And like many of you, after getting over my initial anger and disgust; and after we realized that Zayat and Allen had ditched their plot, we enjoyed the carnival. I just wish we would have had time to let Simon Cresswell or Seth Myers give their commentary.