The Brock Talk

Friday, June 11, 2010

Presious Passion "Truckin" Again in Monmouth Park Stakes

Presious Passion is a super star running this weekend. He may not be a super star in the strictest sense of wins and recognitions, having finished second in the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. 1) to Conduit and only winning one grade 1 race last year. In fact, he was a very distant third in the Eclipse Awards race behind Champion Gio Ponti and Conduit.

But like the legendary rock band The Grateful Dead, Presious Passion doesn't need a platinum record to put on a darn good show and draw adoring fans every time.

His almost unheard of turf running-style that resembles the fabled hare sprinting early only to lose to the tortoise, almost defies logic at the grade 1 level. When he can endure and continue to leave his competition like he did in the grade 1 United Nations last year, or unexpectedly battle a champion like Conduit to the wire as he did in the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. 1T), he defies how horses are supposed to run in longer route races. It is even more defiant on grass. Racing to a big lead on the turf and trying to hold off the inevitable charge of the late runners is much akin to how Lenny Kaye described the The Dead's music in a 2007 issue of Rolling Stone magazine: "it touches on ground that most other groups don't know exist."

And like Jerry Garcia taking The Dead through an extended and improvisational version "Dark Star" in concert, jockey Elvis Trujillo tries to stay in rhythm and harmony with Presious Passion. Just as Bob Weir and Garcia took on stage cues from each other as to when to go solo during live concerts, Trujillo and Presious Passion certainly communicate through a long turf race - changing leads when it feels right, but keeping the pace going the whole time. If nobody passes out, it's a helluva show.

Jerry Garcia was known for his soulful and extended guitar solos. Presious Passion is known for his soulful and extended turf races. In a rock and roll industry that is known for the one hit wonder, The Greatful Dead has lasted more than 40 years. In a thoroughbred game that has to endure the annual exodus of many of our biggest stars, Presious Passion continues to race at age six.

Since coming up just short in the Breeders' Cup Turf last year, Presious Passion has traveled to South Florida to win the Mac Diarmada (gr. 2T) before traveling to the United Arab Emirates to Dubai's Sheema Classic (gr. 1UAE) in March. After getting to his customary big lead in Dubai, the soft turf course took it's toll and he faded to last.

Saturday he returns to New Jersey to attempt to win the Monmouth Park Stakes (gr. 3T) for the second consecutive year. Trainer Mary Hartmann will then point him toward a possible three-peat in the grade 1 United Nations Invitational later in the Monmouth season.

So there will be plenty of Passion-Heads in Oceanport over the summer. They may not be driving vw vans or doning tie-dye and love beads... but you can be sure they've come to see "Truckin'."

Truckin, I'm goin' home, whoa whoa baby, back where I belong
Back home, sit down and patch my bones, and get back truckin on
Hey now get back truckin home.
-- The Grateful Dead, "Truckin'," 1970

6 comments:

railrunner said...

I love Precious Passion and really hope he can make a good run at the championship title this year as well as the Breeders' Cup Turf.

Brock Sheridan said...

Glad to have another "Passion-Head" in the club railrunner.

ReneC said...

Any idea when the Presious Passion neck ties are coming out?

Jesse said...

Enjoyed the analogy. I agree with railrunner I like Precious Passion.As for Rene I feel Blinkers are more appropriate.

John said...

Presious Passion is so much fun to watch. He's a joy and I wish him only the very best. Would love to see him take another crack at the BC Turf. He came so close last year. As long as he stays sound and happy, why not? He hasn't been named a champion yet, but he is a champion in my eyes already.

The_Knight_Sky said...

It should be interesting where Presious Passion is placed today. No scratch that.

It should be interesting how much pressure frontrunning rival Get Serious is able to exert on Presious Passion. The pace figures to be lively and the portable turf rails are way out this weekend at 36 feet.

That will have an effect on the tactics but for me this Grade 3 is a prep race and the screws may not be on all that tight, so I'm going to hold off getting behind Presious Passion until he makes start #47 until the Grade 1 United Nations Handicap.

Nonetheless, it will be a fun race to watch this full field of stakes runners.