Thursday, May 17, 2007

Five Good Questions with . . Sean Clancy of ST Publishing about the Preakness

Today’s Five Good Questions is with Sean Clancy.....Sean is the editor and publisher of ST Publishing, producers of The Saratoga Special, Steeplechase Times, Keeneland Special and other equine projects....he also freelances for The Blood-Horse and Mid Atlantic Thoroughbred....he is also the author of Barbaro: The Horse Who Captured America’s, Sean talks about Saturday’s 132nd Preakness Stakes....

Q1. Were you surprised that jockey Calvin Borel (photo) was able to stay along the rail and work his way to a Kentucky Derby victory?
I wasn’t completely surprised that Borel could make up so much ground on the rail, when you’re riding a horse who's traveling well, its amazing how easy it is to make decisions, like driving a Ferrari as opposed to a Pinto. Holes open and you get to them quickly. He had so much horse the whole way, that he if the rail wasn’t open, I'm sure he could have gone around horses and still won.

Q2. Borel is known to keep his horses along the rail. Do you think he must change that strategy in order to win this Saturday?
Staying on the rail isn't the only strategy for Borel, he's been around long enough to know that he's got to adjust and call audibles during a race. Like any jockey, the first choice is to stay on the rail, but if it's not there, you go to plan B. In a short field like the Preakness, its even less important to stay on the rail, like they say, never go up in the inside of one horse and never go around two. In the Preakness, because of the short field, jockeys will be able to watch their inside better than in the Derby so Borel won't be thinking the rail is the only the way to win the Preakness.

Q3. Do you think Street Sense (photo) has what it takes to win the Triple Crown?
Sure, Street Sense has what it takes to win the Triple Crown - he's got the Derby, that's the most important thing. He’s sound, steady, not over-raced, classy and shown he's the best of the group. Only having two preps leading to the Derby can only help him during the rigors of the Triple Crown. As we know, though, the water gets deeper from here.

Q4. Are there any Kentucky Derby horses that you think just had a bad day who can come back and win the Preakness and Belmont like Afleet Alex did a few years ago?
Curlin ran well in the Derby, I'm not crazy about him coming back in two weeks for the Preakness, but he’s a big, sound horse who should benefit from a smaller field and having more experience under his belt. Tiago ran a decent race in the Derby, Circular Quay didn't run badly and might run better in the Belmont, if they choose that route. (Note - Circular Quay is running in the Preakness)

Q5. Finally, which horses do you have to place in this week's Preakness and who is your darkhorse?
Street Sense stands out, obviously, Hard Spun has proven his mettle all spring and it might be daft to ignore him again, speed is always dangerous but not sure Xchanger or King Of The Roxy could pull it off with so much heat amongst them. I'll wait until I see them and make a decision on their appearance....

I want to thank Sean for taking the time to is much appreciated....there will be no column on Friday because I will be at a work related conference....I will have Preakness predictions on Saturday

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