Current talk at Pimlico is about the sudden fame of a one-horse owner, Victor Coladonato. His Iron Legend has overcome many ailments and is headed for the starting gate in the Preakness Saturday. Coladonato leads a Spartan life which is fast attracting as much attention nationwide as the return match between Affirmed and Alydar.
Knowledgeable handicapers are almost unanimous in their view that the rags-to-riches colt should seek a softer spot at this stage of his development. But all concede that what he has already done has defied the law of averages, having jumped from a win over maidens into a wining stakes race.
The publicity gained by the obscure 54-year -old Colanonato is a sort of balm for the hurt and anxiety of many backstretch people caused by the death of Robert A. Pineda May 3. Pineda's widow, Mazine, has returned from California where Pineda was buried and is undecided whether to move back to the West Coast or to her native Puerto Rico with her two young sons.
Leading rider, apprentice Ron Franklin, has continued his winning ways which were further by the addition of Chick Lang as his agent last month. Lang, a former correspondent for the Baltimore Morning Sun, has been securing winning mounts for Franklin on horses other than those trained by Bud Delp, who holds the youngster's contract. Franklin has ridden 65 winners at Pimlico through Thursday. Delp has saddled 32.
Jockey Barry Alberts looked fit while winning Tuesday's second race astride Joe DiMatalo's Tide Turner. Alberts had been away from the races for more than a year when he decided to give it one more chance, taking off some 30 pounds for his comeback. He weighed in at 114 for the ride on TIde Turner.