Several impressions remain after the running of last Saturday's Preakness at Pimlico, including one that Affirmed, last year's winner of the Triple Crown, could not beat Spectacular Bid at 1 1/4 miles or more.
Affirmed has been invincible in California after trainer Laz Barrera used his first two races this year as preps, with Steve Cauthen in the saddle. Cauthen's replacement by Laffit Pancay coincided with Affirmed's resurgence to form. However, if Affirmed and Spectacular Bid were to meet in the near future, I think Spectacular Bid would be the clear winner.
Another impression is that jockey Angel Cordero did nothing to hamper Spectacular Bid in the Preakness since he was in front of him for more than six furlongs astride Screen King. And since there is no rule that says another jockey must go around with his Horse, the criticism of Cordero on that point seems invalid.
What is valid is the complaint that Cordero should have been disqualified for what his mount did to Flying Paster. It was a textbook example of a foul. Cordero's mount was closing on the outside and took a left-hand turn, forcing Flying Paster's jockey to take up sharply and possibly costing him third money.
In Monday's seventh race at Pimlico, June B., a 10-1 shot in the morning line, was backed down to 3 to 2 and won by almost five lengths. June B. was a maiden, running against winners.
Rumors that the retirement of starter Eddie Blind was imminent are not correct. Blind, severely injured at Timonium several years ago when a horse ran down his stand, says, "Like a fighter, my legs were the first to go on me.I'm definitely not thinking of retiring until at least the end of the year. Then I'll talk it over with my wife and family and see what happens."