Trainer Mel Stute, in a bit of candor the week before the Preakness, said in reply to a question: "No, I never considered taking Alex Solis off Snow Chief after he got beat bad in the Derby. I told Alex before the Derby that no matter how the race is run early, he must have dead aim at the lead entering the stretch.
"Well, Alex took the lead at the head of the stretch and got beat. The fault must have been mine because I did not do enough with Snow Chief in the way of hard work in Kentucky. I did more with Snow Chief at Pimlico, plus there was only a two-week time span between races."
The Pimlico security force was swelled to more than 1,000 men and women, nearly 10 times the usual complement on an ordinary Saturday.
Jon Lusher, the head of track security, said that his force included members of the state and city police and the national guard. ABC television also had a formidable security crew.
Followers of award-winning trainer Wayne Lukas today saw his three favorites on the nine-race card finish off the board, including Badger Land in the feature.
Lukas' Lady Secret did win the $100,000-added Shuvee Handicap in New York, however.
An hour before the Preakness, trainer Charles Whittingham was asked how his colt Ferdinand was taking all the fanfare. He replied: "Right now, he's calm and collected. What people fail to realize is that horses are like strawberries; they spoil awfully quick."
Ralph DiChiaro, the Baltimore builder who used to own Tropical Park and Randall Park Race Course, said that he has a Preakness hopeful for next year. His Raphael Dancer worked a brisk mile in 1:37 at Hollywood Park Friday after winning his 7-furlong maiden effort impressively the week before. Raphael Dancer is trained by Michael Whittingham, son of the trainer of Ferdinand.
Raymond Haight, the former race caller at all the Maryland tracks, squelched rumors that he is considering returning to calling the races at Laurel Race Course.