The Washington Post

Social Inclusion: The fastest 3-year-old?

Preakness hopeful Social Inclusion walks on the track in preparation for the 139th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico. (Rob Carr/Getty Images) (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Gulfstream Park carded an allowance race on March 12 that was intended to launch the 3-year-old campaign for Honor Code, one of the leading contenders for the Kentucky Derby. Instead, it was a showcase for the little-known Social Inclusion, who ran away from the favorite by 10 lengths and broke the track record for 11 / 16 miles. His Beyer Speed Figure was 110 — the best single performance by any horse of his generation. If he repeats it at Pimlico on Saturday, he can win the Preakness.

But it is unlikely that he will do so. After the spectacular win at Gulfstream, owner Ronald Sanchez was seized by Derby fever. He turned down a reported $8 million offer for his colt.

Although Social Inclusion had raced only twice in his career, Sanchez thrust him into the Grade I Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct as a prep for the Derby. He showed his high speed but tired to finish third, and failed to qualify for a spot in the starting gate at Churchill Downs. Scratched from a recent race at Gulfstream, he will come to Pimlico with only three career starts and a six-week absence from competition. He doesn’t appear to have the necessary seasoning for a demanding race like the Preakness.

— Andrew Beyer

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