When Prairie Bayou duplicated the 1992 feat of his stablemate, Pine Bluff, and won the Preakness two weeks ago, the Arkansas outfit of John Ed Anthony and his ex-wife, Mary Lynn Dudley, became the first owner-breeder in 45 years to win back-to-back runnings of the Pimlico classic.
The last time a stable achieved such a feat was in 1947-48 when Calumet Farm won consecutive Preaknesses with Faultless and Citation.
Now Loblolly can become the first stable to win the $1 million Chrysler Triple Crown bonus in successive years.
In fact, they are the first outfit to have owned and bred two horses good enough to compete in all three Triple Crown races since the lucrative bonus was initiated in 1987.
Last year, Pine Bluff was fifth in the Kentucky Derby, won the Preakness and finished third in the Belmont, earning 13 Triple Crown bonus points, five ahead of Casual Lies, the only other horse to complete the series.
This year Prairie Bayou was second in the Derby and won the Preakness. Going into the Belmont, he leads Derby winner, Sea Hero, 15-10 in the points race. The horse merely has to finish the race to beat the other two eligibles, El Bakan and Wild Gale, who have three points each. A Belmont victory would give either one of those two horses 13 points, still two less than needed to win the $1 million.
The race for the bonus essentially becomes a Belmont showdown between Prairie Bayou and Sea Hero.
For Prairie Bayou to win, he has to finish ahead of Sea Hero in theBelmont or to split the bonus, finish second if Sea Hero wins.
For Sea Hero to win the bonus, he has got to finish first and have Prairie Bayou finish third or worse. To tie and divide the money evenly, Sea Hero has to win (if Prairie Bayou is second) or finish second and have Prairie Bayou end up off the board. Points are awarded on a 10-5-3-1 basis.
FTC In the last seven years, only 20 horses have been able to complete the gruelling three-race series. The closest anyone has come to pulling off the bonus double occurred in 1988 when A.B. Hancock III was a co-breeder of Risen Star (owned by Louis Roussel III and Ron Lamarque) and then was a co-owner of Sunday Silence (bred by Oakcliff Thoroughbreds) in 1989.
At the time Hancock felt he was lucky just to be associated with those two horses. But to breed and also campaign such a pair of horses shows the depth of what Anthony and Dudley have accomplished.
A dozen runners are expect to compete in the Belmont. Besides the Triple Crown quartet of "iron horses" Prairie Bayou, Sea Hero, El Bakan and Wild Gale, the others in the race are Cherokee Run, Virginia Rapids, Kissin Kris, Colonial Affair, Antrim Rd., Arinthod, Silver of Silver and Raglan Road, the Pimlico-based horse who is also eligible for the Colin Stakes on the Belmont undercard.
Wolf Prince in English Derby
Can a horse who was trained in the hills of Maryland win the prestigious English Derby, especially if he's never competed in a graded stakes event?
We'll find out Wednesday.
Wolf Prince, the big, roan son of South African champion Wolf Power, was shipped to England last Monday and is listed as a 33-1 long shot to win the $1 million English classic this week.
The horse was trained for the race by Michael Dickinson at the Fair Hill Training Center in Cecil County and won a turf prep for the 1 1/2 -mile grass classic at Garden State Park on April 24.
Maryland fans are familiar with the Virginia-bred colt who won the Dave's Friend and Dancing Count Stakes at Laurel Race Course last winter.
It seems like quite a class jump to go from those minor sprint events to Epsom, but the horse's principal owners, Art and Jack Preston, are gas and oil prospectors from Texas and told Dickinson they are accustomed to making wild speculations.
Slewpy was the last American-trained horse to run in the English Derby. He finished 18th out of 20 runners in 1983.
The Meadowlands is simulcasting the English Derby, which has a 10:45 a.m. EST post time on Wednesday.
Wedding day winner
Local trainer J. B. Secor was serving as the best man at friend's wedding in Jacksonville, Fla., last weekend when the temperamental7-year-old gelding he trains, D. Guilford, upset My Frenchman in the Roman Handicap at Pimlico.
"I was walking down the aisle when the horse was crossing the finishing line," Secor said.
The horse, who had been competing in claimers on the dirt, had not won a stakes race in four years. As a 3 year old he had won the Mount Washington and Bergen County stakes. At the time, owner Jewelynne Montgomery turned down a $200,000 offer for the horse .
Secor, who has had success with such runners as Runaway Raja, Penny Road, Elevate and Looms the Star, trains D. Guilford off his family's farm, Inverness, in Monkton and also has about a dozen horses at Pimlico.