“Barbaro was so overpowering in his Kentucky Derby romp that winning next Saturday’s Preakness seems to be a foregone conclusion.”
– Associated Press
“Unbeaten Barbaro looks invincible.”
– Asbury Park Press
“I’d say he’s the best horse I’ve seen in the past 25 years … on the dirt, turf, any age group.”
– Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens
The 131st Preakness Stakes will be run Saturday at Pimlico and most horsemen are fairly certain that Barbaro will show the rest of his challengers his backside in the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
Considering that I called this horse to be the winner of the Derby if Bob & John faltered and he did, you would think I would be touting this Michael Martz pupil. Well I am firm believer that adversity brings out the best in us and both trainer Dan Hendricks and his talented three year old Brother Derek, have had their fair share.
If you have been following Triple Crown or have been a reader of my articles recently, you will know that Hendricks was left paralyzed from a motocross accident two years ago. He bounced back with the help of his wife, three sons and some loyal owners and is a topnotch trainer.
Brother Derek wowed the horsemen on the West Coast in the early part of the season and arrived at Churchill Downs as the odds on favorite, to win the “Run for the Roses”. But when the draw was made for the big race, Hendricks talented horse was saddled with the 18 post position in the overcrowded race.
Brother Derek had a bad trip in the Derby, racing wide on the first turn and very wide on the second, while Barbaro had a perfect trip. He probably wouldn’t have beaten Barbaro that day anyway, but, with better racing luck, he would have been much closer. His trainer Dan Hendricks believes the effort was as good as any his colt has had in his career.
“I guess you could say it’s his best race,” he said of the Derby performance. “He made it back. He took dirt. He took adversity. He went wide and he circled the field and he lost a shoe and still finished a very creditable fourth. I could easily say he could have been second. So that’s got to be one of his best races.”
The Preakness will be a leisurely stroll on the beach compared to the traffic jam in the Derby and Brother Derek can scoot with Barbaro. I think he turns the tables here!