1996 Preakness Winner Louis Quatorze Dies Suddenly

Louis Quatorze Won 1996 Preakness and over $2 million

The 1996 Preakness Stakes champion has died. Louis Quatorze, the 24-year old son of Sovereign Dancer, collapsed and died suddenly after galloping across the paddock to the gate Feb. 17.  A perennial top sire in Maryland, Louis Quatorze was buried at Murmur Farms.

“Even considering that he was 24, it was heartbreaking,” said Audrey Murray, owner of Murmur Farm. “He was so regal and majestic. When we would show him, he would stand there like he knew he’d won the Preakness.”

Bred in Kentucky and trained by Nick Zito, Louis Quatorze went wire -to-wire as the 8-1 choice to win the Preakness with Pat Day after finishing 16th in the Kentucky Derby. His final time of 1:53 2/5 equaled the then-stakes record set by Tank’s Prospect in 1985, but it was later surpassed when review of Secretariat’s 1973 Preakness found the horse to have completed the 1 3/16-mile race in 1:53.

Louis Quatorze won 7 of 18 starts and placed 2nd five times with career earnings or more than $2 million. After finishing 4th in the Belmont Stakes, Louis Quatorze won the Jim Dandy (G2) and then had a pair of Grade I runner-up finishes in the Travers Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic, which he lost by a nose. He finished his career with a pair of Grade III wins in his final two races in 1997.

Louis Quatorze initially stood at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky., and also shuttled to Argentina for four Southern Hemisphere seasons, but was later purchased by Allen and Audrey Murray of Murmur Farms and moved to Maryland beginning with the 2004 breeding season.

Louis Quatorze ranked as the second-leading Maryland sire in 2005 and 2006, and was steadily among the top five sires through 2011. With 17 crops of racing age, Louis Quatorze has sired 600 winners including 36 black-type stakes champions, of which 12 won graded/group stakes. He has amassed combined progeny earnings of more than $36.6 million.

Earlier this week, the 1999 Preakness winner Charismatic also died.

Exaggerator wins 2016 Preakness Stakes

Exaggerator Wins 2016 Preakness Stakes, Nyquist Third

The slop doctor is in.

Exaggerator won the muddiest 2016 Preakness Stakes, proving to everyone that he’s just as good as his heated rival. The Desormeaux protegé repeated his incredible Santa Anita Derby performance, which was also buried in the muck. Handicappers all day had promoted Exaggerator as the horse to beat considering the downpour that sloshed Pimlico Field. And the three-year old proved them to be right.

Barrelling down the home stretch, Nyquist took the lead over Uncle Lino who had led the way for much of the race. It seemed like destiny was just in reach for the Reddam Racing product and trianer Doug O’Neill, who were looking to repeat the dual win that I’ll Have Another had produced a few years ago. But Nyquist struggled as the slow conditions took a toll on him. Guittierez let him up as Exaggerator took over to win the 2016 Preakness Stakes.

Exaggerator took the win at 5/2, while Nyquist finished third at 3/5, a number he opened and started with. Cherry Wine was the surprise of the day, coming through as a 20/1 longshot in second place as he edged a fading Nyquist by a nose. New shooter Stradivari also lived up to the hype somewhat, finishing fourth at 8/1.

This is a huge triumph for Exaggerator, who been bested by Nyquist in four previous meetings. Most recently, Exaggerator placed second at the Kentucky Derby. The two also met at their debut in 2015, and once again at the San Vicente Stakes in February. It had been a lopsided rivalry up until this point, but now the battle is getting really interesting with the 2016 Preakness Stakes going to Exaggerator.

It’s certainly a disappointing “what if” type of finish. Many will say that Nyquist could have bested his rival if the track was more to his favor. And we’ll find out when the two go head-to-head once again in a few weeks at the Belmont Stakes.


Stradivari Gaining Steam at Preakness

Lightly-Raced Stradivari Has the Speed to Prevail in the Preakness

The momentum seems to be building for Stradivari, who has the speed to challenge Nyquist and potentially prevail at the Preakness. But as he and 10 other ponies prepare for a wet track at the Preakness, the pace and speed of the race along with the sloppy surface is going to play a big part in determining this year’s winner.

Last year the weather did nearly nothing to slow down American Pharoah as he romped home by 7-lengths in the slop to win the Preakness Stakes. Stradivari brings intrigue and speed as a potential Preakness surprise. He has sensational speed, and while the pace up front is expected to be contested, it’s possible another improved effort on the front-end could be even more beneficial to winning on a sloppy surface.

Stradivari blew away his rivals in his last two races winning by better than 11 and 14 lengths. But of most interest were his Equibase Speed Figures of 91 and then 112 in his last race after a four month layoff. Nyquist had an Equibase Speed Rating of 107, 108 and 108 in his last three races. Hall of Fame rider John Velezquez has the experience that his colt lacks, and if he can’t get right to the lead from the far outside post at the first turn, then he should settle in nicely behind the leaders. The risk is the weather and how Stradivari handles the off track and deals with mud being kicked at him if he’s stalking off the pace.

Many things can happen and factor into a horse race, and even tragedy can strike like it did at the 2006 Preakness when Barbaro shattered his leg at the start of the race ending his racing career and eventually leading to his death. But as the race continued, another lighly-raced 3-year old with just three races to his credit pulled away impressively as a 12-1 shot and won the Preakness by 5-lengths. That newcomer and winner was Bernardini, and this year’s Preakness has a eerily similar feeling with Stradivari looking like a potential surprise winner. 


Is Stradivari The Next Danzing Candy?

All of the news circulating about the 2016 Preakness Stakes revolves around Nyquist for obvious reasons. His biggest threat on paper remains Exaggerator, who came second at a thrilling Kentucky Derby two weeks ago. But a new horse named Stradivari has emerged on the Triple Crown circuit, and he’s a sudden third-favorite heading in to this weekend’s big race.

The Todd Pletcher trainee has been working diligently late in to the first-half of the year, and his numbers have been very impressive. “He’s a horse that we’ve thought a lot of for quite a while, so it was sort of in the back of our minds leading up to the allowance race that hopefully bigger things were to come,” Pletcher said. “We were expecting a good effort but that even exceeded our expectations. Once he did that and came out of it well the Preakness became a consideration.”

Now locked in at the outside post, Stradivari is holding daring 8/1 odds which would almost seem ludicrous if there wasn’t a context for his entry in to the Preakness Stakes. Stradivari has already ran a 1 1/16th mile in 1:48.00 flat, a time that straight up rivals what Nyquist posted at the Florida Derby with a time of 1:49.11.

Beyond that, Stradivari has also been clocked at 1:44.08 during a 1 1/16th mile  in an allowance last December. The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile is stretched over that same distance, and Nyquist won the event last year in a time of 1:43.79.

So the bottom line is that Stradivari has blazing speed. We’ve seen a fresh horse stun the field at another event this season in the form of Danzing Candy, who blistered the San Felipe Stakes ahead of the preferred choices of Mor Spirit and Exaggerator. Danzing Candy posted a brilliant, wire-to-wire lead that saw him flash his competitive fire and cutthroat pace. A similar effort could be within the newcomer to the Triple Crown circuit.

While a straight up win by Nyquist remains the best bet at 3/5, there’s no doubt that Stradivari is sure to garner some interest. I wouldn’t be deterred by his draw of the eleventh gate. If he has the true speed that he’s posted in allowance and maiden races over the past two years, then he’s as legitimate of a threat as any to upset Nyquist’s bid for a Triple Crown.

Let’s not forget that Danzing Candy was a brute in the Kentucky Derby as well, despite falling way short at a muddy Santa Anita Derby that didn’t play to his strengths. Danzing Candy led for much of the derby before being overshot by the eventual four leaders. He would burn out and fall to 15th, but the Churchill Downs classic is the longest race that most of these three-year olds will ever challenge. The slightly shorter Preakness gives Stradivari a chance at an upset even with so much inexperience against a top flight field.

A stunning win would also give Todd Pletcher his first win at the Preakness Stakes.

Don’t fall asleep on this horse just yet.

Preakness Notes and Quotes From Trainers

A Wet and Rainly Preakness Looks Likely and Trainers Chime In

It appears the rain will in fact play a part in Saturday’s 141st running of the Preakness Stakes, but an off track is still no worry for Nyquist’s trainer Doug O’Neil. A better than 90% chance of rain is in the forecast as favorite Nyquist tries to outrun 10 others in the mud, just as American Pharoah did in winning by 7-lengths in the slop in last year’s Preakness.

Following Wednesday’s post draw and odds, trainers provided some additional insight and quotes. Here are some from noted trainers and contenders

#1: Cherry Wine (20-1) – trainer Dale Romans

Romans: “Cherry Wine is one of those horses where he’s probably not the best horse, but he’s opportunistic.  My horse loves the mud. If it comes up rainy and wet, he could run a huge race.”

“My jockey, Corey Lanerie, loves to come up the fence. It’s a good spot with him riding the horse. He never panics; he stays down in there just like I like.”.

#2: Uncle Lino (20-1) – trainer Gary Sherlock

Sherlock:  “I would have rather been outside of Nyquist, but it is what it is. Being inside, he’s (Uncle Lino) probably going to go to the front now. If he’d drawn outside we’d have had a few more choices.”

“I’m hoping Uncle Lino moves forward and that coming back in two weeks takes its toll on the others (that ran in the Kentucky Derby on May 7).”

#3: Nyquist (3-5) – trainer Doug O’Neil

O’Neill:  “I think we’re going to leave there running and just kind of play it by ear. If they’re not showing a lot of pace, we’re going to make it. If it’s hot and heavy, (jockey) Mario (Gutierrez) has shown and Nyquist has shown that they can sit off a hot and heavy pace.”

“If there are two, three speed horses who go, we have the luxury of settling in third or fourth,” O’Neill said. “If they don’t go, we can take it to them.”

“If he continues to train the way he is and he stays injury free and he gets a good, clean trip, we’re just very optimistic he’s going to be tough to beat on Preakness Day,” O’Neill said

#5: Exaggerator (3-1) – trainer Keith Desormeaux

Desormeaux: “[The post position] doesn’t matter. With our running style, it’s inconsequential. [Kent] going to take back or get him to relax right out of the gate, so it really doesn’t matter. Being that Nyquist is speed-oriented, he’ll probably get pressed from the outside, which may make him go a little bit faster. I guess that’s tactically advantageous to us.”

#7: Collected (10-1) – trainer Bob Baffert

Baffert: “It’s a good post. If you have a speed horse, it’s a good post. The break is going to be so important, especially if it’s muddy.”

“He’s fast. He’s won on turf and dirt, which makes him an exceptional horse. The only bad race he had was in the Southwest (G3), where he got away slow.”

#11: Stradivari (8-1) – trainer Todd Pletcher

Pletcher: “You’ve got a good run to the turn so you never feel like anyone’s as concerned with the post positions at the Preakness as they are at the Derby. I’m happy with it. He’s generally a good gate horse and that gives (jockey) Johnny (Velazquez) the ability to break and survey things inside and see where he wants to hopefully position him going into the first turn. I think the most interesting thing is going to be how the track is playing and what the track conditions are like with the forecasted rain.

“He’s got a small body of work but his last two races, in particular his last race at Keeneland, were visually very impressive performances.”

The Preakness broadcast kicks off on Saturday, May 21 on NBCSN at 2:30 pm with undercard stakes races, switching to NBC at 5 pm for the Preakness Stakes, with a post time of 6:45 pm.

Preakness Stakes Draw

2016 Preakness Stakes Draw Revealed

Nyquist has drawn the third post in a field of 11 horses for the 2016 Preakness Stakes, giving him an optimal line at this Saturday’s race. It’s also worth pointing out – since most of you are going to bet on him – that Nyquist is also a 3/5 preference by the oddsmakers. The full Preakness Stakes draw is listed below.

Exaggerator comes in as the second favorite at 3/1 after serving as the runner-up to Nyquist for the second time in his career. The Desormeaux ridden and trained contender also trailed the leading three-year old at the San Vicente Stakes. They have competed four times against one another, and it goes without saying that the undefeated Nyquist has his number.

The relatively unknown Stradivari out of Todd Pletcher’s camp received the outside post in the Preakness Stakes draw, and carries 8/1 odds as the third favorite. Sired by Medaglia d’Oro, Stradivari is 2-0-0 in three allowance races, finishing fourth in his debut as well. It will be curious to see if he can make the most of the outside lane.

Lani leads the longshots after a 9th place finish at the Kentucky Derby. He will be squeezed between Collected in the 7th gate and the previously mentioned Exaggerator. The Kentucky-born and Japanese trained contender is one of four horses carrying 30/1 odds. Awesome Speed, Abiding Star, Fellowship and Laboan also share the same number.

Collected came out of the Preakness Stakes draw with a favorable post and is a standalone outside shot at 10/1 with Cherry Wine and Uncle Lino drawing the inside gates at 20/1.

The 2016 Preakness Stakes will run on Saturday, May 21st. To get your wagering in, head over to our preferred betting partner at Twinspires.com!

2016 Preakness Stakes Draw and Odds

Post Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1 Cherry Wine Corey Lanerie Dale Romans 20-1
2 Uncle Lino Fernando Perez Gary Sherlock 20-1
3 Nyquist Mario Gutierrez Doug O’Neill 3-5
4 Awesome Speed Jevian Toledo Alan Goldberg 30-1
5 Exaggerator Kent Desormeaux Keith Desormeaux 3-1
6 Lani Yutaka Take Mikio Matsunaga 30-1
7 Collected Javier Castellano Bob Baffert 10-1
8 Laoban Florent Geroux Eric Guillot 30-1
9 Abiding Star J.D. Acosta Ned Allar 30-1
10 Fellowship Jose Lezcano Mark Casse 30-1
11 Stradivari John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 8-1
Abiding Star

Abiding Star Gets Preakness Green Light

The 2016 Preakness Stakes is still searching for a probably upset specialist, and one may have just emerged. Abiding Star is on route to Pimlico to take part in the second leg of the Triple Crown on May 19th for race on Saturday. It’s a quick turnaround, but one that was necessary given the circumstance.

An equine quarantine was placed on Parx Racing in Pennsylvania. That restriction has recently been lifted, allowing Abiding Star to run free this coming weekend. It’s great news for a horse that has star potential given his pedigree.

“I felt quite confident that was going to happen, but hey, stranger things have gone on,” trainer Ned Allard regarding the good news. “So often you take chances with horses that haven’t really done anything that special but won one or two races, but this horse has got a lot of confidence in himself. He’s coming off a string of good races, winning races, and I’m sure his confidence level is about as high as it’s going to get. Now you need the talent, never mind the confidence.”

Coincidentally, Abiding Star is a son of Uncle Mo who also sired Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist.

Owned by Stonhedge Racing and trained by Kevin Rice, this three-year old colt enters the Preakness Stakes with a five-race winning streak through the year. He has won the Parx Derby and Private Terms, while also winning a couple allowance and a claiming race. This will be his first appearance in a grade-one stakes challenge.

There’s no telling what he’s capable of, but Abiding Star’s connections are more than willing to role the dice. “If the only horses that ran were (odds of) 8-5, racing would be a little boring. We’re going to take our chances and see if he can face the monsters.”


Preparing For Rain And A Wet Preakness

 Rain Likely for 141st Preakness Stakes

Track officials are preparing for the ‘soaking rain’ that’s in the forecast for Saturday’s 141st running of the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore.

“The setup is one where we could get a pretty decent soaking rain,” said Dan Hofmann, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service‘s Baltimore/Washington forecast office.

Forecasting models suggest at least half an inch or an inch of rain with as much as 2 inches is possible, Hofmann said. High temperatures are forecast near 70 degrees when the horses break from the gate in the Preakness Stakes.

Last year’s Preakness was the first run under sloppy conditions since 1983, and American Pharoah ran sleek across the slop to win going away by 7-lengths.

Kentucky Derby winner and heavy Preakness favorite Nyquist will have to deal with not only tighter turns and traffic, but the potential of rain and mud being kicked in his face should he sit just off the pace of the leaders.

But the wet weather and rain makes second-choice Exaggerator more appealing and one to watch. Jockey Kent Desormeaux returns to Maryland for his 14th Preakness appearance aboard Exaggerator as he shoots for his third Preakness win. Exaggerator ran second to Nyquist in the Kentucky Derby, and will try to beat Nyquist for the first time in five tries.

Recall Desormeaux rode Exaggerator to the most impressive Derby prep win in the slop at the Santa Anita Derby April 9, and also won on an a muddy track in the Delta Downs Jackpot November 21.

There are no refunds issued for inclement weather at the Preakness, and umbrellas are not permitted on the grounds as they can scare the horses. Perhaps Exaggerator or the other contenders will put a scare into undefeated Nyquist Saturday.

Preakness Favorites – Is Nyquist Next Winner

How Have Kentucky Derby Winners Done as Preakness Favorites?

Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist will go off as the heavy favorite at less than even money in Saturday’s 141st running of the Preakness Stakes. A look back since 2000 shows that 12 of the last 16 Derby winners were Preakness favorites. Of those 12 winners, six went on to win the Preakness. Here’s the list.

Year KY Derby Winner Preakness Finish Jockey Trainer
2015 American Pharoah 1 Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert
2014 California Chrome 1 Victor Espinoza Art Sherman
2013 Orb 4 (Oxbow) Joel Rosario Shug McGaughey
2011 Animal Kingdom 2 (Shackleford) John Velazquez Graham Motion
2010 Super Saver 8 (Lookin at Lucky) Calvin Borel Todd Pletcher
2008 Big Brown 1 Kent Desormeaux Richard Dutrow
2007 Street Sense 2 (Curlin) Calvin Borel Carl Nafzger
2006 Barbaro DNF (Bernardini) Edgar Prado Michael Matz
2004 Smarty Jones 1 Stewart Elliott John Servis
2003 Funny Cide 1 Jose Santos Barclay Tagg
2002 War Emblem 1 Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert
2000 Fusaichi Pegasus 2 (Red Bullet) Kent Desormeaux Neil Drysdale


Favorites or shorter-odds horses often come out on top in the Preakness. Lookin at Lucky won in 2010 and was the second choice at 5/2 behind Super Saver who was 2-1. First Dude was on the lead most the way and finished second by less than a length at 24-1. In 2012, I’ll Have Another won the Derby and then was the second-choice at 3-1 in the Preakness, and he prevailed by a neck over runner-up favorite Bedemeister. In 2014 and 2015, both California Chrome and Ameircan Pharoah won as heavy favorites at less than even money, and American Pharoah rolled to a 7-length victory.

In the previous 140 Preakness Stakes, the longest odds horse to win was 1975 when Master Derby won at 23-1.

However, since 2011, a pair of 10-1 shots or longer have won the Preakness. Shackleford was 12-1 when he won in 2011. He ran alongside the leader and edged clear in the lane before digging in deep into the stretch to hold off the hard-charging favorite Animal Kingdom. In 2013, Oxbow went wire-to-wire to win at 15-1 odds and pay $32.80 to win and a $2 exacta paid $301 with 8-1 Itsmyluckyday coming in second.

Awesome Speed, Collected, Laoban and Uncle Lino are the front-running challengers to favorite Nyquist in this year’s Preakness, while closers Cherry Wine, Exaggerator and Fellowship will try to run down Nyquist and the leaders. The status of Gun Runner and Fellowship remain uncertain for the Preakness.

The Preakness is one-half furlong shorter than the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby. A furlong is one-eighth of a mile, so the 1 3/8-mile Preakness is 110 yards shorter than the Kentucky Derby.

Post time for the 141st Preakness Stakes is 5:18 p.m. CDT Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. NBC will televise the race. The field will be set on Wednesday at the post-position draw.

Paul Reddam of Reddam Racing

Reddam Racing Team Always Had a Plan

Nyquist continues to be on track for the 2016 Preakness Stakes, and everyone has their ears to rail when it comes to news about this horse. The draw of the Triple Crown is enough in itself, but Reddam Racing and trainer Doug O’Neill have also taken a curious approach to prepping their Kentucky Derby winner. So far, the plan is working to perfection.

Currently at Pimlico preparing for his eighth race, the undefeated Nyquist is engaging in some light work and galloping. “We’re just doing a lot of maintenance stuff with him,” O’Neill said during a teleconference. “There will be no speed workouts. We’re just trying to keep him healthy and happy. He’s coming back on short rest. The Kentucky Derby is probably the equivalent of three or four workouts.”

The trainer was also quick to highlight Paul Reddam of Reddam Racing for his inspiration as pressure mounts on the connections surrounding Nyquist. “One thing Paul Reddam taught me is never say, ‘See you in the winner’s circle.’ The word I like to use is optimistic,” said O’Neill when asked about the likeliness of a Preakness Stakes victory. “The biggest thing is for Nyquist to get into his stride. I think we’ve got the gate speed to get into the position we need to get the results we want.”

Apparent concerns are aplenty when it comes to running a horse in competitive stakes contests that are just two weeks apart, but O’Neill seems undaunted. “When he runs, he brings it. The fact he’s coming back in the Preakness probably tells you how good he’s doing. If he does run he’s a serious horse to fear again.”

There have been 23 unsuccessful bids for the Triple Crown. Burgoo King (1932) and Bold Venutre (1936) were the first, with both failing to run in the Belmont Stakes due to lameness. I’ll Have Another, who is coincidentally owned by Reddam Racing and a former trainee of Doug O’Neill, is the only other winner of both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes to not participate in the Belmont Stakes.

Nyquist’s handlers have been fairly transparent in how they train Nyquist, and it seems as if he’s well on track to at least make the post on May 21st. Lessons learned from I’ll Have Another have left an obvious impact on the connections.

However, this could all be taken a different way as well. With Nyquist clearly heads and shoulders above the three year old class this year, the Reddam Racing team and O’Neill are intent on capturing the Triple Crown that alluded them five years ago. That’s the goal of everyone who runs in the three legged gauntlet, but having a strategy to get you to the finish line is paramount to the proceedings.

O’Neill and Reddam Racing have had a plan for a half-decade. The only difference this year is that they finally have a horse that can do it.

Nyquist will go off as the favorite at the 2016 Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 21st.