The Grey Seizes the 149th Preakness Stakes

May 19, 2024 at 09:46 am by Danny Brewer

photo courtesy of Churchill Downs

  No, we are not incorrect about the name of the winner of the 149th Preakness Stakes, but instead are simply reiterating the statement this thriving three-year-old made in the second leg of the Triple Crown series.

  Seize The Grey executed a familiar game plan on May 18 in garnering the first grade 1 win of his career. Seizing the lead immediately out of the gate, The Grey led every step of the way in this mile and three sixteenths journey over the Maryland mud. Familiar is used here as it was just a year ago that National Treasure enjoyed virtually the same scenario in a path to the Preakness winner’s circle.

  So how did this play out for the D Wayne Lukas trained colt? Breaking alertly this son of Arrogate made the lead and was able to maintain a front-running position with relatively soft early fractions. Having won the Pat Day Mile just two weeks ago on Kentucky Derby day, Grey ran a relaxing opening quarter in 23.98 seconds and the first half mile in 47.33. Compare that with the Derby fractions, which is a sixteenth of a mile longer mind you, of 22.97 and 46.63 and you see he had an easier time up front than did those that Kentucky king Mystic Dan chased. When we look at the Pat Day Mile when the Grey was stalking 22.12 and 44.59 we understand why he could Seize command early and still have gas in the tank to fend off Mystic Dan and Catching Freedom in the stretch.

  Of course, credit here goes to a colt that has now won two graded stakes races in two weeks and has three wins and a third place finish in five starts this year. But how about his 88-year old trainer? D Wayne Lukas won his first Preakness in 1980 (Codex) and has since saddled five other winners (1985 Tank’s Prospect, 1994, Tabasco Cat, 1995 Timber Country, 1999 Charismatic, 2013 Oxbow) in Pimlico’s signature race before this year. Obviously, “the Coach” as Lukas is often referred, is like his latest winner and is still quick out of the gate.

  Seize The Grey is the hottest three-year-old male in the division right now. Always one to run his horses if they are healthy, look for Lukas to send his Preakness champ to Saratoga for a shortened Belmont Stakes (run at a mile and a quarter this year) in three weeks. Returning $21.60 on a $2 win wager in the Preakness, Seize The Grey now has four wins and three thirds in ten lifetime starts.


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