Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Still Picture Perfect Silver Charm Again Wins Photo Finish in Preakness

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Still Picture Perfect Silver Charm Again Wins Photo Finish in Preakness

Article excerpt

Silver Charm put his head down, dug his heels into the dirt and prepared for the fight of his life, 100 yards or so of bare-knuckle combat among three hard-running horses, all with one goal in mind - to come out on top in Saturday's 122nd running of the Preakness Stakes.

Free House, the leader, was desperate to hold on. Captain Bodgit, flying from third, was hellbent on erasing his one-foot loss in the Kentucky Derby. But Silver Charm, the Kentucky Derby winner, was a little bit tougher, a little bit faster, even a little bit luckier.

The trio crossed the wire inches apart in one of the most dramatic and meaningful finishes in Triple Crown history. The bob of the head and the narrowest of decisions went to a gutsy overachiever named Silver Charm. He scratched and clawed his way to a Preakness win Saturday. In 20 days - June 7 - he will try to do the same with a Triple Crown on the line at the Belmont Stakes. In a race that no witness will forget for a long time, Kentucky Derby winner Silver Charm prevailed in a blanket three-horse finish at Pimlico. He won by a head over Free House, which was just another head in front of Captain Bodgit. Even the fourth-place finisher threw some spice into a race that didn't need any. The untested Touch Gold stumbled badly at the start, lost a ton of ground, and still finished fourth, less than two lengths behind Silver Charm. With a bit more luck, he might have won it all. But the day belonged to Silver Charm before a crowd of 88,594. He became the first Derby winner to repeat in the Preakness since Sunday Silence edged Easy Goer in 1989 and is one victory from becoming racing's first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. "I thought this would be the toughest race, and it was," said Silver Charm's trainer, Bob Baffert. "A mile-and-a-half (in the Belmont) is long, but I know he can do it. . . . I can't think about the Triple Crown. I have to treat it like another race. The Lewises (Silver Charm's owners) can dream in technicolor, but I dream in black and white." Cryp Too, the outclassed front-runner, shot out of the gate and opened up on the field crossing the wire for the first time. …

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