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May 15, 2012     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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May 15, 2012
 

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[ i +'ii ..... I I+: J r / l00i!i i ;;i ....... ] i i t 00pirit of JEFFERSON and FARMER'S ADVOCATE Sports Maryland native Plank sends Tiger Walk to F'reakness BOBMADISON slr,tsta. . .la.tntethPr: cao:SSslll:tilml ,BTaohdb,GoTigg::Swal k The face that thoroughbred their hair. is a bay of ordinary size . racing wants to present to the Saturday's Pimlico facade will . . and so far, ordinary re- outside world comes to Balti- feature I'll Have Another, the suits. He raced four times at more this weekend. It's the one afternoon where Pimlico -- a little seedy, a lot ne- glected and unresponsive to its patron's wishes -- can worm its way back into the public eye. It's the Preakness Stakes. Mid- die jewel of the Triple Crown series• A possible Triple Crown champion is still on people's minds. Television• Media types from all over the map. The infield with fans congregated there for the only time all year. Pimlico wants the outside world to see the black-eyed Su- sans.., see the classy thorough- breds . . . see the young people careening around in the infield . • . see the things about the race course that simply aren't there on a daily basis• One afternoon a year is about all that is left for Pimlico to show. Once a tangible part of racing, Pimlico has dashed underfoot the Pimlico Special and most of its other once-vibrant stakes rac- es. Seabiscuit and War Admiral haven't been around since the 1930s. "Old Hilltop" is just old. But once a year, the outside world is going to be shown that the corpse is still warm. Here come the best three-year- olds in training. Here comes net- work television. Here comes the fleeting interest of the public. Next Monday, Pimlico will still be cleaning the debris from the infield parties.., and those seated in the recesses of the Kentucky Derby winner. Bob Baffert comes in with Bodemeis- ter. The history Of the Preakness will be shown to anybody that will stop a minute and watch Secretariat or Native Dancer or even Big Brown• Some of those thoroughbreds that trailed I'll Have Another to the finish in Louisville will test him again in the Preakness. Several challengers from tracks away from Churchill Downs will join the oth- ers on the Triple Crown trail. One of those new to the chase will be a "rank outsider' in the minds of most pundits and prog- nosticators. His name is Tiger Walk. And his background shouts "Mary- land, Maryland". He may be the one on Saturday with the longest odds . . . because he is winless in all three of his starts this year and his total earnings are just $90,000• Tiger Walk s owned by Kev- • in Plank. And Kevin Plank is a graduate of the University of Maryland where he majored in business administration. Plank must have absorbed most of the knowledge the school was send- ing his way because he founded Under Armour in 1999 and is al- ready a billionaire. It is Plank who bought the once-celebrated Sagamore Farm in Maryland and has made it vi- brant and meaningful after the home of Native Dancer suffered as much disrepair as the current Pimlico. Sagamore Farm was the pride of owner Alfred G. Vanderbilt, II. And Vanderbilt had more than few thoroughbreds that were al- most as great as his Native Danc- er. The 39-year-old Plank has been able to find synthetic ma- terials that wick sweat from the athletes who are wearing them. It was Maryland's players who first tested his yet-untried prod- uct. His material was lighter in weight and it kept dry in the heat of September college football. Plank didn't charge Maryland for his products. He was look- ing for word-of-mouth endorse- ments. It was a $25,000 advertisement in ESPN Magazine that sparked $1 million in sales for Under Ar- mour. In 2003, the first television commercial for Under Armour tried by Plank featured the saying "we must protect this house". Col- lege teams across the land picked up that message and used it. Plank purchased Sagamore. AP He hired Argentihian Ignacio Correas to be his trainer• The 52-year old comes from a fam- ily that has been training horses since 1876• Millions of Plank's earmngs have been plowed into Saga- more, a farm in Glyndon that now has a six-furlong training track, a 90-stall training barn, and proud buildings that remind many of the ones Vanderbilt had maintained. Tiger Walk was named after a tradition associated with the Au- burn University football team. Auburn bought Under Armour's products. Plank appreciated the school's business. The actual Tiger Walk is tak- en by Auburn's football play- ers on their way to Jordan/Hare Stadium for a Saturday game. The walk moves along Donohue Drive and past Toomer's Corners to the stadium. The fans line the sidewalks and shake hands and shout out "War Eagle", "Beat age two and could win only a maiden special weight race and an optional claiming/al- lowance race. This year, his three tries have resulted in a third in the Withers Stakes, a fourth in the Gotham Stakes, and a fourth in the Wood Memorial. Not much there to favor- ably impress the bettors. Yet he has a Maryland background. And with a much shorter field of entries than was seen in the 20-horse Kentucky Derby, Plank and trainer Correas have pointed for this home-state race. Correas will be putting blinkers on Tiger Walk for the' first time. "He seems to lose interest midway through races and then comes back with a run, so we are going to add blinkers," said the trainer. "He is improving but certainly needs to step up to compete at the highest level. He is going to need to step up to the added distance because his longest race is 1 1/8- miles. But that could play to his favor because he looks like he can run all dayZ The black silks of owner Plank will be on display. His horse may just have the race's longest odds. But even if he goes off at 50-1, his chanc- es of succeeding are much keener than are the chances that the Pimlico Race Course will be brought back to the relevance jt once had. Expensive at yearling auction, Majestic Prince nearly won the 1969 Triple Crown BOB MADISON Spirit Staff Majestic Prince was his name. He only raced 10 times in his two short years on the track. He had cost Frank McMahon a then-re- cord $250,000 when he was auc- tioned as a yearling at Keeneland in 1967. The humans surround- ing "The Prince" were some of racing's most famous names -- trainer Johnny Longden, jockey Bill Hartack, owner McMahon, and breeder Leslie Combs from Spendthrift Farm in Lexington. Johnny Longden had just re- tired from riding. When he left the sport he was the winningest jockey in history. Bill Hartack would eventually win a record five Kentucky Derby's after tear- ing up the pea patch as a teenager at the Charles Town Turf Club in Charles Town. WV. Frank'McMahon and his trusted entourage watched the rhythmic walking action of Majestic Prince. They looked at each other with ap- proving smiles when they saw his huge, well-muscled frame. Right they were when they reckoned he would be very tall and very large (1,125 pounds) by age three. His pedigree was nearly fault- less. He was a son of Raise a Na- tive and his dam was Gay Host- ess. Once-beaten Native Dancer was his grandfather. A little high- er on his family tree were Poly- nesian, Geisha, Nearco, Hyperi- on, and Mahmoud. Majestic Prince might just hypnotize someone seeing him for the first time• His gleam- ing chestnut coat was particular- ly pleasing when he was viewed standing at attention and the sun was full in his face. Johnny Longden and "The Prince" were based in California. With the country's most expensive auction-bought colt in his hands, Longden wasn't about to move in a direction he hadn't thoroughly prepared for probable success. He raced "The Prince" only twice as a two-year-old.., and both those tries were rewarded with wins. Longden picked Hartack to be his rider. When the 1969 racing season was going full throttle in Califor- nia, Longden and McMahon en- tered Majestic Prince in the San Vicente Stakes. And he won to remain unbeaten. The same thing happened in the more robust Santa Anita Derby where "The Prince" ran off to win by more than eight lengths. The California crew packed their necessities and went to Lou- isville for the Kentucky Derby. Waiting for them were stand- outs Arts and Letters, Top Knight, and Dike. Because of the win-laced backgrounds of the top four entries, many own- ers backed away from The Der- by. There were only eight entries in 1969... with Majestic Prince as the unbeaten betting favorite. Both Majestic Prince and the hugely talented Arts and Letters forced their way to the front as the head of the stretch opened to them. Those two were never more than feet apart for those hundreds of yards that comprise the Churchill Downs lane. Majestic Prince would not be beaten. He kept to his very short lead••, and his Ken- tucky Derby victory was told to history as being by "a neck". "Gentleman Johnny" Longden became the first man to win the Kentucky Derby as both a jockey and a trainer. His history-making feat still stands to this day. Paul Mellon's Arts and Letters followed the Triple Crown trail to Baltimore for the Preakness. Ma- jestic Prince was made the betting favorite at Pimlico. He was un- beaten. He had been impressive. After a brief brushing moment just after the start between Ma- jestic Prince and Arts and Letters, those two settled in 10 lengths behind the early leaders. Near the far turn it was "The Prince" mov- ing first and sending the leaders behind him. He had a three-length lead over Arts and Letters as they reached the stretch. Majestic Prince was toward the inside, and Arts and Letters was much farther out and toward the middle of the lane. Majestic Prince's lead shrank. Little by little it was being eaten away by Arts and Letters. But it was never lost. "The Prince" won by a head• On the Sunday morning just after the Preakness, Longden told the media that his horse had been examined and found to have a damaged right front tendon• The trainer said Majestic Prince would be returning to California and rested until a possible fall racing campaign. Owner McMalion -- at first -- confirmed what Longden was saying. He even spouted "We want a Triple Crown not a Crip- pled Crown." There hadn't been a Triple Crown winner in 21 years. The media wanted another one. The newspapers were filled with speculation and they hurled hundreds of questions at McMa- AP Majestic Prince was trained by Hall of Famer Johnny Longden, shown here. Majestic Prince won two legs of the Triple Crown series. hen and Longden. A withering article penned by Sports Illustrated's Whit- ney Tower was headlined "The Prince DuckS the Big One". Pressure came in bundles wrapped in steel bands. McMahon finally changed his mind. He went against the loud advice shouted at him by Longden. And he fmally told his listeners what they wanted to hear: Majestic Prince would go in the Belmont Stakes. Longden was downcast. But his vote had been trumped by the owner• Hartack rode in the Belmont. Arts and Letters was the clear winner of the Belmont, beating "The Prince" by 5 1/2 lengths. Hartack gave his opinion; "The horse was hurting. We never should have run in the Belmont." Said Longden when uncen- sored: "He had a checked liga- ment. When he bore out in the Preakness, that was a warn- ing. We never should have run him in the Belmont." Longden attempted to re- turn "the Prince" to racing in the fall of 1969• He vain- ly tried again to get him ready for racing in 1970• Longden was unsuccessful in his at- tempts. "The Prince" never raced again.., retiring after 10 races that had yielded nine wins. He would sire 33 stakes winners at Spendthrift Farm. In 1988, he was inducted into the U. S. Racing Hall of Fame in Saratoga. Two-thirds of the Triple Crown had been his. An in- jury had compromised him •.. and that fact wasn't lost on bow Johnny Longden and Bill Hartack. Wednesday, May 16, 2012 83 Ashbaugh, Ruiz, two relays help Patriots WESTON-- Even though Buckhannon repeated its 2011 Regional championship at this year's Class AAA, Region II track and field meet, Washington High pushed the Buccaneers and finished second with 110 team points. Buclhannon, also the 2011 state champion, had 138 points. Washington was able to ac- complish wins in four different events. Versatile Nikki Ashbaugh was able to furnish 10 team points with her win the 800. Distance specialist Vivian Ruiz had a win in the 1600. Washington took firsts in both the 4x400 relay (Ashbaugh, Rhonda Rogombe, Destiny Har- rison, and Devyn Hosby) where it recorded a time of 4:09.40 and the 4x800 relay (Ruiz, Rhina'" Murillo, Ashbaugh, and Hard- son) where the Patriots posted-a time of 9:59.56. Jefferson, which f'mished sixth in the team standings with 46.5 points, got its lone win from pole vaulter Kaitlyn Clark, who made her 11-foot clearance enough to best the field. Both Washington and Jeffer- son had a significant number of second-place finishes• For the Patriots, Devyn Hosby was second in the 200, Rogombe was the runner-up in both the high jump (5-feet-4) and the 400 meters, Caysie Irving was the runner-up in the pole vault, and Harrison was second in the 1600 meter run. The Lady Cougars reeled off second-place finishes in three of the four relays held. In the 4x100 relay, Jefferson's foursome (Aaliyah Rice, Mo- nique Canine, Desiree McCar- roll, and Kaitlyn Clark) was the runner-up. Bryanna Doughty, Al- lison Thomas, Selena Renteria, and McCarroll ran for the sec- ond-place 4x200 relay unit. The 4x400 second-place relay had McCarroll, Renteria, Maria Russo, and Doughty as its partic- ipants. Devyn Hosby scored a total of another 12 Washington team points when she was third in both the 100 meters and 400 meters. The Patriots gleaned four fourth-place points each when Ashbaugh finshed in that posi- tion in the 400, Harrison trailed three others at the finish in the 800, and Sara Pifer registered a fourth in the pole vault. Buckhannon repeated its 2011 team title. Washington qualified most of athletes in at least one event for this week's state meet in Charleston. SU football season tickets Shepherd football season tick- ets are now available. Tickets for the five home football games may be purchased through the Univer- sity's bookstore. Upper and lower reserved seating is available. Con- tact the Shepherd University Book- store at (304) 876-5219 or log on to www.shepherdbook.com. The five home games for the 2012 football season are with American International on Sep- tember 8, Concord on Septem- ber 29, West Virginia Wesley- an at Homecoming on October 6, Glenville on November 3 and Fairmont on November 10. " The game versus American Inter- national is Ram Gridiron Club Day (September 8); West Vhgnia Wes- leyan will be Homecoming (Octo- ber 5); Glenville is Hall of Fame Weekend (November 3); and Fair- mont is Senior Day/Military Appre- ciation Day (November 10). i t l i UVE Wednesday May 16-Baltimore at Kansas City-Airtime at 7:42pm SCHEDULE T00ursaav May 17-Baltimore at Kansas City-Airtime at 1:42pm WEP00 ,u.0a, May 17-Sobal, Regional Game- Robert C. Byrd at Musselman-Airtime at 5:00pm Friday May 18-Baltimore at Washington-Airtime at 7:00pm • Saturday May 19-Baltimore at Washington-Airtime at 6.47pm Sunday May 20-Baltimore at Washington-Airtime at 1:07pm Monday May 21-Boston at Baltimore-Airtime at 7:00pm Tuesday May 22-Boston at Baltimore-Airtime at 7:00pm Listen online at WEPM.com.Look us up on facebook at fao:k.com/1340wepm and follow us on twitter @WEPMSporls + -'2 ,Jt .+, =. _ • t . - ,,  - + • + +, . ,_j, i 304-263-9646