The Preakness second leg of the American Triple Crown, saw Curlin (by Smart Strike) turn the tables on Street Sense (by Street Cry), his Kentucky Derby nemesis of just a fortnight earlier. Going into the Kentucky Derby, Preakness hero, Curlin was hitherto unbeaten and Street Sense spoiled his party on that occasion. However, Curlin turned it over this last weekend, on a track which obviously suited him, and at a time at which his Kentucky Derby experience had obviously counted.

The Thoroughbred Daily News reports
(Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News 20 May 2007)

The top three finishers from the GI Kentucky Derby completed the trifecta once again in yesterday’s GI Preakness S., but this time it was Curlin (Smart Strike) who came out on top by a head over Derby hero Street Sense (Street Cry {Ire}). The final time of 1:53.46 tied the stakes record. “He stumbled pretty bad leaving the gates,” jockey Robby Albarado said. “My whole focus today was getting him away from the gates in order. I kept focusing on that, making sure he is wound up well enough and he stumbled. Obviously, I had to go to plan B. I had to use him a little more than I needed to under the wire the first time, keeping him in contention. But I was always content where I was. I kept my horns spun and awaited the champ to come on by any time.”

Saturday, Pimlico
, $1,000,000, PIM, 5-19, 3yo, 1 3/16m, 1:53 2/5, ft.
1—CURLIN, 126, c, 3, by Smart Strike
1st Dam: Sherriff’s Deputy, by Deputy Minister
2nd Dam: Barbarika, by Bates Motel
3rd Dam: War Exchange, by Wise Exchange
($57,000 yrl ‘05 KEESEP). O-Stonestreet Stables, Padua Stables, George Bolton & Midnight Cry Stables; B-Fares Farm Inc (KY); T-Steven M Asmussen; J-Robby Albarado; $600,000. Lifetime Record: 5-4-0-1, $1,602,800.
2—Street Sense, 126, c, 3, Street Cry (Ire)—Bedazzle, by Dixieland Band. O/B-James Tafel (KY); T-Carl A Nafzger; $200,000.
3—Hard Spun, 126, c, 3, Danzig—Turkish Tryst, by Turkoman. O-Fox Hill Farms Inc; B- Michael Moran & Brushwood Stable (PA); T-J Larry Jones; $110,000.
Margins: HD, 4, 1HF. Odds: 3.40, 1.30, 4.10. Also Ran: C P West, Circular Quay, King of the Roxy, Mint Slewlep, Xchanger, Flying First Class.

How the Race Was Won…

Curlin was taken back early after stumbling slightly at the start. Longshots Xchanger (Exchange Rate) and Flying First Class (Perfect Mandate) exchanged blows through :22.83 and :45.75 splits, before Hard Spun (Danzig) catapulted himself to the lead midway up the backstretch. Curlin and Street Sense both began to rally from the back of the pack entering the far turn, and it was the two-year-old champ who threaded the needle beneath Calvin Borel to take over from Hard Spun at the top of the lane. The Jim Tafel colorbearer led by 1 ½ lengths at the furlong marker, but a determined Curlin kept on battling and was able to grind down the Derby hero to win by the narrowest of margins.