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Staying after class

Here is what we have come across during the first two Triple Crown races of 2014.

The stalking style, with winners running just off the lead, continues to prevail in the biggest races.

Our top-horses poll at ESPN.com has been pretty much on the money throughout the spring.

That was not the sound of animals crying out for dinner at the Preakness, that was Lorde singing from the infield.

Form usually holds in Baltimore -- form being defined as horses from the Derby coming back and dominating.

The spat over nose strips suggests that the western owners can't stand the uppity posture of eastern racing and wouldn't mind taking their two trophies home and drinking a beer out of them back at Los Alamitos. It also points out that inconsistent racing rules from state to state is a joke. Imagine different definitions for holding in the NFL. What's that? They already seem to have varying holding rules in the NFL? Then imagine offsides rules varying from site to site.

The favorite and the "All" button were a waste of time at the Preakness.

Horses preparing at eastern tracks for the Triple Crown races have been lousy.

Calvin Borel needs to stop it.

Extreme racing styles, nutty speed or late runs are risky propositions in high-dollar races.

The better the race, the better the favorite.

Firing a jockey is often a great move.

Extreme racing styles, nutty speed or late runs are risky propositions in high-dollar races.

The Triple Crown races continue to swamp the NBA playoffs in the TV ratings. All sports are undervalued in the ratings books, as the most ardent fans are at the events, not in front of a TV. If horse racing fans at the tracks and at the off-track venues could be rated, records would be set.

Two weeks is not enough time between the first two races.

Given the record crowd in Baltimore, featuring young beer drinkers and old geezers into whiskey, and with slot machine junkies helping to fund the sport, horse racing is in good shape.

I can sympathize with anybody needing General a Rod to finish third over the vanishing speed demon in Baltimore, as I could have used such a result myself. It is unsightly when a stopping speed merchant hangs on to beat one of yours by an inch.

To have any credibility in going against the favorite, you have to pick one to beat it.

Horses preparing for the Triple Crown races in the sticks should have stayed there.

The Belmont Stakes is far and away the most difficult race so far, as a legitimate case to win can be made for half a dozen likely starters.

The futures pools are a good place to spend the spring, as California Chrome popped up there as 30-plus-to-1.

Speed figures are no more important than every other number or note, such as post position or weather condition.

The stature of the sport increases with safety.

Experts never go over a rotten prediction in depth.

Victories in short-field prep races mean little.

Even at the game's top level, extended layoffs are difficult to overcome.

Horses with consistently fast last fractions win a lot of turf races.

A "betting race" means just the opposite; it means pure luck is about to prevail.

Cloudy conditions can evidently change a Beyer speed figure.

Females in the Triple Crown game had a rough first two races.

Security cameras should be in every stall.

Horses are wasting their time prepping on fake dirt.

Drifting means you're tired; running in is all right.

Horses rowdy in the gate have no chance and should be backed out to give bettors a chance to bail.

Paying for horse race opinions means you can afford to lose.

Anybody about to play a deep closer in New York should go ahead and throw the money off a bridge.

Nobody sends a text message during a horse race.