Rachel Alexandra wins the Preakness Stakes

The only Irish eyes smiling at the Preakness on Saturday were those of Governor Martin O’Malley as NBC's Bob Costas interviewed him at the presentation ceremony.

For Musket Man (3rd) and General Quarters (9th), trained by Thurles native Derek Ryan and second-generation Irish-American Tom McCarthy respectively, another jewel in the triple crown went a begging. 

In the race itself, it was Rachel Alexandra who did her bit for women power when she became the first filly in 85 years to win the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday evening.

In doing so, she also became the first horse to win the race from post position number 13.

Conditions were warm and dry all day Saturday, but drops began to fall just before the jockeys mounted their rides, and the rain was failing as they went to post, though the precipitation arrived too late to change track conditions.

Rachel Alexandra, ridden by Calvin Borel (who won the Kentucky Derby on Mine that Bird but chose to ride the filly for the Preakness) led from almost start to finish and managed to hold off the charge from The Kentucky Derby winner in an exciting finish.

Mine that Bird just could not get on to the rail to charge from the inside like he did two weeks ago, and was forced to go very wide to get through traffic. By the time he was in the final straight, the colt had too much ground to make up.

Despite winning in a convincing fashion, Borel said his horse has a hard time adapting to the course.

"She was struggling a bit, every time I asked here for a bit more she couldn't get into the rhythm like I know she can when she runs in New Orleans on a hard fast track or in Churchill," he told NBC after the race.

"Believe me she is an amazing filly and God know how good she is."