Luv Gov Could Surprise at Preakness

Like former governor, colt coming on strong in 2009

How appropriate that the Luv Gov's destiny could be once again be determined by a female with Alexandra in her name.

Get your mind out of the gutter; we're actually talking about Saturday's 12th race at Pimlico Racetrack, where filly Rachel Alexandra will be the Preakness favorite.

Breaking from the fourth gate in the second leg of the Triple Crown will be a horse named Luv Gov.

The horse's owner Marylou Whitney has a stable in upstate New York, so this is obviously a swipe at former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, right?

"It was done out of love. It was not done out of malice, " said John Hendrickson, the president of Marylou Whitney Stables, who coyly added, "We also have a stable in Kentucky, and I think the term was actually coined there first."

Long before the nation knew Spitzer as the Love Guv and Client No. 9 for his $4,000-visits with call girl Ashley Alexandra Dupre, Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton had his own affair with nursing home operator Tina Conner. The drawn-out and highly publicized scandal was enough to steer Patton from running for the U.S. Senate in 2004.

"The last thing we want to do is offend (Spitzer)," Hendrickson said. "We're actually supporters of his. We gave him a lot of money, and he's always been good to us. It's just done out of fun."

If you're actually buying that line, consider that Whitney also owns a horse called Ninth Client ... who once lost a race to a horse named Skipadate ... then was ultimately gelded.

Ninth Client sounds suspiciously like Client No. 9 now doesn't it?

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