Dic Humphrey Previews the Preakness Stakes
BY: Dic Humphrey
@DicHumphrey on Twitter
The thoroughbred horse racing world turns its eyes to Baltimore and The Preakness Stakes this weekend. The blue-collar eastern seaport town becomes the focus of racing fans, including the casual race fans that pay attention to three races every year. This year’s running will be the 137th Preakness, the shortest of the Triple Crown races.
The Pimlico Race Track is just a few miles north of downtown and the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore, well inside the I-695 Loop that encircles the city. The track is located in an area of urban blight, and the track itself is an outdated, functionally obsolescent facility. There are long straight-aways leading to tight turns.
The well-known brand name drink of the Kentucky Derby is the mint julep, and its Preakness counterpart is the Black Eyed Susan. There are numerous variations, but the current “official” recipe goes like this: Fill a highball glass with shaved ice. Add 1-1/4 ounces of Whiskey and ¾ ounces of Vodka. Next top it off with two ounces of orange juice and three ounces of sweet and sour mix. Stir and garnish with orange slice and cherry. The original recipe contained Cointreau, Rum and Vodka for the alcoholic input, and the garnish included pineapple juice and lime.
As for the actual race itself, Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another drew the number nine post position. He was installed with 5-2 odds on the early betting line, trailing Bodemeister, who finished second in the Derby and is an 8-5 favorite. Bodemeister drew the number seven post position, and is the favorite because of the fast pace he set in the Derby. That speed should play well over the shorter Preakness tract. Bodemeister’s trainer is Bob Baffert, who has already won The Preakness five times. The three and four favorites on the betting line are Went the Day Well and Creative Cause, both at 6-1. There are 11 horses entered. Area trainer Steve Asmussen’s Daddy Nose Best drew the number eight starting position, and has 12-1 odds on the betting line.
Local fans that want to experience the race track on the day of The Preakness again have the option of joining race fans at Lone Star Park, a far superior facility to Pimlico Park. Bar & Book opens at 9:30 AM, the time of Saturday’s first race at Pimlico. The grandstand gates at Lone Star open at 11:30 AM, and the first race on Lone Star’s Saturday’s card is at 1:35. The Preakness Stakes of course will be shown on Lone Star’s JumboTron TV. The estimated post time is 5:18 PM Central.