Tomorrow marks the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes at venerable Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore. Like the middle child in a family, the Preakness often gets a bit lost in the hubbub that is horse racing’s Triple Crown. Nevertheless, it’s a hell of a race and always a must-see for even the most novice thoroughbred fans.
As often happens with the Preakness, the winner of the Kentucky Derby is the prohibitive favorite. This year it’s Orb, who took the Run for the Roses by two and a half lengths in the slop at Churchill Downs. Though there’s the chance for scattered showers tomorrow, it’s hard to imagine the track conditions can be any worse than they were in Kentucky a couple weeks back. In any event, Orb is on the rail and currently going off as an even money favorite. Here’s how the rest of the field shakes out…
1) Orb – Even
2) Goldencents – 8-1
3) Titletown Five – 30-1
4) Departing – 6-1
5) Mylute – 5-1
6) Oxbow – 15-1
7) Will Take Charge – 12-1
8) Governor Charlie – 12-1
9) Itsmyluckyday – 10-1
Though I will certainly be betting a few bucks on the Preakness just to keep it interesting, my horse gambling strategies are limited to weird number combos and hunches based on names I find funny. To give you an idea, I bet “50 Shades of Hay” in today’s Black Eyed Susan Stakes. Basically, what I know about speed fractions and dosage indexes you can fit in a thimble. But I have a good friend, “The Knish”, who operates out of Santa Anita and lives and breathes the ponies. He actually bet Orb to win the Derby two full months before the race was run. Needless to say, The Knish has some fairly strong opinions on both Orb and the Preakness.
First of all, The Knish called me immediately after the Derby and declared that Orb was a “serious as a heart attack in you’re a**” threat to win the Triple Crown this year. Yeah, he uses colorful language like that. Anyway, here’s what he had to say about this year’s Preakness …
“I don’t see anyone besting ORB come rain or shine. I’ll take a better look when I get the Form on Friday, but I’d guess the order they’ll be coming in is ORB, MY LUTE, WILL TAKE CHARGE, and DEPARTING. Odds are going to be awful on ORB, but don't streak your panty liner, with a nine horse field you can probably pull off a trifecta box. I’d use the four I mentioned above. Looks like a lot of early speed here, and people generally think the Preakness is a speed race but rarely does a horse wire this race. A hot pace will only help ORB too. Personally I don’t think you should give a monkey’s haircut about the running style, speed, or post positions in terms of the winner here ’cause they're all going to defer to ORB down the stretch and he'll s**t on their faces as thanks .”
So, there you have it race fans, right from the horse lover’s mouth. It’s Orb and a bunch of others battling for place. Happy watching and wagering!