Preakness 2012: 5 Things You Need to Know About Saturday's Race

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 17:  Went the Day Well gets a bath following a workout in preparation for the 137th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 17, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Need a quick primer for the 137th Preakness Stakes?

You've come to the right place.

I may not be able to guide you to the perfect trifecta, but I can give you the salient info that you'll need in order to make sure you've got the proper base of knowledge heading into the race. From some background info to an refresher course on the race's traditions, I've got you covered.

Let's get to it.


Form Often Holds at the Preakness

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 17:  Exercise rider Jonny Garcia takes I'll Have Another over the track in preparation for the 137th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 17, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

If your looking for a Cinderella story that we'll someday watch in the theaters, pick a different race. As Bill Finley of ESPN notes, the Preakness often delivers on pre-race expectations:

It's a race where form holds, there's not much in the way of surprises and the contenders come through. And this one looks more predictable than ever. Looking to nail a $350 exacta? Forget about it. In this Preakness, it's not going to happen.

This is a two-horse race, maybe a three-horse race.

The two horses are I'll Have Another and Bodemeister. The third could be either Went the Day Well or Creative Cause, depending on who you ask.

Don't get cute on your betting slips. The winner will be one of these four horses.


Bob Baffert's Horses Run Well at Pimlico

The trainer has seen five horses—Lookin at Lucky, War Emblem, Point Given, Real Quiet and Silver Charm—win the Preakness.

He has Bodemeister in this race, and a starting position that he loves for the horse at post No. 7. Two of his previous Preakness winners started from post No. 7.

For what it's worth, trainer D. Wayne Lukas, also a five-time Preakness winner, also has a horse in this race. But don't expect Optimizer to win.


Horses with Inside Posts Haven't Had Much Success in Recent Races

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 03:  Trainer Bob Baffert stands outside his stable before a workout in preparation for the 138th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 3, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

In the past 20 years, only two horses have won from the first three posts.

The two most successful opening slots in that time span have been post No. 4, with four Preakness wins, and post No. 7, with five Preakness wins. In fact, post No. 7 has seven Preakness winners in the past 22 races.

And yes, Bodemeister is starting at post No. 7. Starting to see a pattern here?


Will I'll Have Another Actually Have Another at the Preakness?

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 17:  Exercise rider George Alvarez takes Bodemeister over the track in preparation for the 137th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 17, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

While winning the first two legs of the Triple Crown is difficult, it is certainly doable, especially in recent memory. From Chris Korman of the Chicago Tribune:

Four colts have won the first two legs of the Triple Crown in the last 10 years: War Emblem in 2002, Funny Cide in 2003, Smarty Jones in 2004 and Big Brown in 2008. Animal Kingdom came close last year, failing to catch Shackleford down the stretch of the Preakness.

I'll Have Another can pull off the feat. Plus, aren't you glad this fun fact didn't include Bodemeister?

Shoot, I totally ruined it.


Traditions You Better Know About to Impress Your Friends

BALTIMORE - MAY 17: Jockey Kent Desormeaux riding Big Brown crosses the finish line to win the 133rd Preakness Stakes on May 17, 2008 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

The Preakness doesn't bother with mint juleps. Instead, the drink of choice is the Black-Eyed Susan, a mixture of vodka, whiskey, sweet and sour mix and orange juice. Yum.

The trophy is called the Woodlawn Vase. The winning horse is adorned with a blanket of Black-Eyed Susans after the race. The flowers, not the drink. "Maryland, My Maryland" is the traditional song of the race.

For more race traditions, check out the Preakness website.

Oh, and I almost forget about Kegasus, Lord of the InfieldFest.

BALTIMORE - MAY 15:  The Black Eyed Susan cocktail served at the 135th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 15, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

See, horse racing has something for everyone!


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