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
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:
Which horse will win the Preakness?
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
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?
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
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.
See, horse racing has something for everyone!
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