Much is being made of the shrinking Preakness field, but a race with only nine horses has its benefits.
There is the obvious matter of space. There will simply be more room to run. Pacesetters like Goldencents are less likely to get bogged down early like he did at the Kentucky Derby.
This could allow for an even faster pace to be set at Pimlico, which is already considered a fast track. The horse racing world could be in store for blazing speeds from the field.
Speed is always a good thing.
Since Derby winner Orb drew the first post position, there was some concern about his ability to win from the rail.
Tabasco Cat (1994) only Preakness winner from the rail since 1961. #orb— David Grening (@DRFGrening) May 15, 2013
Limiting Orb's chances may be good for some oddsmakers, but it is bad for the big picture. Horse racing needs a Triple Crown winner badly. The popularity that the feat would generate would do wonders for the sport of kings.
Do you want to see Orb win the Triple Crown?
Anyone interested in growing the image of the sport and reaching more fans should be rooting for Orb.
With less horses creating pressure on his right side, he is more likely to overcome his less-than-favorable post position.
In addition to aiding Orb's chances to win and creating a faster pace, smaller fields in a Triple Crown event allows fans to know more about each horse.
Knowing your horse is a good thing.
With just nine thoroughbreds, it is easy for each of their identities to remain fresh in a fan's mind. Horse Twitter accounts like this one helps as well.
Up late, trying to figure out who is snoring in the Stakes Barn. #Preakness— TheGoldencents (@TheGoldencents) May 18, 2013
Who doesn't want to get to know a horse better?
The volume of entrants can be overwhelming for a casual fan, thus most may just focus on the favorites. I've already memorized the names of the nine confirmed horses in the field. By the afternoon, I may have the jockeys' names committed to memory.
The more fans know about horses, the more apt they are to bet on them—even if it's just for the sake of taking chances on a long shot.
In horse racing, betting is always a good thing.
Follow me because I firmly believe nine is enough