2014 Preakness Stakes

Preakness 2014 Weather: Latest Forecast for 139th Race at Pimlico Race Course

Preakness Stakes favorite California Chrome heads back to the barn after a morning workout in the rain under exercise rider Willie Delgado at Pimlico Race Course, Friday, May 16, 2014, in Baltimore. The 139th Preakness horse race takes place Saturday. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
Gary Jones/Associated Press
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2014

Will the weather play a role in the second leg of the Triple Crown at the Preakness Stakes this weekend?

That's one of the major questions heading into Saturday evening, as California Chrome looks to dominate the smaller field and head into the Belmont Stakes with a chance at finally ending the Triple Crown drought. Will we have a muddy track this time around, or will the sprinter's delight that is the Preakness offer a fast track?

Let's find out.
 

WherePimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Maryland

When: Saturday, May 17

Post Time: 6:18 p.m. ET

TV: NBC (coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. ET)

Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra

 

Race Information

2014 Preakness Post Positions, Odds and Betting Payout
PostHorseJockeyOdds to Win$2 Payout
1Dynamic ImpactMiguel Mena12-1$26.00
2General a RodJavier Castellano15-1$32.00
3California ChromeVictor Espinoza3-5$3.20
4Ring WeekendAlan Garcia20-1$42.00
5BayernRosie Napravnik10-1$22.00
6Ria AntoniaCalvin Borel30-1$62.00
7Kid CruzJulian Pimentel20-1$42.00
8Social InclusionLuis Contreras5-1$12.00
9Pablo Del MonteJeffrey Sanchez20-1$42.00
10Ride On CurlinJoel Rosario10-1$22.00
Preakness.com

 

Weather

Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

According to Weather.com, the forecast at post time calls for sunny skies, a temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit, zero percent chance of precipitation and wind heading west-by-northwest at seven miles per hour. 

The track should—and let's place extra emphasis on should—be pretty dry by then as well, despite rains hitting much of the East Coast well into Friday morning. The forecast in Baltimore on Friday called for cloudy skies but a low to zero percent chance of precipitation after 1 p.m. ET and into Saturday.

Alex Sosnowski of Accuweather.com has more:

Heavy rain has converged northern Maryland and Pimlico Race Course late this week, ahead of the 2014 Preakness Stakes.

A few hours are needed for the track to dry thoroughly after a heavy rain, according to officials of the Maryland Jockey Club.

The steadiest and heaviest rain fell on the track during Friday morning into the midday. As of 11 a.m. EDT Friday, between 1.50 and 2.00 inches of rain has fallen since midnight in the vicinity of the track at Pimlico.

Friday is Black-Eyed Susan Day at Pimlico. Post time for the filly race is 4:47 p.m. EDT. Occasional light rain may linger from the middle of the afternoon to close to the start of the stakes race late in the day. Whether or not the track has a chance to dry thoroughly following the heavy rainfall is uncertain.

The hope will be that we have clear skies and a dry track on Saturday evening. That remains a probability, though not a guarantee.

In other words, the mudders will be crossing their fingers (or hooves). 

 

One Rainy Wish

Garry Jones/Associated Press

So if the track at Pimlico does remain soggy, which horses benefit?

Prohibitive favorite California Chrome would probably prefer a dry track, even if chrome is generally safe from rusting. The Kentucky Derby winner has excellent top speed and would likely prefer a faster pace at the shorter Pimlico track as opposed to a slower, slushy track that kept the late closers within striking distance.

Still, California Chrome is easily the most talented horse in this field and should be able to overcome any conditions. And while the horse caused concerns with a small throat blister earlier in the week, Sherman Racing Stables said the horse is just fine, via Claire Novak of Blood-Horse Publications:

To be honest, most of the horses in the Preakness are sprinters and horses that like to start strong, so it doesn't appear a sloppy track would particularly benefit any one horse in particular. 

Kid Cruz enjoys coming from behind toward the end of the race, so a muddy track might keep him closer to the field before he makes his move. Ride on Curlin likes to stalk the lead group before kicking in his speed, so he's another that might prefer a sloppy track. 

But in general, there doesn't seem to be a horse in particular that will really be salivating for a muddy track. And the chances of such a track seem pretty low anyway. Expect a fast, exciting race. 

 

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