Here's a look at what other media are saying about the 135th running of the Preakness Stakes and Pimlico Race Course:
• For ESPN.com, Claire Novak offers a breakdown of what to expect at the Preakness, including thoughts on the race's "Get Your Preak On" slogan.
The lyrics to Elliott's song also became inspiration of sorts for a controversial ad campaign -- as signs and radio spots around the city encouraged potential racegoers to "Get Your Preak On." The campaign, which has been labeled as raunchy, distasteful and inappropriate by members of the local and national media, is working nonetheless. Officials have reported a 25 percent increase in ticket sales, and the campaign's website, GetYourPreakOn.com, is exceeding 32,000 hits per week. For the infield, at least, it looks like it'll be "party on."
• Jay Cronley gives his predictions for the Preakness on ESPN.com, picking Super Saver to continue his Triple Crown dream.
• On The New York Times' The Rail blog, Steve Zorn talks about Frank Stronach's management of racetracks around the country, including Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park, and how it's not good for the horse racing industry.
Stronach's management of these tracks was, to say the least, erratic. He went through managers as if they were disposable tissues. At Gulfstream, long an oasis of leisurely handicapping in the sunshine, with a beautiful, spacious paddock area, Stronach leveled the place and, in its stead, constructed a slot-machine-, bar- and restaurant-filled concrete palace, backing up to a shopping mall, with only 900 seats from which to watch live races.
At Pimlico, though, the second-oldest track in the country, after Saratoga, Stronach did not do much. Year after year, the outdated grandstand continues to crumble, the barns continue to deteriorate, and the notion that racing could ever be fun seems almost incomprehensible.
• The New York Times' Melissa Hoppert discusses the changes to the Preakness infield scene and the expectations for a larger crowd than last year.
"People are talking about it -- there's a definite buzz," [Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas] said. "It's helped keep the Preakness and Maryland racing in the public eye."
In 1999, the Preakness revelry came to head when a fan ran onto the track and tried to punch a horse during an early race. Then the advent of YouTube made the spectacle increasingly hard to ignore. But last year the crowd was sparse, leaving huge pockets of grass unoccupied as hordes of security guards stood watch. Arrests and medical calls were down, according to Chuckas, and Mike Gathagan, vice president of communications for the Jockey Club, said after the race that the staff did not have to clean any debris (particularly beer cans) off the turf.
Based on sales so far, Chuckas estimates crowds closer to 2008, when about 40,000 of the 112,222 in attendance were in the infield. "We'll probably be in the 30,000 range, plus or minus," he said.
• Vic Ziegel of the New York Daily News says this Preakness isn't going to garner a lot of attention, but the public should keep an eye on D. Wayne Lukas' quest for his sixth win in the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
That doesn't mean anyone's in a hurry to get here. Yesterday morning, the only horses on the grounds were Northern Giant and Dublin. Between them they have won three of their 18 races. (Are they longshots? You could say that.) But beware of their trainer, Wayne Lukas. The 74-year-old Lukas has started 32 in the Preakness and won five. Nothing in this century.
He was asked yesterday, but not for the first time, if he plans to retire anytime soon. He pointed to his stable pony before answering, "I think I'll just ride that big horse there, fall off, have them harrow me under and that'll be it."
Lukas is that rare trainer who can lose races and still tolerate our searing questions. Dublin was in the hunt at Churchill Downs until he needed a heart transplant for the final furlong. He finished seventh. Northern Giant's last start was the Arkansas Derby, six weeks ago, a last-place finish. He broke his maiden in his sixth start, his only win, three months ago. Is Lukas asking too much of him? You ask him.
• Hal Lundgren of the Houston Chronicle profiles Jerry Crawford, one of the owners of Preakness entrant Paddy O'Prado, including thoughts on the horse's chances in the race.
He risked $105,000 on Paddy O'Prado.
"We were looking for colts that could run Kentucky Derby distance (1 1/4 miles)," he said. "Most thoroughbreds are not bred to race that far."
The Preakness is 110 yards shorter than the Derby. Paddy O'Prado has enough early gas to take the lead and enough stamina to hold it.
• The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger's Jerry Izenberg shares his thoughts on former Pimlico general manager Chick Lang, known by many as Mr. Preakness, who died March 18 at age 83.