What they're saying about the Preakness

May 14, 2010|By Baltimore Sun reporter

Here's a look at what other media are saying about the 135th running of the Preakness Stakes and Pimlico Race Course:

May 14

• ESPN.com's Pat Forde paints an interesting picture of the Preakness and Pimlico Race Course.

The Preakness and its host track, Pimlico Race Course, are about as classy as a neck tattoo. Don't get me wrong -- it can be a fun event, and a lot of the employees work very hard, and they generally stage a great race. But if you believe the Preakness is a highbrow endeavor, you also believe "Jersey Shore" is on par with the great PBS documentaries.

If the Triple Crown were a cocktail circuit, the Preakness would be the kegger that ends in a fistfight and a visit from the cops. ...

Pimlico is a dump, pure and simple. It relies on a huge Preakness race card and a huge Preakness crowd to keep it afloat all year.

• Daily Racing Form's Steven Crist believes it will be a two-horse race in the Preakness, but he also notes a couple longshots.

If the Preakness were the last leg of a bazillion-dollar pick-something, and for some reason I could only use two horses, I would take Lookin At Lucky and Super Saver in a heartbeat. If I could have two little backups, they would be to a couple of the new shooters in the race -- Caracortado and Yawanna Twist -- rather than to the three other horses emerging from the Derby. Paddy O'Prado had no excuses when a tiring third in the Derby, while Dublin (seventh) and Jackson Bend (12th) have been steadily raced to a combined 11 straight losses without improving on their 2-year-old form.

It's not an inspiring group of newcomers to the second leg of the 2010 Triple Crown: All seven of them lost their last start, leaving Super Saver as the only Preakness entrant who won last time out. Caracortado, however, had excuses in the Santa Anita Derby and is also eligible to move forward returning to dirt for the first time since his career debut.

• Nancy Kercheval of Bloomberg.com writes that the Preakness' permanent home in Maryland eases the pain caused by the Baltimore Colts' departure from the city in 1984.

"The whole situation with the Colts leaving in the middle of the night still resonates with all the citizens," said Tom Chuckas Jr., president and chief operating officer of the Maryland Jockey Club, founded in 1743 and the oldest sports organization in North America.

Moving vans pulled into the Colts' practice facility after dark on March 29, 1984, and hauled the team to Indianapolis. Baltimore woke up heartbroken at the end of a 30-year love affair with a franchise that produced three NFL championships, a romance chronicled in the 1982 movie "Diner."

The Preakness and its more than $40 million in economic benefits for the state will stay, even if Pimlico ceases to exist and the competitors have to run elsewhere in Maryland.

• With a lot of talk about the "Get Your Preak On" marketing slogan, The New York Times' Eric Banks references another promotion for the race from the 1960s.

But if you're a Maryland Jockey Club executive and you've seen attendance drop from more than 112,000 to under 78,000 -- a remarkable dip for any event, particularly one that's an annual happening so closely tied to a city's identity -- you'd probably be a bit less reluctant than usual to roll the dice on a dicey ad campaign.

What did the good old days of pitching the Preakness look like? Here's the radio ditty from around 1968, "The Preakness Song." (The record sleeve sports a picture of the great Damascus wreathed in black-eyed Susans, in 1967.) Think of it as a perfect marriage of Ray Conniff and Ray Kerrison. So kick off your shoes, and as the chorus says, "Join in the fun."

• The Rail bloggers from The New York Times offer their Win-Place-Show predictions for the big race.

• On USAToday.com, Scott Finley picks Lookin At Lucky and Super Saver to finish at the top in the Preakness.

Although Super Saver has risen to the head of the 3-year-old class, a look through the results and past performances for all of the Triple Crown preps reveals the 2010 Classic generation is more evenly matched than most years. Many factors have contributed to them beating each other, but conditions should be ideal Saturday for a truly run race.

Lookin At Lucky is overdue for better racing luck and a clean trip. He has the ability to run down Super Saver in the stretch and complete another 1-2 Preakness finish for Derby starters.

Paddy O'Prado is the pick to complete the trifecta. A newcomer with a good long-shot chance to hit the board is First Dude (20-1), so handicappers with a bigger bankroll might include First Dude and Dublin (10-1) on trifecta and superfecta tickets.

• Philadelphia Daily News columnist Dick Jerardi agrees that Lookin At Lucky is the horse to beat Saturday.

Watching the video confirmed what I saw the first time. Nothing went wrong for Super Saver. Almost nothing went right for Lookin At Lucky.

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