BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A big crowd for the Black Eyed Susan Festivities at Pimlico, but people are counting down the hours to the main event–the 138th running of the Preakness.

Mark Viviano reports.

The race is steeped in history. And there are a number of horses and riders who will be racing Saturday to get their names in the history book.

They are the world’s greatest race horses, vying for the world’s most expensive hardware. The famed Woodland Vase, valued in the millions of dollars.

But just one of them has a shot at the sport’s Triple Crown–Kentucky Derby winner Orb.

He needs to follow up his run for the roses with a win at the Preakness, then do it again at the Belmont stakes to become the first Triple Crown winner in 35 years.

“I try to block it out, but obviously, when you’re in this position you would think about it. And of course you get reminded about it quite often, too,” said Orb trainer, Shug McGaughey.

“You do think about it, but you try not to get ahead of yourself,” said Orb co-owner and Baltimore native Stuart Janney. “This is a tough race, and all that goes away if he can’t get this done. And there are lots of reasons why horses don’t win races.”

Among those hoping to defeat Orb and make their own history, jockey Kevin Krigger, who’s riding Goldencents.

A native of the Virgin Islands, he hopes to be the first African-American rider to win the Preakness in 115 years.

No woman has ever won the Preakness. Rosie Napravnik will try to change that when she rides Mylute.

This is a homecoming for Napravnik, who came to Maryland as a young rider and launched her career at Laurel and Pimlico.

“I used to gallop out of that barn right there, which is now the Stakes Barn,” she said. “We didn’t have such a luxurious horse path with all the flowers and everything, but I have so many great memories. To come and ride the Preakness is just, that’s really a dream come true. So, really happy to be here.”

Napravnik is described as feisty. Not just here for the homecoming, but obviously here to upset the favorite, Orb, and write her own name in the history book as the first woman ever to win the Preakness.

Post time is 6:20 p.m. Saturday.


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