Scott Garceau: Get Your Preak On
The 3rd Saturday in May is always Special in Baltimore. About 120,00 will get their Preak on at Pimlico for Baltimore’s biggest sporting event of the year.
Thoroughbred racing make not rival the Ravens or Orioles for local sports fans attention but for one day it’s a celebration that should make any Marylander proud. Here are some of the story lines for the 138th Preakness.
Orb — The only one in the 9-horse field that has a shot at the Triple Crown. The Kentucky Derby winner is an even money favorite to win the Preakness. Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey is one of the good guys in the game and is on cloud 9 after winning his first Derby. Shug’s not crazy about being on the rail but the 1-post in a 9 horse race shouldn’t do him in. Northern Baltimore County resident (and Gilman grad) Stuart Janney III is the proud owner.
D. Wayne Lukas — The Hall of Fame trainer has won 5 Preakness Stakes and has 3 of the 9 entries in this Preakness. Lukas won his first Preakness with Codex in 1980 his last with Charismatic in 1999. Will Take Charge (12-1) ran 8th in the Derby but may have had a chance to challenge for the win if not cut off by Verrazano. With a clean trip Saturday he might get there. Lukas has Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens on Oxbow (15-1). He might be better than his 6th place in the Derby. The third horse trained by Lukas is Titletown Five. Lukas is part owner with Hall of Fame Green Bay Packers Paul Hornung and Willie Davis. He’s your long shot at 30-1.
Mylute — Trained by Tom Amoss this 3-year old finished 5th in the Derby and is the 2nd choice on The Morning Line at 5-1. Jockey Rosie Napravnik is the top female jockey in the country and considered among the top
5-10 riders overall. Rosie, who attended Hereford high school, won her first race in Pimlico in 2006. She knows her way around Old Hilltop and will get plenty of support at the betting windows. She has a legit chance to become the first female jockey to ever win the Preakness.
Goldencents — Not many horses who finish 17th at the Derby show up in Baltimore, but trainer Doug O’neill is throwing that one out. So is the track handicapper who made Goldencents the fourth choice at 8-1. O’neill saddled I’ll Have Another to wins in the Derby and Preakness last year. Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino is part owner.
Departing — This new shooter trained by Al Stall Jr. won the Illinois Derby and has 4 wins in 5 races. The third choice on the morning line at 6-1.
Governor Charlie– Bob Baffert has trained 5 Preakness Winners and loves running at Pimlico. Governor Charlie
(12-1) is well rested after winning the Sunland Derby in late March.
Itsmyluckyday (10-1) — It wasn’t his lucky day in Louisville on a sloppy track at the Derby. Better conditions and jockey John Velazquez may change his luck.
Don’t bet the farm on it, but here’s one man’s opinion. I’m pulling for Orb to stay alive for the Triple Crown, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Mylute ruins the party with Departing third. So it’s Mylute followed by Orb then Departing.
Sunshine, big hats, cold drinks, Pit Bull it’s the third Saturday in May and it’s special time in Baltimore. Don’t miss MC Jerry Love judging the morning bikini contest. You’ll hardly notice the ladies, this guy is something!