The second jewel
of the Triple Crown
is upon us as the
is just a week away! I’m anxious to see if California Chrome
can win act
two to set up a Belmont Stakes showdown for all the marbles! This week I will
talk about the possible Preakness entries this year and my Preakness experience
from last year. Also, I will begin a discussion on casino gambling versus
playing the ponies.
Right now there looks to be ten hopefuls for the 139th
Preakness Stakes being run next Saturday. Here’s a brief breakdown of the
: Well it’s obvious
that this Kentucky Derby
winner will go for the second jewel of the Triple Crown. Like in the
Derby, I expect a battle for the early lead as many of these horses have that
kind of running style. Then again, the suicidal pace duel I expected in the
Derby just didn’t happen. Regardless, according to Matt Shifman
’s analysis, on or
near the lead is where you want to be in Baltimore and I expect C-Chrome to be
there. C-Chrome really outclasses this field and should win easy.
Ride On Curlin
: This horse really hasn’t had the best of
. He was bumped early in the Arkansas Derby and had a wide post and found
traffic in the Kentucky Derby, yet still finished 7th. Still this horse does
fight hard to the end in all of his races and I’m wondering if the Belmont
would have been a better spot for him. Regardless he will be rolling late and
should get a piece of the board. Also, Joel Rosario
is likely to pick up the
General A Rod
: Here’s another horse which got caught in a
lot of traffic in the Kentucky Derby and ultimately finished 11th. With only
ten expected entries, there will be a little more room for General A Rod to
run. Still, as this horse was a wildcard
pick for me in the Derby, I am not
sure of his chances here in the Preakness. With Joel Rosario likely to get the
mount on Ride On Curlin, JJ Castellano is likely to pick up the mount here.
Fun fact: Derby winners have finished off the board in the Preakness
only nine times
since 1977. Three runners did not race at all in that
Before I go into the new entrants, you need to know that
since 1977, only six horses which skipped the Kentucky Derby have won the
Preakness. They are Codex (1980), Alomas Ruler(1982), Deputed Testamony (1983),
Red Bullet(2000), Bernardini (2006), and Rachel Alexandra (2009 and only the 5th
filly to win the race). So as you can see, it isn’t easy for non-Derby
Rachel wins the Preakness below!
- Bayern: Finished in the money in all four lifetime starts; hasn’t won outside of California.
- Dynamic Impact: Won Illinois Derby by a nose in a good 1:49
- Kid Cruz: Three wins from five starts, perfect two-for-two
- Pablo Del Monte: Pace setter finished third in Bluegrass
Stakes, eligible but didn’t draw into Kentucky Derby.
- Ria Antonia: Filly finished sixth in the Kentucky Oaks.
- Ring Weekend: Won Tampa Bay Derby and finished second in the
- Social Inclusion: Only three lifetimes races, finished 3rd
in the Wood Memorial.
LAST YEAR’S PREAKNESS EXPERIENCE
Last Year’s Preakness was truly an interesting experience
for me. With the media pass
and my unstoppable desire to provide “exclusive”
Horse Racing Nation coverage, in the time before the race I decided to take the red bridge
across the dirt
over to the turf course where they saddle the horses
for the Preakness.
I took some amazing pictures of Kentucky Derby winner Orb,
Preakness riding jockeys, and even some celebrities!
I looked on as the jockeys
were taking their mounts. I even spoke to NBC’s Michelle Beadle for a moment! Everything
was going well and I knew I had to get back to the “right” side of the track in
order to be in the correct area for the race. Only there was one problem. The
grounds crew had taken the red bridge away.
I was stuck on the wrong side.
Then as they lower the rail, a producer-lady from NBC looks
me dead in the eye and says, “DON’T MOVE.” I thought to myself, “Okay, I guess
I’m watching the Preakness from right next to the finish pole…oh and hey there’s
of the NFL’s Ravens!”
Now I thought how cool it would be to watch the Preakness
from the finish pole…however I found that it’s actually not a good spot to
watch the race.
In a flash, the horses all zipped by the first time and I
thought I saw Oxbow in the lead.
Then I turn to watch the video board so that I
could actually see the race. Knowing they were coming down the stretch again, I
positioned myself to capture the video of the horses coming by for the finish. Whoosh.
There they were and then it was over. I had no idea who won (until I looked at
the video board)!
Still, if you find a wide angle shot of the Preakness
finish, I’m just to the right of the “scream guy” holding my iPhone with my
elbow on the rail. Not bad for being in the wrong place at the right time!
START OF A DISCUSSION – CASINOS
I’m just going to toss one out there as this has been on my mind for a while.
Frankly, I don’t understand the appeal of gambling in
casinos. Seriously, the games are designed for you to lose! No wonder states
and race tracks want people to play at the casinos. They generate revenue from
them. Why? Because they take your money!
I guess this is why wagering on horse racing appeals to me so much.
Here are some other reasons:
- - You’re not playing against the house. Rather,
you’re just playing against other people.
- - The house doesn’t care whether or not you win or
lose. They just want you to play.
- - Sure the rake is a little higher in horse racing
versus Vegas sports betting, but the rake is reflected in the final odds and
you have the choice on whether or not to bet on the horses.
- - Horse racing isn’t designed for you to lose like
a casino is.
I asked a couple of friends for their take. I will keep
their identities a secret for now.
“While racetracks can't compete at the same level, most
still charge patrons to park, enter, buy the info required to formulate a
wagering opinion, eat, drink etc. Combine all of that with a higher rake than
craps, back jack, roulette etc, why would I come to a racetrack? Even worse,
racetracks continue to alienate EXISTING customers by raising takeout levels. Tracks
need to come to the very basic core realization that people aren't going to PAY
for the "privilege" to park, enter and sit to make a wager every 30
minutes. Until they can figure out a simple truth that stares them in the face
and do everything possible to ATTRACT new business, the slide will continue.”
“To me, its "short-term investing" versus
"games of luck / chance" AND playing the horses you are playing
against other horseplayers based on the odds whereas the casino odds never
change AND are always in favor of the house (casino).”
I will touch on this more later, but what are your initial