Friday, May 20, 2011

Chasing the Crown: Round 2

The 136th running of the Preakness is tomorrow. This is probably the sixth biggest day of the year in Maryland behind the first Ravens game, the first Redskins game, the first Maryland Terps football game, the first Maryland Terps basketball game, and the first day you can get crabs (the food, not the venereal disease).

Although I live relatively close to Pimlico, I've never actually attended a Preakness. To be honest, I'm not an infield kinda girl. I like more refined things in horse race a seat...and a toilet. And not having to avoid a mixture of bodily fluids and drunken debauchery.

Despite that, I love the Preakness as a race. Truth be told, the race itself appeals to me moreso than the Derby. I guess it's because I now have a horse to root for based on something deeper than it's name or the silk colors of the jockey.

That said, it's relatively easy to guess that I'm pulling for Animal Kingdom. And at a 2-1 odds favorite, I guess I'm not the only one.

Someone's a Jersey Shore fan...fist pump!

Two things that intrigue me about this horse and this race are his post position and jockey. Animal Kingdom will take the 11th post in the full field of 14. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that's a good place for the young colt to be. He drew the 16th post in the field of 19 for the Derby, so his position will be similar.

The colt will also be ridden again under John Velazquez instead of original Derby jockey Robby Albarado. Poor Albarado...he's learned his lesson not to get kicked in the nose two days before the biggest horse race in America. But you know what they say...break your beak, lose your seat (or something like that). While I think that having the same jockey and mount combination for each race in the Triple Crown is key (yes, STILL bitter that Calvin Borel chose to ride Rachel Alexandra over Mine that Bird two years ago), I suspect Albarado will be out for revenge aboard his mount King Congie.
I'm taking down that damn Velazquez if I have to get on a stool and punch him in the face

Anyway, I think Animal Kingdom is in it to win it, but who else? According to a Preakness Analysis, horses who haven't raced in the Derby usually don't win the Preakness, so that would leave out 10 of the 14 in the field. Good news for the front runner...he apparently has a one in four chance of winning! Ok, so clearly that's not realistic. Here's who I DO think stands the best chance to take the upset:

  • Mucho Macho Man- finished 3rd in the Derby and is a favorite with the crowd....and the The Village People.

  • Midnight Interlude- faded late to finish 16th in the Derby but has the preferred running style that favors the shorter distance of the Preakness. Plus, I love Bob Baffert, who was quoted as saying his horse would definitely improve his finish position....seeing as he's only racing in a field of 14 (cymbal crash!).
  • King Congie- the horse, being ridden by snubbed Albarado, is a 20-1 longshot and has never won on a dirt track. Wow, that sounds vaguely familiar to another horse....King Congie is possibly the next Animal Kingdom. Just like Project Runway, one day you're in and the next day you're out!
So yeah, I don't know who will win. I'm guessing it won't be Norman Asbjornson (bless his poor long, weird named heart). I'm hoping it will Animal Kingdom. Cause I want a Triple Crown winner. America wants one. Do it for America, Animal Kingdom. Or Robby Albarado's horse will kick you in the face.

Thanks to for the images.


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