After all the chaos surrounding this year’s Kentucky Derby — the scratch of Omaha Beach, the torrential rains and muddy track, the near collision between War of Wills and Maximum Security, and the ultimate disqualification of the winner — the lead up to the Preakness has been quiet. The biggest controversy has been about Pimlico itself. The city of Baltimore is seeking to use eminent domain to condemn and confiscate the Preakness, Pimlico, the Woodlawn Vase, MJC, and other related intangible personal and intellectual property as a means of blocking MJC plans to move the Preakness from Pimlico to Laurel Park. The argument is that Pimlico hasn’t been maintained properly (part of the grandstands were condemned) and Laurel Park is close to Baltimore and in better shape.
But, this lawsuit won’t imact tomorrow’s race.
With a field of only 13, and Both Maximum Security and Country House are not running, so that leaves the field open for some of the horses who didn’t get a good trip in the Derby to shine and a few that are coming in fresh.
Here’s an overview of the ones I think have a chance.
Look to War of Will to see what he does with a clear trip. He had a hard pull up to avoid clipping heels with Maximum Security — if he gets a good run, he may redeem himself. Still, he’s starting from the unfavorable #1 post position so he need to break fast and get out front.
Improbable in post position #4 finished fourth in the Derby and hasn’t won a race yet this year. In his favor is jockey, Mike Smith. Maybe it’s not so improbable that he’ll pull it off.
Owendale in post position #5 is rested and has raced well. He ran a strong race in the Lexington, coming from behind. He’s certainly a contender.
Alwaysmining in post position #7 is the home town favorite. He’s won six races at Laurel and if he wins here, he’ll be the first Maryland-bred to win the Preakness since 1983.