Triple Crown: The Middle Child

Next to the failure of last year’s rapture I have to say the discovery of a new Mayan calendar that doesn’t end December 21, 2012 is nearly the most disappointing development so far this year as I once again have to try and find something interesting to say about Pimlico.

Preakness Trivia

  • Actually 2 years older than the Kentucky Derby.
  • Shortest in distance (1/16th shorter than the Derby).
  • Only the Derby has a larger attendance.
  • No Black Eyed Susan has ever been used, currently it’s painted Chysthanthemums.

There have been 33 winners of both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes including the 11 Triple Crown winners.

Preakness Traditions

Winners don’t get the real Woodlawn Cup to keep, but a half size replica (oh, and the Woodlawn Racing Club is defunct).  Black Eyed Susans don’t bloom until 2 months after the Preakness.  The Old Clubhouse was destroyed in a fire in 1966.  They paint the winner’s racing silks on the weathervane.  No one on the internet knows why it’s called the Alibi Breakfast.

Official Website

The shortness is one reason Bodemeister is the pick of some handicappers.

As so often happens in my coverage of the odd and bizarre world of sports there is some actual interaction with what I like to call reality to report.

2012 Preakness Stakes: I’ll Have Another trainer Doug O’Neill enjoying the spotlight

By Liz Clarke, Washington Post

Published: May 18

The forecast for the 137th running of the Preakness Stakes calls for clear, sunny skies. But there’s a cloud hanging over O’Neill that could result in a 180-day suspension and $15,000 fine as a result of a failed test for elevated levels of carbon dioxide in one of his horses.

It was O’Neill’s fourth such failed test since 2006, and a ruling could come next week, when the California Horse Racing Board meets behind closed doors (though no penalty would take effect until after June’s Belmont Stakes).

It’s difficult to imagine a more dissonant note – the apparent pattern of rules-breaking clashing sharply with O’Neill’s easy warmth and charisma.

O’Neill has professed his innocence and filed suit over the most recent failed test, which suggests the banned practice known as “milkshaking,” in which a mixture of bicarbonate of soda, sugar and electrolytes are pumped into a horse’s nostrils to delay the sensation of fatigue and, in turn, boost performance down the stretch.

“Milkshaking” – or bicarbonate loading, in more sophisticated terms – gives racehorses an extra buffer against the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles, which causes the sensation of fatigue, according to Rick M. Arthur, equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board.

It poses little, if any, danger to the horse, Arthur added – assuming the mixture doesn’t seep into a horse’s lungs or isn’t administered in exceedingly high dosages.

But it is banned because it creates an unfair advantage.

And besides, you can’t believe anything you read at the Daily Kaplan anyway.

I need a drink-

Black Eyed Susan Recipe

(Official, but without the brand names)


  • 1 1/4 oz. Bourbon (20% of Early Times is aged in used barrels)
  • 3/4 oz. Vodka
  • 3 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix
  • 2 oz. Orange Juice


Fill a highball glass with shaved ice, add the liquors first, then top off with orange juice and sweet and sour mix. Stir and garnish with an orange slice, cherry, and stirrer.

Post time 6:05 pm ET, coverage starts at 4:30 pm on NBC.


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  1. 11 horses in the field.

  2. Never have been.

  3. At least they’re covering it.

  4. Coverage of the failed breathalyzer.

  5. Some under the Grandstand.

  6. The despot’s heel is on thy shore,


    His torch is at thy temple door,


    Avenge the patriotic gore

    That flecked the streets of Baltimore,

    And be the battle queen of yore,

    Maryland! My Maryland!

    Hark to an exiled son’s appeal,


    My mother State! to thee I kneel,


    For life and death, for woe and weal,

    Thy peerless chivalry reveal,

    And gird thy beauteous limbs with steel,

    Maryland! My Maryland!

    Thou wilt not cower in the dust,


    Thy beaming sword shall never rust,


    Remember Carroll’s sacred trust,

    Remember Howard’s warlike thrust,-

    And all thy slumberers with the just,

    Maryland! My Maryland!

    Come! ’tis the red dawn of the day,


    Come with thy panoplied array,


    With Ringgold’s spirit for the fray,

    With Watson’s blood at Monterey,

    With fearless Lowe and dashing May,

    Maryland! My Maryland!

    Come! for thy shield is bright and strong,


    Come! for thy dalliance does thee wrong,


    Come to thine own anointed throng,

    Stalking with Liberty along,

    And chaunt thy dauntless slogan song,

    Maryland! My Maryland!

    Dear Mother! burst the tyrant’s chain,


    Virginia should not call in vain,


    She meets her sisters on the plain-

    “Sic semper!” ’tis the proud refrain

    That baffles minions back amain,

    Arise in majesty again,

    Maryland! My Maryland!

    I see the blush upon thy cheek,


    For thou wast ever bravely meek,


    But lo! there surges forth a shriek,

    From hill to hill, from creek to creek-

    Potomac calls to Chesapeake,

    Maryland! My Maryland!

    Thou wilt not yield the Vandal toll,


    Thou wilt not crook to his control,


    Better the fire upon thee roll,

    Better the blade, the shot, the bowl,

    Than crucifixion of the soul,

    Maryland! My Maryland!

    I hear the distant thunder-hum,


    The Old Line’s bugle, fife, and drum,


    She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb-

    Huzza! she spurns the Northern scum!

    She breathes! she burns! she’ll come! she’ll come!

    Maryland! My Maryland!

  7. Bodemeister.

  8. the Woodlawn Cup is considered the most valuable trophy.

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