We head into Preakness Day like we always do - with only one horse with the ability to bring home a Triple Crown. Some of the usual suspects come with the Derby King to take another crack at him and they join up with a few that have been waiting in the wings for Black-Eyed Susans rather than roses.
Sometimes the Derby King succeeds and goes on to New York with America in tow, waiting to see if the drought is broken and the country's thirst for a Triple Crown winner is quenched. It hasn't been for 37 years.
Maybe this year will be different; maybe it won’t, but for any chance of it happening at all American Pharaoh has to win in Baltimore. I’m not sure how he can fail.
Admittedly I got too cute in the Derby. Around our house most conversations Heather and I had handicapping the Derby ended up with “maybe American Pharaoh is just the best horse?” He was and I was wrong. I had him in the mix but in the big field, anything can happen, two-minute world of the Derby it was worth going for the price. In Baltimore it’s all about the win.
I know it’s trendy to look at Firing Line improving or Diving Rod coming in for the Jacksons in their return to the Preakness, but with his owner and the likes of D. Wayne Lukas saying that the horse won in Louisville despite not being at his best and a field half the size he had to contend with in the Derby, I’m going with American Pharaoh, odds be damned.
(Follow this and other picks from a myriad of horse racing folks on the Preakness Day stakes at Hello Race Fans.)