Maybe “hate” is too strong of a word, but it fit better in the title than “don’t give a rats ass”. According to a WNST.net survey of their readers (of which over 15,000 responded), only 11% had any interest in the sport of thoroughbred horse racing. Therefore, I write this blog asking you, among the 89%, a simple question, WHY?
Really, I want to know. Unless you’ve actually tried it, your answer cannot be, “I just don’t like (or care for) it”. In order to not like something, you had to have tried it. Like I tell my daughter who refuses to eat the majority vegetables known to mankind, “How can you say I don’t like it, if you refuse to try it?!”.
Well, over 107,000 converged onto Pimlico Race Course on Saturday to enjoy a wonder day of horse racing and musical entertainment, in a responsible way. For all those who poo-poo’d the Preakness Day new beverage policy 3 years ago and vowed never to return… Hasta la vista, baby! Who needs you?! Thank you for never coming back!
The new fans of the Preakness showed up, and they liked it! My college aged son and girlfriend experienced their 1st Preakness and LOVED IT! I’m sure Train, Bruno Mars and a few beverages helped,but they actually saw and bet on a few races other than the Preakness.
I did my handicapping gig in the Preakness Village for MJC and walked through the empty infield at the end of the day to meet them back at the car. Along the way I didn’t see the dozens of abandoned lawn chairs, blankets and under garments like in years past. What I saw was only one person too intoxicated to move beyond the Pimlico grounds surroundings. Most people appeared to be “happy” and not “sh_t-faced”!
Bravo MJC, you got it right and it will only continue to get bigger and better. Maybe you 89% should consider expanding your horizons and plan to attend the 2012 Preakness Day celebration, the ONLY nationwide event that Baltimore & Maryland can call their own.
My 13 race Preakness Day top picks only had two (2) winners, Super Espresso won the 4th race paying $24.20 and Sacred Soul returned $8.60 in the finale (13th). Two for thirteen isn’t such a good batting average, but a $2 WIN ticket on each of my top picks would have netted you a $6.80 profit. Enough to pay for three (3) beers at the Preakness InfieldFEST prior to 11am, but not enough for one beer at an Orioles or Ravens game.
In the Preakness, Dialed In let me and plenty of other bettors down. He was sent off as the 4-1 second choice, but his late rally fell short only good enough for fourth. Below is the complete order of finish. To the right of the horse name is the final odds followed by my predicted finish for each in parentheses.
1st – Shackleford 12-1 (7th)
2nd – Animal Kingdom 2-1 (4th)
3rd – Astrology 15-1 (6th)
4th – Dialed In 4-1 (1st)
5th – Dance City 11-1 (2nd)
6th – Mucho Macho Man 5-1 (5th)
7th – King Congie 21-1 (13th)
8th – Mr. Commons 32-1 (12th)
9th – Isn’t He Perfect 30-1 (14th)
10th – Concealed Identity 25-1 (9th)
11th – Norman Asbjornson 42-1 (8th)
12th – Sway Away 12-1 (3rd)
13th – Midnight Interlude 13-1 (11th)
14th – Flashpoint 16-1 (10th)
For the record, on Saturday my Best Bet pick (#4 – Escort (7-2) in the 6th race) failed to get the lead early and faded from contention, with hitting the board, but my LONGSHOT pick (2nd race #1 – Say Now (17-1)) came through with a big effort, not good enough to win, but SHOWed paying $6.80. Final statistics on both picks for the entire Pimlico meet were…
Best Bet pick scorecard from 29 selections: 11 WIN – 3 PLACE – 6 SHOW.
Longshot pick scorecard from 28 selections: 5 WIN – 5 PLACE – 3 SHOW.
The 136th Preakness Stakes, the 2011 Pimlico Meet and this blog all have something in common… we’re history! The 136th Preakness Stakes will return only in our memories, but the latter two will return at a later date. Live horse racing in Maryland takes a vacation until August, as the Colonial Downs Summer Meet in Virginia will run from June 8th thru July 31st. I too will take a vacation from blog writing on a regular basis. Following the Derby Trail and short Pimlico Meet has become my niche, and will continue to be. For the reminder of the year, I’ll post from time to time, and specifically for the special horse racing events like The Maryland State Fair Timonium Meet, Maryland Million and Breeders’ Cup.
Thank you to all of those who care about thoroughbred horse racing, enjoy reading my “opinions” and commenting. Every year I make new friends and more contacts in the horse racing industry, which solidifies what I’ve known for years. Horse racing is an exciting sport with real superstars, equine and human who don’t think they are above their fans.
Try it, you just might like it!