GarbageTalk: With DeflateGate In Our Rearview Mirror, Let’s Talk The Preakness

I’m so sick of DeflateGate.

But with Senator Reed chiming in and with Teddy Well’s whiny response, saying he “nailed” Brady and bitching about not having Tom’s phone records (if you really “nailed him, why did your report say he maybe, could’a, might have, ummm, probably had “general” knowledge of “inappropriate” conduct …), I’m sure DeflateGate will not die and we’ll be forced to hear about PrettyBoy Brady and his moron fans for the rest of the offseason.  Did I really hear that they are crowdfunding to pay for the suspension?

Putting all that behind us, let’s focus on horse racing!  The Preakness that is!  Where we’ll probably see … Tom Brady again!  UGHH.  Here he is photo-bombing Mike Tyson’s picture.  We just can’t get away from this douche.  He’s like Agent Smith in the Matrix.  He’s everywhere!

Mike Tyson Preakness

Anyway, the Preakness, or, The Run For The Black-Eyed Susans, (called this because of the blanket of yellow flowers placed around the winner’s neck … which are altered to resemble Maryland’s state flower) is the second Jewel of the Triple Crown, run at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.  Last year’s race was won by California Chrome, ridden by none other than Victor Espinoza, the same jockey who this year is riding Baffert’s trophy horse and winner of the 2015 Kentucky Derby, American Pharoah.

Now the Preakness holds a special place in my heart because I’ve been to it before.  In college, friends of mine rented a party bus and drove down from NYC to Pimlico to take part in what’s called the People’s Party, or InfieldFest.  This year’s InfieldFest features Armin Van Buuren and Childish Gambino, along with others.  Van Buuren, one of the world’s best DJ’s, is a progressive trance artist (trance is a genre of electronic dance music developed in Germany for the uninitiated) and his set promises to be awesome.  If you don’t know him, check out his new song, Another You, which is currently his No. 1 track on Spotify.

Preakness Concert

Childish Gambino, Donald Glover to some (he used to appear on NBC’s show Community), is also an accomplished artist.  FYI, Glover believes he is more Eli than Peyton (according to his song “I’m a Winner.”  But check out this song, Freaks and Geeks, for some good ‘ol fashion rap.

Now, if you’ve never been to Pimlico, it’s located in the Park Heights neighborhood of Baltimore … not the best area.  With Baltimore’s recent unrest, I’m sure security will be tight.  No doubt this is NOT going to be, however, like the Orioles game in Camden Yards played behind closed doors … but I question how “normal” it will be.

Usually, the day of the Preakness is a cash cow for residents, who rent out their front lawns as parking spots and sell water, bathroom use, hot dogs, homemade fried chicken etc.  This year will likely be different given residents’ wariness of cops and vice versa, but I hope instead, that the Preakness functions as a healing of sorts for the community, where everyone comes together to make some money, listen to some music, get drunk, and watch some horses race.

Preakness Entrepreneur

Speaking of which, the Preakness field is smaller, less chaotic than the Kentucky Derby, fielding up to 14 horses instead of up to 20, racing a short distance of one and 3/16 miles compared to the Derby.  This year, however, the Preakness will only field eight … that’s right 8 horses.  And, my prediction for the race, is that it’s going to be a dog fight between the three top horses from the Derby: American Pharoah, Firing Line and Dortmond.

While people thought that Competitive Edge would have a chance against these three horses having won an undercard race to the Derby (the Pat Day Mile) handily, his trainer Todd Pletcher has decided not to run him (or Materiality, Carpe Diem or Stanford for that matter) … and thus the smaller field!  Why?

Kentucky Derby - Fox Sports Photo

Kentucky Derby – Fox Sports Photo

Pletcher’s saving his horses for the Belmont Stakes, the third Jewel of the Crown … which I think sucks, and which is a practice that makes it much harder for any horse to win the Triple Crown (all three races).  Another horse, Frosted, who finished fourth and almost overtook Dortmund in the Derby, is also waiting for the Belmont.

So, the safe money is on American Pharoah to take it, as Baffert is 3-0 in the Preakness when his horse wins the Derby.  His past Derby-Preakness winners are Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998) and War Emblem (2002).  But Baffert’s also had two horses win the Preakness after being defeated by the Derby winner (Point given in 2001 and Lookin at Lucky in 2010).  This means Dortmund still has a chance!  And, he is ridden by Martin Garcia who rode Lookin at Lucky in 2010.  Moreover, it seems like Dortmund had “minor cholic” that he got over before the Derby … so I question whether he was really 100% for the race.

Given the above, my guess is that the Trifecta will shake out as follows:

  1. American Pharoah ridden by Espinoza,
  2. Firing Line ridden by Gary Stevens, (a 52-year old with a fake knee who’s won each Jewel of the Triple Crown thrice),
  3. Dortmund ridden by Martin Garcia.

Yup – same order as the Derby.  If I were a bettin’ man though, I’d take more bets and vary the above order a bit to maximize my odds of winning.  Say, Firing Line, Pharoah and Dortmund (1, 2, 3) and Dortmund, Pharoah, Firing Line (1, 2, 3).  Don’t think the other horses have a fightin’ chance unless something goes awry out of the gate.  And as for position in the gate, since there are only 8 horses, I don’t think it much matters.

As for y’all on the infield, remember to pace yourself.  It’s a long day and you don’t want to end up mid-afternoon sitting on a cooler with your buddy’s t-shirt over your head shielding you from the hot mid-May sun while dry-heaving, feeling the thunder of horses beneath your feet meaning you’re missing the big race!  And for the love of god, don’t forget to pick up your winnings!  Not that I’ve been there before.

And for y’all Van Buuren fans, be careful with the 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine … or MDMA … or ecstasy, Molly … whatever y’all kids are call’in it these days.  After all, it is a mid-day concert.  And Armin is limited to a one hour show.  It’s not gonna be like those concerts in the deserts of Cali, from dusk till dawn.

Cheers America!

By John Kirkland

Twitter: @FBGarbageTalk