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Crabcakes, Football And…

May 18, 2011
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Wedding Crashers famously taught us that there are just two things that “Maryland Does.” In reality, you can add a third thing to the list already home to crabcakes and football. Of course, I’m referring to Preakness.

Ah, Preakness. The under-appreciated middle child of the Triple Crown. The staging area for any Kentucky Derby-winning horse looking to make history not made since Affirmed in ’78. Sure, there’s plenty else that will be going on at Pimlico on Saturday. Notably, flying cans of beer, Kegasus, and more awkward sunburn than an organic nudist colony. Oh, and there’s going to be a concert of some kind.

However, I’d prefer to discuss the horses. After all, that’s what this thing is supposed to be all about, right?

This one's for all the black-eyed susans.

So, for your ill-informed legal gambling pleasure, here is my take on the field for this, the 136th running of the Preakness Stakes.

    1. Astrology (15-1) – There’s just nothing positive about this horse. Granted, with my success picking the winner of this race, I might as well be taking cues from my horoscope this year. That being said, there’s no chance I’m pinning my hopes of reversing my fortunes to Ms. Cleo here.
    2. Norman Asbjornson (30-1) – This sounds like a fake name. Strangely, it’s actually the name of a successful CEO from Tulsa. I don’t normally recommend naming your horse after an actual person, but if you do, you could do worse than naming it after a winner. My guess is that Norm is going to make some noise during this mile and 3/16.
    3. King Congie (20-1) – There’s a bit of karma riding on this horse, as he is named in memory of someone who died of a rare bone disease. Could there be some magic in gate #3? Maybe. Either way, it’s a sure thing Bob Costas will shed more light on the story at some point before race time.
    4. Flashpoint (20-1) – This horse shares its name with a Canadian police drama about an “elite tactical unit.” It was my understanding that Canada was free of high profile bank robberies and other hostage situations. Hopefully this horse isn’t also built on a foundation of lies.
    5. Shackleford(12-1) – I’ll just come out an say it – if you’re looking to inspire your horse, you’re probably going to want to avoid any imagery typically associated with a medieval dungeon. I’m going to avoid shackling my $2 bet to a loser here. I hope you do, too.
    6. Sway Away (15-1) – One letter away from Stay Away. Might be a sign. This horse is the son of famous 2005 Preakness winner Afleet Alex, who, if he had swayed a little closer to the Maryland mud as he turned for home that May, probably would have gone on to serve a purpose other than fathering thoroughbred race horses.
    7. Midnight Interlude (15-1) – Speaking of babymaking, if mild sexual innuendos are your thing, this is your horse. Even though he didn’t run so well in the first leg of this three-city tour, this is Maddie’s pick. She has a way of picking these things without knowing much about it. So, seeing 7 cross the finish line first would be a classic example of less being more as I’ve put several hours of research into this. Probably a great bet.
    8. Dance City (12-1) – Interesting horse racing fact, Dance City is related to 1952 Preakness winner Native Dancer through both sides of his family tree. While technically, this type of relationship would still be legal for humans, it certainly wouldn’t be recommended. My guess is this horse runs the wrong way at some point.
    9. Mucho Macho Man (6-1) – This horse has a Facebook page! I’m not sure how that translates onto the racetrack, but the power of social media should be enough to get him into the money. However, I’m hesistant since his name is either offensive to our nation’s rising Hispanic population with it’s awkward Spanglish, or the Village People. I’m not sure which.
    10. Dialed In (9-2) – I’d feel better about this if he was actually dialed in. On the other hand, his jockey has a French last name, which feels like something I tend to support for whatever reason. As the Kentucky Derby favorite is back to try his luck in Baltimore, this is your horse if you’re a fan of comeback stories.
    11. Animal Kingdom (2-1; Derby Winner) – Sooner or later we’re going to see another Triple Crown winner. Rooting against that is just plain Un-American. If this horse wins, it will be the equivalent of setting up a Yankees-Red Sox ALCS  for horse racing (which, of course, is like an all Michael Jackson number ones episode of Glee, for you non-baseball fans).
    12. Isn’t He Perfect (30-1) – Let’s be honest, at 30-1, he probably isn’t.
    13. Concealed Identity (30-1) – Lots to like here. Sounds like an alternative title for the first Jason Bourne movie. Any kind of back story including secret CIA training or extensive martial arts expertise will be enough to get me involved here.
    14. Mr. Commons (20-1) – Here’s how they getcha. Find a great horse, stick a nondescript name on him like Average Joe or Some Guy From Accounting, give him middle-of-the-road odds, and place him way on the outside where everybody forgets about him. Classic formula for a spoiler here.
Juan’s Picks
Win – Animal Kingdom – Let’s keep history alive.
Place – Mr. Commons – They’ll never see him coming.

Show – Norman Asbjornson – How can you not look for Stormin’ Norman to finish in the money?

Don’t forget your SPF 100 folks. Looks like it’s going to be a hot one this year.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Emily permalink
    May 19, 2011 8:31 am

    I agree with your 1st pick – but I would challenge you to look more into King Congie – the jockey who rode Animal Kingdom (who was originally supposed to ride Uncle Mo) is riding King Congie. Animal Kingdom will have his original jockey on Saturday – read all about it here: http://californiaexaminer.net/2011/05/12/2011-preakness-stakes-second-tier-of-the-triple-crown/

    Just put a few bets on…Animal Kingdom to place, King Congie to show. Can’t wait to see how it all plays out!

    • May 19, 2011 8:43 am

      Hey, that’s some good research Em. If anything, that might scare me away from Animal Kingdom. I’m not as big of a Disney fan as young Dominic. I’m still sorting it all out, but I’m definitely making a $2 investment in the above trifecta. Just my attempt to, as Steve would say, “pay for college.”

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