Monday, May 16, 2011

Preakness being overlooked somehow

The Kentucky Derby is horse racing's version of the Super Bowl, that's very clear.

But the Preakness Stakes shouldn't be the sports version of some preseason game between Jacksonville and Arizona.

For good fans of thoroughbred racing, the third Saturday in May might not have the same allure as the Run for the Roses, but the Preakness deserves a little more buzz. Especially this year when you think about the horses going to Baltimore, including THE horse to beat in Derby winner Animal Kingdom.

A full field of 14 is expected at Pimlico on May 21 for the Preakness, headlined by favorite Animal Kingdom, who impressed everyone with his big score in the Kentucky Derby on May 7. There are some quality horses in the field, including other Derby runners like Nehro, Mucho Macho Man, Dialed In and Shackleford, but Animal Kingdom has a lot going for him and could get to the Belmont in June with a shot at the Triple Crown.

Nobody is expecting the same buzz that led to 160,000 people showing up at Churchill a week or so ago, but don't forget this race is huge as well.

I'm excited with five days left until the Preakness, but that shouldn't surprise the people that know me well.

I just hope other horse racing fans - and general sports fans - give this second jewel of the Triple Crown more than just a passing glance.

- Bill Tilton/


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