On May 18th, the second jewel of the famous Triple Crown horse races will take place at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. After the drama that was the Kentucky Derby this year, how will attendance look at the Preakness now that the Triple Crown is off the table? What’s the crowd like? More importantly, what’s the party situation? Which horses are favored and which aren’t racing? We’ll give you a briefing of the 2019 Preakness and how to find cheap tickets (hint, we’ve got them).
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What’s the crowd like at the Preakness? What’s the party like?
When it comes to a horse race, this is what you really want to know. The Kentucky Derby is always a party, but how does The Preakness Stakes compare? Well, if you were concerned it would be all pastels and big hats, you were only partially right. Sitting turfside on the terrace, in the grandstands, or the clubhouse is sure to be a fancy affair with the owners, sponsors, celebs, and big timers all snagging great seats. But as always, there are some crazy fun things happening in the Infield… you know, where the commoners like you and I will be.
Yeah, it certainly looks like a legit music festival that will be taking place at this year’s race. Saturday’s lineup will feature Kygo, Logic, Diplo, Juice Wrld, Fisher, and Frank Walker. Otherwise, you’re welcome to party with the rest of the crowd all over the Infield. Expect a tailgate party in your nice spring clothes alongside cornhole boards, plenty of mint juleps, and Budweiser-sponsored tents with swag. Oh, and if the past is anything to go by, lots of rubber horse masks. In fact, if you don’t pay attention, those might be the only horses you see…
Check here to see what you can and can’t bring to the Infield!
As for the crowd, expect everybody from college kids to young professionals to weekend warriors (shirtless dudes included). This is the rowdier side of The Preakness. You’ve been warned. But whether you just want to chill in the grass with a few drinks or go party and dance at the Infield Fest concerts, you’ve got options!
Tip: No matter the forecast, come prepared for rain just in case… and expect to get muddy.
Which horses are favored to win?
Well, that’s where all this Kentucky Derby drama comes in. Maximum Security, the horse that actually crossed the finish line first on May 4th was disqualified. The stewards ruled that he jumped a puddle and interfered with another horse’s progress, almost knocking off the other rider. That means – in horse racing terminology – that Maximum Security committed a foul and was not eligible to win the race. (The stewards went back and reviewed the footage after two jockeys complained about rough riding.) Country House, the runner-up, was declared the winner of the Kentucky Derby about 22 minutes after the race.
Just FYI, Maximum Security had 9-2 odds to win at the time of the race while Country house had 65-1 odds, the second-longest odds in the history of the race!
Now that the Triple Crown isn’t a possibility for him, Maximum Security’s owner has decided he won’t race in the Preakness. Due to illness, Country House won’t race either, so that means there’s no potential for a 2019 Triple Crown at all. Kind of a bummer. The Derby’s runner-up Code of Honor is also bowing out of the second race. So… who are the other horses favored to win? Here are the current odds for the Preakness Stakes (of course, look for them to change as we approach race time). Several of the horses didn’t race in the Kentucky Derby so they’ll be feeling particularly fresh!
Or you could just do what most of us do and pick your horse based on which has the coolest name…
Odds via CBS Sports on May 7th:
|War of Will||3-1|
What’s the race like at the Preakness?
At only 1 and 13/16th of a mile, the track at the Preakness is a bit shorter than the Kentucky Derby (which is 1 and 1/4 miles). Secretariat holds the record for the fastest time ever achieved at the Preakness at just 1 minute 53 seconds. Don’t blink or you might just miss the race! It starts at 4:30 PM on that Saturday.
With these two major thoroughbred races just two weeks apart, it’s a quick turnaround for the participating horses. That’s why several owners have chosen to hold their horses back – to avoid the burden and stress on their colts. However, this is the first time in 23 years that the Kentucky Derby winner won’t be competing at the Preakness.
No worries, though. The Stronach Group, the folks presenting the Preakness, have said the absence of the Kentucky Derby winner “doesn’t take away from the excitement and thrill of this legendary event. We anticipate an outstanding group of horses who will race in this year’s Preakness Stakes.”
The party will continue regardless. Either way, it’ll still be a heck of a fun day out in Baltimore. Get your tickets now!