The Preakness takes place this afternoon in Baltimore, Maryland. Pimlico generally attracts somewhere near 120,000 fans. But the 140th running of the race follows the worst rioting in Baltimore in decades.
The earlier unrest undermined attendance at Camden Yards. But race organizers admit they have not hired additional security.
“I don’t see any additional concerns,” Jockey Club general manager Sal Sinatra told The Baltimore Sun. “We have the same support staff here that we’ve always had for security. Most of the police officers are outside the facility. None of my bands canceled. All of the horsemen are still coming. I think everything has quieted down.”
American Pharoah–yes, the incorrect spelling is the correct spelling–runs as the clear favorite off a come-from-behind victory at the Kentucky Derby. But his historically slow Fastest Two Minutes in Sports leaves doubters coming into the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Aside from whether American Pharoah can take a step closer to the first Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1977, questions abound about Baltimore. With the city torn apart by violence and the Baltimore Orioles recently playing the first game without spectators in the history of Major League Baseball, the Preakness figures to either further heal the divided city or serve as a platform for protestors.
The odds appear good for one or the other. They appear better for American Pharoah, despite drawing the disadvantageous post #1 for the race.
Here are the post positions and the latest odds:
1. American Pharoah 4-5
2. Dortmund 7-2
3. Mr. Z 20-1
4. Danzig Moon 15-1
5. Time of Verve 30-1
6. Bodhisattva 20-1
7. Divining Rod 12-1
8. Firing Line 4-1