What to expect, weather-wise, at Preakness 2016
Heavy rain is in the forecast Saturday. Here's what to expect if you are heading to the 141st Preakness Stakes, or were otherwise hoping to spend some time outside this weekend:
Go Maggie Go didn't garner much of the hype going into the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, but Dale Romans knew the 3-year-old filly was worthy.
She proved him correct, starting fast and leading from the final stretch in Friday's marquee race at Pimlico Race Course.
After Go Maggie Go's slow start resulted in a fourth-place finish at Kentucky Oaks on May 6, Romans wanted her to break well from the gate Friday, and that she did. On just two weeks' rest, she won the 1 1/8-mile race by 2 ½ lengths in just her fifth career start.
"This is a different filly," Romans said. "I knew she was special. I knew she could handle it. She's just a big, massive filly that needs some run. She got a late start in life. The more racing, the better. She's one who'll let you do things wrong, and she'll make 'em right."
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ANALYSIS: Double Whammy class-dropped low enough last time that he certainly should have won. Instead he disappointed as a heavy favorite. No obvious excuses in that one, but this field is weak enough that he may still be the best of the bunch. Golden Rings is the best of several up-and-comer types in this one. He has been all over the class spectrum, and hit rock bottom at $5K claiming two races back. But he won his last race by nine lengths and a similar effort Saturday could be enough.
FOR VALUE: Homeboykris won two races back in similar company. He’s a seasoned veteran, stretching out a bit, but against a soft field he could be a part of it.
WHAT TO BET: Bet Double Whammy to win. Wheel Double Whammy over Golden Rings, Homeboykris, Start Jumping, and Steve Came Through in exacta and trifecta wagers.
More Preakness picks and betting tips >>
The road closures this weekend are as follows:
Saturday, 5 a.m. – 5 p.m.
• Lane closure next to the median along eastbound W. Northern Parkway from Park Heights to Greenspring Avenues for emergency vehicle use only
Saturday, 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.
• Southbound Jones Falls Expressway exit ramp to eastbound W. Northern Parkway will be closed. Motorists will be redirected to the Cold Spring Lane exits.
• Cylburn Avenue – Closed from W. Northern Parkway to Greenspring Avenue
Saturday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
• Hayward Avenue – One way eastbound from Park Heights to Winner Avenues
Saturday, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
• Southbound Jones Falls Expressway exit ramp to westbound Northern Parkway will be closed. Motorists will be redirected to the Cold Spring Lane exits.
• Northbound Jones Falls Expressway exit ramp to westbound Northern Parkway will be closed.
• Pimlico Road – Closed from W. Northern Parkway to Ken Oak Avenue
• Pimlico Road – One way eastbound from Pimlico Road to Greenspring Avenue
• Westbound Northern Parkway – Closed from Falls Road to Greenspring Avenue
The transportation department asked Preakness attendees to be mindful of pedestrians and carpool if possible. Traffic is likely to be slow in the area throughout the weekend, and drivers are asked to park in commercial lots, as neighborhood parking restrictions will be strictly enforced.
Now that the heir to Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Affirmed is out to stud on a farm in Kentucky, a new question has dominated the run-up to Saturday's 141st Preakness at Pimlico Race Course: Could we see two in a row?
The 2016 Preakness may be Baltimore's most festive day of every year, and it's hard to imagine not having a good time (unless, of course, you bet heavily and your horse finishes out of the money), but take it from those who have been there — even the best time can be made better with a little planning.
Here are a handful of Preakness vets, offering their suggestions on enjoying your visit to Old Hilltop >>
Preakness handicapper Gabby Gaudet gives first-time gamblers expert horse betting advice and what to look for when choosing a horse to bet on.
Doc Walther, 53, doesn't hunt, but he was decked out in waterproof camouflage for Preakness Day.
"We've got great seats on the apron [of the Grandstand] and I wanted to be able to enjoy them," he said.
The Westminster man and his wife, Kathy, have been coming to Pimlico for about 20 years, and they bets on the races throughout the day.
"I like to contribute," he said.
-- Colin Campbell
Maria Suarez's boyfriend was a jockey, which inspired an interest in horse racing -- though she has to do some more research before deciding on who to bet on, she said. It's the 45-year-old's second time at the Preakness.
"I am so new to this world," added Cristina Morales, 35, pictured at right.
For farmers Jeff Foy and Brian McCarthy of Saskatchewan, Canada, today's Preakness is a bucket-list item 40 years in the making.
Forty years ago they walked into a bar in Moosamin, Saskatchewan where they caught the Kentucky Derby on TV. They promised each other then and there someday they'd make it to the US to watch it in person.
Last year they finally made it to Kentucky, along with their spouses. This year they're here in Pimlico for Preakness. Next year they plan to make it to the Belmont Stakes.
In photo pictured left to right Sharon McCarthy, Pam Foy, Jeff Foy and Brian McCarthy.
-- Christina Tkacik
Donning an Orioles collar, Nova, a Department of Homeland Security explosives detection dog, roamed the betting area.
The 8-year-old black labrador specializes in personnel-borne explosives, following people to pick up any scent that could indicate a bomb.
This year is Nova's fourth and final Preakness before he retires from a seven-year career, according to his partner, Lou, a law-enforcement agent who declined to give his last name.
"He's getting promoted to couch potato," Lou said.
-- Colin Campbell
Here's P, who didn't want to divulge his age, his full name, or his betting strategy at the 2016 Preakness. But he did want to talk. Sipping a beer and boasting of a jealous Italian wife back at home, he held a scratched up paper with his bets placed on top of a newspaper.
Gesturing to the board he said, "I don't trust nobody and I still think that some jockeys help other jockeys."
In such an instance strategy is necessary. He says its won him big just last week. But "At my age I don't go to the races much anymore...."
-- Christina Tkacik