One thing's for sure; nobody's gonna mistake this guy for Thor.
I know a lot of people hate this stuff, feel that it's way too tacky and bush league for our hallowed game. Joe Drape writes in the Times:
But for many, however, Kegasus is a vulgar attempt by a desperate Maryland Jockey Club that lost more than $25 million from 2007 to 2009, and needs as much revenue as it can squeeze from the Preakness after taking $5 million from the Maryland State Assembly this April merely to keep its doors open. [NYT]Yeah, what exactly is the problem with that? Everyone knows what the financial situation at the track is. Fact is that this really has little, if anything, to do with racing, marketing it, attracting new fans, any of that. It's all about selling as many $50 infield admission tickets (they were $40 before this week) and $70 MUG club memberships (up from $60) as possible (bigger mugs than last year, and twice as many taps). Most of those people won't be paying any attention to any races other than, perhaps, the Preakness, at all. The racing is obviously not the idea considering that the final musical act, one Bruno Mars (who I won't bother ridiculing since I don't know what he sounds like, though I can pretty much surmise that he sucks), is scheduled to play until 5:30. And there's a full slate of wimpy pop bands throughout the day, a Jaegermeister cornhole tournament (you throw a bottle of Jaeger at the cornhole?), a bikini contest, and volleyball games with women in bikinis so the drunk guys can watch their breasts bob up and down rather than explore the endless possibilities and lucrative potential of the late pick four. No wonder ticket sales are up by 17% from last year.
And even if Kegasus was an attempt to market the sport itself, what's the big deal? Nothing else seems to work. As MJC president Tom Chuckas said: "“We have two aging racetrack facilities and declining revenues....We can’t operate like we have in the past."
And besides, look and listen to this guy, he's a riot, lighten up...
...though I do hope he's getting paid well.
- In actual Preakness news, Animal Kingdom is said by his connections to be doing fabulously, with extremely strong gallops, once over a sloppy track and the other on Tapeta Footing, at the Fair Hill training center. Of course, unlike before the Derby, we don't get the expert and objective workout observers for the Preakness. Where's Mike Welsch? At Calder. So I guess we'll have to take their word for it. Makes sense that he'd be sharp; as I've said, I don't think the Derby was that hard of a race for him; and he should be pretty fresh, having made only three starts this year, two in the eight weeks preceding the Preakness. (The Sheets guys think he's gonna bounce.)
No Nehro, he'll wait for the Belmont after finishing second for the third race in a row. He did however, build on his string of improving Beyers, with a 99. He's not a distance horse by the dosage numbers, with a DI of 4.33.
Midnight Interlude is in after a strong workout. I liked him in the Derby, but not at all here. Not like he was too far back from the slow pace; just 5-6 lengths through the first two calls, and faded steadily from there. On the other hand, the pace was so aberrantly slow, maybe you throw the whole race out and start all over again?