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The Big Pimlico / Preakness Myth
The good news is, we hear it during the two weeks between the Kentucky Derby and Preakness more infrequently with each passing year. The bad news is, we still hear it. Of course, we’re talking about:
Pimlico is a tight-turned, speed-favoring race track.
I’m not quite sure where this ridiculousness started. In my time as a racing fan – the first Preakness I was aware of was in 1968; Dancer’s Image, who finished first in that year’s Kentucky Derby and third in that Preakness, was owned by Boston sportsman Peter Fuller, and I grew up in the immediate Boston area – I know of only one Preakness that was truly affected by a speed bias. That was the 1982 Preakness, which was run at a point in time when everything that went to the lead at Pimlico won. In that Preakness, Aloma’s Ruler went to the lead, capitalized on the profound, but, in the grand scheme of things, temporary, track bias, and turned back the odds-on Linkage.
I know why this stuff is perpetuated. Some think – very incorrectly – that saying this makes them look smart.
Anyway, this myth should have been vanquished once and for all when, a few years ago, the network that was televising the Preakness at the time took an overhead photo of Pimlico and superimposed it on an overhead photo of Churchill Downs. The result proved to everyone with eyes that Pimlico is most definitely NOT a tight-turned track. In fact, the turns at Pimlico are virtually identical in terms of circumference to the turns at Churchill, a track that has never been known as a tight-turned one.
But like people who believe America’s moon landings were staged in a Hollywood studio, there are still some who need to be convinced that Pimlico’s turns don’t make it a speed favoring track. So in the hopes of moving a step closer toward laying this nonsense to permanent rest, what follows is a list of the last 15 Preakness winners, their running positions a quarter and a half mile into the race, and their margins off the leader (or leading margin where applicable):
|HORSE||1/4 CALL||1/2 CALL|
|Lookin At Lucky||6 – 3 1/4||5 – 5|
|Rachel Alexandra||1 – hd||1 – hd|
|Big Brown||3 – 3||3 – 4|
|Curlin||6 – 8 1/2||7 – 13|
|Bernardini||3 – 2||4 – 1 1/2|
|Afleet Alex||10 – 9 1/4||10 – 9 1/4|
|Smarty Jones||2 – 1 1/2||2 – 2 1/2|
|Funny Cide||3 – 2||2 – 1|
|War Emblem||2 – hd||2 – hd|
|Point Given||9 – 10||6 – 7 1/2|
|Red Bullet||7 – 6 1/2||7 – 7|
|Charismatic||10 – 6||10 – 7 3/4|
|Real Quiet||8 – 5 1/2||6 – 9|
|Silver Charm||4 – 4||3 – 1 1/2|
|Louis Quatorze||1 – 1 1/2||1 – 2|
Gee, for a track that is supposed to be speed favoring because of tight turns, to have only two of the last 15 Preakness winners be front-running winners isn’t very good. In fact, while five of the last 15 Preakness winners were running either first or second in either or both of the first two calls of the race, seven recent Preakness winners were running sixth or farther back at either the quarter or both the quarter and half mile points of call.
So, let’s finally deport “Pimlico is a tight-turned, speed-favoring track” off to hoary cliché-land, where it should join such other gems as “class is the most important factor in handicapping,” and “time only counts in jail.”
I had the exacta in the derby.....wish I would have bet more! Too bad Nehro is out of the Preakness, with the extra rest, he will be tough in the Belmont.
Read Andy Beyers my 50000 dollar year at the races and it will tell you how biased Pimlico used to be. Since the late 90s the track has played much more bias free.
A QUICK TALLY OF THE PAST 4 RACING DAYS SHOWED 27 RACES ON DIRT----16 WINS -SPEED----5 WINS PRESS----6 WINS CLOSERS----DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS AS TO WHAT KIND OF TRACK PIMLICO IS NOW.
Dancer's Image didn't win the KY Derby in 1968. In fact he never won the KY Derby at all. Forward Pass did. (MW - You need to go back and read what I wrote more closely. I wrote that Dancer's Image finished first in that Derby, which he did. I never wrote that he won it.)
All of the talk about all of the Preakness runners and no expert has a word to say about Astrology? $10 tri key Astrology w/ Dialed in, Mucho Macho Man, Dance City (who will wear down Shackleford and keep running), and Animal Kingdom (even though I don't think he will run a lick on this track). $200 exacta box Astrology, Dialed In, & Mucho Macho Man. I will take my $80 exacta and my $150 tri and run to the bank.
Hello Mr Watchmaker, I believe a previous commenter attempted to mention Prairie Bayou, the winner of the 1993 edition of the Preakness. One of the amazing things about PB is that he was favored in 9 of his 12 starts (in all 3 TC races by the way). So he was good and people knew it. On that day at Pimlico, where he cemented his name in the halls of history, he was made the 2-1 choice by the betting public - no fools there. And he came from far behind early, yet had the lead by the 1/8 pole. The time was considered slow, 1:56 3/5, and over 2 seconds off any sort of Track Record. Just a BSF of 98. Not that it mattered. Regrettably, Prairie Bayou broke down as the favorite in the Belmont. RIP
Run the Preakness at Gulfstream Park four or five weeks before Derby. No one will remember the order after two years. Horseman would love it. Call it the FL Derby slash Preakness. Add the purses together it would be a huge amount. No twenty horse fields no college kids in the infield.
IF YOU THINK ITALIAN!!!........ Dialed In Why run his best race in the Derby when you can pick up,$$$$$$$ FIVE AND A HALF MILLION$$$$$$$$ !!! ....in the Preakness??? However if his performance was true in the derby, It's Animal Kingdom again.. Hell he just beat all these runners, and he's done everything asked of him prior...Only other horse who would have a chance at the shorter distance would be Nehro
I wish you keep quiet about Pimlico, I have been cashing in for years....let those fools believe that it's like a bull ring....just keep on cashing in!!! I won big with Jockey Smith, who now adays is well known in southern Cal...but back then he was based in New York. He rode Predow Bayou, or something like that....who just missed in the Kentucky Derby... and won easily at Pimlico Racetrack. His sstyle was come from way behind. So don't educate them fools...let them find out the hard way that Pimlico is a regular track just like Churchill.
dance city & shackleford & flashpoint excellent speed!!!