05/16/2008 9:36PM

Preakness Eve


Here are the Friday exit-poll numbers on the Preakness: The Pimlico Special/Preakness daily-double will-pays, their equivalent win odds, and the advance-betting win-pool odds:

The Special/Preakness double handled $345,902, while the advance win pool was only $90,566, so the double equivalents may be more telling. Let's use those prices to see, just for fun, how the race might be being bet if we remove Big Brown from the equation entirely:

7-2 Gayego
9-2 Kentucky Bear
6-1 Racecar Rhapsody
7-1 Yankee Victor
9-1 Giant Moon, Hey Byrn
10-1 Macho Again, Icabad Crane, Riley Tucker
17-1 Stevil
22-1 Tres Borrachos

Tres Borrachos is looking like a lock for Longest of the Long, at 75-1 in the double-equivalents and 99-1 (or higher) in the early win pool. No Preakness starter has gone off at higher than 40-1 since Song of the Sword was 51-1 in 2004. He finished 9th of 10 behind Smarty Jones, two weeks after finishing 11th as the Longest of the Long in the Derby at 55-1.

--Apparently no horse will ever go off at more than 88-1 at Pimlico. Those were the odds Friday on Double Blossom in the The Very One Stakes, and it is hard to imagine a horse ever having less chance of winning a horse race than Double Blossom did today.

Double Blossom came into The Very One against stakes horses not merely a maiden but a loser of her only two starts by a combined 118 1/4 lengths -- 42 1/2 in her debut last summer and 75 3/4 in her return last month at Pimlico. On Friday she of course trailed at every call, and was beaten "only" 32 lengths. Her trainer is 0 for 32 over the last five years, and 10 of his starters have finished dead last in those races.

--The soggy Friday card at Pimlico featured some good racing and generous payoffs. The all-stakes pick four was too tough (CCAA) for me but paid $6472.20 (better than double the $3,036 parlay) for the not-impossible combination of Termsofengagement ($11.20), Student Council ($16.40), All Giving ($7.60) and Sweet Vendetta ($17.40). The Black-Eyed Susan intrarace exotics also were high, with the Sweet Vendetta (7-1)/She's All Eltish(3-1)/Seattle Smooth(3-1) trifecta somehow paying $514.20 for $2 in a field with just seven betting interests.

Nonody picked six but they only spent $14,675 trying, so there's a $9,220 carryover for the $1 minimum-bet pool on Preakness Day.

First post Saturday is 10:30 a.m. ET. The first stakes race, the G3 Maryland Sprint Handicap, is at 11:28 and the early pick four starts with the fourth race at 12:04. Network coverage begins at 11 a.m. on ESPN2, switches to ESPN from noon to 4:30, and then NBC takes over from 4:30 to 6:30. I'll put some thoughts on the card up in the morning and start live-blogging here starting at noon.