|Look at this happy horse snoozing away while I'm too excited to sleep!|
Fret no more, wait no longer, the big day is upon us. Saturday, May 16th, 6:18pm est, (thanks Bleacher Report for that info) on the NBC network. Just to be clear, the main one, not one of the multiple secondary NBC's that currently pepper network and cable channels.
Eight horses are in the 2015 race. Maybe that's part of my ridiculously unexpected late-night anticipation? The idea that there are so few competitors in the field this year to steadfastly challenge racing team Zayat Stable's American Pharoah, (thanks Boston Globe for that helpful link) trainer--Bob Baffert. Not that competition isn't sound. As with all races, something unforeseen always lurks behind any turn. It's simply a matter of the right unknown element, taking flight at the exact moment and while nobody's looking, wreaking havoc (in a good way, a good way) on one or more unsuspecting horses. Like what? Say a rogue crazy bird taking flight off the rail as the horses barrel towards her. Something at the last second makes her uncharacteristically swerve into oncoming traffic. Now that would be crazy to see. It's an option. It could happen.
Oh, it so could.
The best secret ingredient of any formidable horse race is that unknown factor that could come into play at any moment and altar everything right or good or certain you see in front of you.
Thus, the fun of betting. Right when you think you know exactly what will happen because you've been oh-so-savvy about listening to and analyzing all the experts' analysis and claims, wham! here comes that crazy pigeon whose lifelong dream has been to interrupt a Triple Crown race.
The full Preakness field includes: American Pharoah, Dortmund, Firing Line and Danzig Moon, Mr. Z, Diving Rod, Tale of Verve and Bodhisattva. American Pharaoh is the fan favorite and front-runner as of tonight. Firing Line showed heart and determination in the Kentucky Derby. I wouldn't be surprised if he takes flight and upsets favorite odds.
Regardless of who wins tomorrow, I'll be glad when I can finally get some sleep again, because this night-before-running-of-the-race, over and over and over again in my head, is plain wild. What is that? If I'm lucky, when I finally do fall asleep tonight, I hope to dream of beautiful, brilliant two-year olds who show promise now that warrant following their careers until Kentucky Derby 2016.
Some people like to say, go big or go home. I'm down with that. I also like to apply that idea to betting. If you can afford it in a way that won't stress you out and ruin your fun for the day, make it happen. Place that $50 or $100 bucks on your favorite horse and for two minutes imagine, envision or plan for the big moment...when your big guy jets his nose across that line first and makes it happen for you. Allows you to walk away from Baltimore on May 17th, with cash in your wallet to treat your friends to drinks while you discuss the fabulous third Triple Crown race of summer season, the Belmont Stakes.