Part II of East Coast Bias' ongoing Preakness coverage. Part I was an overview of rules for attending Preakness.
It seems to be "common knowledge" that the Kentucky Derby is the premier race of the Triple Crown. Sure, there will always be those arrogant New Yorkers who claim the Belmont is better solely by virtue of being held in the great state of New York. But by that logic, the Knicks wouldn't be in their current "situation." True Triple Crown aficionados know that when debating the relative merits of the three races, no infield = no dice. Belmont doesn't allow rowdy fans to pollute its pristine infield, so we can immediately rule it out of the best race discussion, even though I love its length (double entendre intended).
But what about the Preakness vs. Derby debate? It seems like a slam dunk for the Derby at first glance, but the only way to be sure is to break it down, Nick Bakay style:
|Kentucky Derby ||Preakness||Advantage|
|Official Drink|| |
Early Times Mint Julep
Black Eyed Susan
|The Black Eyed Susan's connotations of domestic violence certainly didn't help its cause, but in the end, how do you pick a Rum and Vodka based drink over a Whiskey one?|
|Unofficial Drink ||Blue collar whiskey vs. blue collar beer|
|Distance ||1¼ miles||1 3/16 miles||Who doesn't love odd fractions?|
|Celebrities ||The Junkies||Gary Williams tips the scales.|
|Eye Candy ||It's times like this I feel like a blackjack dealer who just busted. "Everyone's a winner!"|
|Crowd Profile||Old and stuffy||Young and partying||Advantage: Preakness|
|Location ||Louisville, KY ||Baltimore, MD ||This is a totally unbiased selection.|
|Architecture ||Classic spires vs. what looks to be an abandoned auto parts factory|
|Crazy Incident||OJ Simpson gets thrown out of a steakhouse||Crazy man runs on track and tries to punch horse.||Advantage: Preakness|
|Quirky Tradition||Crazy hats||Paying locals to park in their yards||Much as I love high society ladies in ugly hats, I like turfing lawns in the ghetto better.|
|Motives for Attending||Socializing, see and be seen,||Drinking, gambling, yelling "Show your tits!"||Advantage: Preakness|
|Triple Crown Allure||It's all about the race||It's all about a horse trying to make history (except Bernadini)||No one is thinking about the Triple Crown before the Derby, and the Belmont is often meaningless for Triple Crown purposes, but the Preakness always has the sense that this could be the year.|
The final tally:
- Preakness: 7
- Derby: 3
- Push: 2
Photo Credit: paulsisler, Carrie J, Mosdurf, Speedy314.