May 14, 2007

The Preakness vs. The Kentucky Derby - Tale of the Tape

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

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Sprigs of fresh mint
  • Crushed ice
  • Early Times Kentucky Whiskey
  • Silver Julep Cups

Black Eyed Susan

  • 1 part Cointreau
  • 1 part Mount Gay rum
  • 1 part Vodka
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Orange Juice
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?

Advantage: Derby
Unofficial Drink
Jack Daniels
Natty Boh
Blue collar whiskey vs. blue collar beer

Advantage: Push
1¼ miles 1 3/16 miles Who doesn't love odd fractions?

Advantage: Preakness
Queen Elizabeth II, Vince Young, Kid Rock, Gary Williams
The Junkies
Gary Williams tips the scales.

Advantage: Derby
Eye Candy
It's times like this I feel like a blackjack dealer who just busted. "Everyone's a winner!"

Advantage: Push
Crowd Profile
Old and stuffy
Young and partying
Advantage: Preakness
Louisville, KY
Baltimore, MD
This is a totally unbiased selection.
Advantage: Preakness
Classic spires vs. what looks to be an abandoned auto parts factory

Advantage: Derby
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.
Advantage: Preakness

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.

Advantage: Preakness

The final tally:
  • Preakness: 7
  • Derby: 3
  • Push: 2
There you have it. The numbers never lie, The Preakness is better than the Kentucky Derby. Now go out and buy your infield tickets, it's going to be a beautiful day Saturday.

Photo Credit: paulsisler, Carrie J, Mosdurf, Speedy314.

8 Responses:

J-Red said...

Nick Bakay would be proud, if he were capable of such an emotion.

I think that pretty much settles it. I'm glad you didn't do My Old Kentucky Home v. Maryland, My Maryland (aka O' Christmas Tree redux).

Jeremy said...

Hmm... original "Maryland, My Maryland" lyrics... gotta love a state song that calls Abe Lincoln a despot and tyrant:


The despot's heel is on thy shore,
His torch is at thy temple door,
Avenge the patriotic gore
That flecked the streets of Baltimore,
And be the battle queen of yore,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Thou wilt not cower in the dust,
Thy beaming sword shall never rust,
Remember Carroll's sacred trust,
Remember Howard's warlike thrust,-
And all thy slumberers with the just,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Dear Mother! burst the tyrant's chain,
Virginia should not call in vain,
She meets her sisters on the plain- "Sic semper!" 'tis the proud refrain
That baffles minions back amain,
Arise in majesty again,
Maryland! My Maryland!

I hear the distant thunder-hum,
The Old Line's bugle, fife, and drum,
She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb-
Huzza! she spurns the Northern scum!
She breathes! she burns! she'll come! she'll come!
Maryland! My Maryland!

Brien said...

Good call on the songs. I totally forgot about them. My Old Kentucky Home vs. Maryland, My Maryland vs. New York, New York is always a good debate. I think we'll just say that Maryland, My Maryland never wins, and leave it at that.

J-Red said...

I'm a bit confused why we spent so much time talking about flecked gore and not enough time talking about how D.C. is our ugly stepsister bitch.

BLV said...

Well played, but I do have one small qualm. There's no way Jack could be even the unofficial drink of the Derby. No Tennessee whiskey in Kaintuck! Gotta be Beam...unfortunately...although I can't drink the stuff. Give me Wild Turkey.

For me, the painting of the weather vane has to be the best thing about the Preakness. Nothing else like that in all of sport.

Brien said...

AHHHHH!! I can't believe I dropped the ball on JD and totally forgot about the weather vane. Thanks for setting me straight.

J-Red said...

I also take offense to Brien referring to Pimlico as an abandoned parts factory. To me it looks like an operational parts factory.

Jonathan said...

Thank you for properly citing my photo. --Speedy314

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