Saturday’s Preakness, the second race in the series of three that make up America’s horse racing Triple Crown, brought plenty of excitement despite daunting weather conditions. During the week leading up to the big race, Pimlico track in Baltimore had been deluged, receiving over five inches of rain. Some weather forecasts even called for flash flooding possibilities in the area on Saturday!
Despite this, eight contenders braved a muddy track and fog. They were joined by over 134,000 fans who literally waded in to watch as 2018’s Kentucky Derby winner, Justify, and runner up, Good Magic, faced six competitors, four of whom hadn’t gone to Churchill Downs two weeks before.
Fans watching the Preakness via TV screens had a few moments where racing action was obscured by the foggy conditions. From the start, trainer Chad Brown’s Good Magic stayed right alongside Bob Baffert’s Justify. The two continued to duel all the way to the final stretch. Just strides from the finish line, Justify pulled ahead. D. Wayne Lukas’ Bravazo, who had been sitting close behind the two leaders, moved up to take second. Good Magic barely missed a show finish as Tenfold eased by for third.
Some skeptics are wondering whether Justify can return in three weeks to clench the Triple Crown. They evidently expected a larger win margin over Bravazo; the recorded difference was ½ length.
Given the track and weather conditions, the performance of the frontrunners was impressive. Justify had emerged from the Kentucky Derby with a bruised hoof, yet mended in time to win the Preakness. His hometown crowd at California’s Santa Anita was “justifiably” excited by the race’s outcome. The doubters and the fans have three weeks to swap opinions before the possibility of a Triple Crown victory on June 9 in the Belmont.