Spring Has Sprung – The 136th Preakness is Upon Us

“Sandwiched in the Triple Crown between the Kentucky Derby

and the Belmont Stakes, the Preakness shines an annual

spotlight on Baltimore. Although the average race lasts less

than 3 minutes, this week-long celebration is highly anticipated

and stands strong as one of the many reasons we love our

vibrant city.

My favorite event is Black-Eyed Susan Day, named to represent

our state flower. Black-Eyed Susan Day is reminiscent of what

one might have experienced years ago, with formal attire

(ladies’ decorative hats included) and a tradition-filled day of

clubhouse festivities. This “second jewel” event includes a

fashion show, Maryland’s famous crab cakes, less-frenzied

wagering, and tasty libations also named in honor of our state


If you are a thoroughbred enthusiast or a curious market

researcher, a resident marketing jockey, Elizabeth McMonagle,

sheds light on facts and figures surrounding this fascinating

Triple Crown and Thoroughbred industry. Baltimore Insider’s

feature article, “Horsing Around!,” may also teach you a thing

or two about placing your Triple Crown wagers!

Odds are in my favor that the Preakness will be a blast,

accompanied by a few Black-Eyed Susan’s and maybe just a

little on Uncle Mo to show!”

– Barbara

The racing industry is not just horseplay, it is an economic thoroughbred engine. The thoroughbred industry has a direct economic impact of approximately $39 billion annually and supports more than 460,000 full-time jobs. Thoroughbred horse racing is a source of yearlong enjoyment for millions of fans, for which the Triple Crown serves as a galloping Superbowl.

What makes the Triple Crown so special? Only 11 horses have earned “The Crown” in over a century. The phrase, “Triple Crown,” was coined by sportswriter Charles Hatton and used for the first time in 1930 after Gallant Fox won all three races although, the first horse to actually win the three consecutive races was Sir Barton in 1919.

For the novice, the Triple Crown is comprised of three races: The Kentucky Derby, The Preakness Stakes, and The Belmont Stakes, respectively run annually from May through June. Although the Kentucky Derby is deemed, “the fastest two minutes in sports,” Preakness Pimlico Race Course is actually the shortest leg by virtue of distance, at one mile and an eighth. Churchill Down’s Kentucky Derby is set at a mile and a quarter, with the Belmont Stakes at one mile and a half.

Trotters ready? Here are some insightful facts and figures on the Triple Crown and Thoroughbred Horse Racing.

Triple Crown

•Economic Impact: $300 Million

•Total Attendance: 364,200

•Viewers in 2008: 42 Million

•Amount Wagered in 2008: $330 Million

Thoroughbred Horse Racing

•Total # of Thoroughbreds in U.S.: 1.3 Million

•Total # of Races: 50,119

•Maryland-Bred Triple Crown Winner: Gallant Fox, 1930

•Maryland’s Annual Thoroughbred Economic Impact: $1.6 Billion

•Maryland Acreage Dedicated To Thoroughbred Raising/Training: 200,000

Betting 101

Horse racing can be highly entertaining! The atmosphere is exciting and anticipation-filled (provided you do not bet what you cannot afford to lose). There are many methods to selecting your winning horse, but the basics to placing bets are fairly simple.

If you place your horse to:

•Win: Horse must come in first.

•Place: Horse must come in first or second.

•Show: Horse must come in first, second, or third.

•Exacta: Top two finishers of the race in exact order.

•Trifecta: Top three finishers of the race in exact order.

Other helpful horse racing lingo:

•Also-Eligible: A horse entered in the race, but who cannot start unless another horse is


•Closer: A horse that runs best in the latter part of the race, coming from off the pace.

•Entry: Two or more horses owned by the same stable or, in some cases, trained by the

same trainer and running as a single betting unit.

•Flatten Out: When a horse drops his head almost on straight line with body.

•Furlong: Races are measured in furlongs, each measuring an eighth of a mile.

•Graduate: Winning for the first time.

•Hung: A horse holding the same position, unable to make up distance on the winner.

•Morning Line: Approximate odds quoted before wagering begins.

•Post Time: The time when the first race of the day begins.

•Purse: Prize money for the owners of the first five or six finishers of a race.

•Scratch: To be taken out of a race.

•Stretch Runner: Horse that finishes fast in the stretch.

• Track Record: Fastest time for a distance at a particular track.

As we gallop into spring, please remember to stop and smell the flowers! We all work hard so…let’s plan to also carve time out for Horsing Around!


If you have any questions, contact Observation Baltimore by calling 410-332-0400 or click here today!

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 5th, 2011 at 5:44 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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