There's been a lot of hand wringing lately about the Preakness. People are worried about soft fields, trainers who need a small epoch to have their charges ready to run back, and other things.
Fortunately that's what I'm here for.
No, I'm not going to focus on moving the race out a week or two, that's first level stuff. You come here for deeper, heavy, high-brained thought and I'm going to deliver.
Here are my 5 ways we can bring the Preakness back to the glory it deserves.
1. Move the Race to Gulfstream - The Stronach Group owns both racetracks, so this is easy. Plus, it seems Gulfstream is so popular they needed to buy a western Gulfstream track so they can run even more $7,500 claimers.
The celebrities will be better in Florida with local residents like Tiger Woods, Donald Trump and the guy who overacted all his scenes on CSI Miami. All Baltimore has for famous residents, really, is Larry Collmus and he'll already be there.
Florida also has medication rules where you are pretty much encouraged to run on something, so there will be no bad press with positive tests. And they have a big ass statue of Pegasus, who is not really a horse, but most casual fans don't know that.
The time for change is now.
2. Major Suspensions for Kentucky Derby Winners Who Don't Come to Pimlico/Gulfstream - We all saw Country House this past weekend. His stirring stretch drive where he dug in to beat everyone except the winner was spine-tingling.
Bottom line - We want Country House - no we need Country House - in the gate at Gulfstream or Pimlico.
From now on, I propose that when a Derby winner (even a kinda winner) doesn't show up for leg two of the Crown, his or her trainer is suspended a month. And this is not one of those suspended a month where they were planning a family vacation, it's a real month. As well, paper trainers like Todd Fletcher or Dick Rutrow aren't accepted in their place.
3. Two words - Keg and Asus
4. Make the Races Easier to Handicap - I know what you're saying, "Keeneland has already done that", but let's unpack it a bit.
The races are on national TV, we're going for a new audience and we're selling our sport. For the love of Pete, take away the larger fields that are impossible to study, and all those complex bets no one can ever hope to figure out. We need fields with only a few possibles, racing roulette and some over/unders.
You know what they say, pole vaulting is hard, racing should not be.
5. Bring Back the Infield - One of the worst things the Preakness did was try and make the infield safer. I mean, seriously, these are kids who eat Tide Pods, they're not exactly doing calculus.
I'd go with cheaper booze and more urinals for them to jump. I'd go with $5 admission so they spend more on gambling and booze, just like we want them to. I'd even look at charging 50% juice on those infield machines. It's time to bring back the infield to its rightful glory.
Those are 5 very achievable, high brow ways to make the Preakness great again. I'm sure you have more ideas of your own, and if they're as good as mine, I'll post them here at a later time.
Have a nice Friday everyone.
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