If you're feeling neglected because there hasn't been any new info on the Orioles here so far today, it's because I have to split my attention between the Orioles and the Preakness. This is nothing new. I've covered almost every Preakness either as a reporter or columnist since I arrived in Baltimore in 1990. Wouldn't miss it.
People say that horseracing is dying, but you wouldn't know it by the crowds that pack the tracks for the Triple Crown races and the Breeders Cup. It certainly has far less mass appeal than it used to -- and definitely appeals to a much older crowd than the X Games -- but there's something about the big races that still draws fans and gets TV ratings. It's called real drama.
Be honest. Major League Baseball sets attendance and revenue records every year, but which would you rather watch -- Adam Eaton throwing his 100th pitch in the fourth inning or Calvin Borel blasting through on the rail aboard 50-1 longshot Mine That Bird (right) to win the Kentucky Derby?
The perception of horse racing as a sport in total decline is magnified in Maryland, because of the dilapidated condition of Pimlico and the lack of consensus on how to re-energize the industry. It certainly hasn't helped that the legislature cared more about gotcha politics for four years than getting a slots deal done that would have helped the tracks and narrowed a huge state budget deficit, but that's water -- and billions in lost tax revenue -- under the bridge.
The only thing to do now is enjoy the Preakness and the great way it showcases Baltimore for one shining Saturday every year.
Well, every year so far.