No home-track advantage for Preakness
BALTIMORE - Unlike the cicadas, who show up every 17 years and make lots of noise, Maryland-based long shots appear at most Preaknesses and rarely cause any commotion. It has been 30 years since a locally trained horse won -- the gelding Deputed Testamony -- but two ran second -- Oliver's Twist (25-1, 1995) and Magic Weisner (45-1, 2002).
The old joke is Marylanders consider the Derby "the race before the Preakness.'' Yet for only the fourth time in the past 22 years, the Free State will have no representative.
No frozen tundraPackers Hall of Famer Paul Hornung is part-owner of Titletown Five, and the 1956 Heisman Trophy winner loves to bet. His 1-for-7 colt is 30-1 in the Preakness morning line, and trainer D. Wayne Lukas promised Hornung will be all over that. "If he's 30-1,'' Lukas said Thursday, "I guarantee the handle will go up 30 percent.''
Shug is a mysteryThe Kentucky Derby-winning trainer's full name is Claude McGaughey III. If you've wondered why he's called Shug, he does, too. "Well, I'm the third, so they had to call me something,'' he said. "I've been hearing it all my life. I've been Shug for 62 years, and I don't know where it came from. My parents did tell me it wasn't short for sugar.''