BY TOM VALLEDOLMO
The Preakness Stakes is becoming the Rodney Dangerfield of the Triple Crown. It gets no respect.
The middle jewel, which is contested a mere two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, has lost some luster due to several factors, the main one being its sandwich position between "America's Most Famous Horse Race" at historic Churchill Downs and "The Test of the Champion" at spacious, ultra-chic Belmont Park in the Big Apple.
The Derby stands alone as a marquee event and the excitement surrounding the Belmont often reaches a fever pitch when a horse rolls into New York looking to sweep the coveted -- and elusive -- Triple Crown. But, the Preakness, suffering from "middle child syndrome," has several things working against it becoming a must-see phenomenon year after year.
First, it's contested at Pimlico Race Course, a rather old, rather rundown racing venue nestled in a less-than-desirable neighborhood in Baltimore, a city that’s been rocked by civil unrest in recent days.