Anne M. Eberhardt

Weather Could Impact Preakness Attendance

Orb is the early 4-5 choice to win the second leg of Triple Crown.

With the forecast calling for a high temperature of 70 degrees and a strong possibility of rain for the 138th Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the Maryland Jockey Club could be hard-pressed to surpass last year's record crowd of 121,309 at Pimlico Race Course.

A few of the contenders for the 1 3/16-mile race went to the track early the morning of the May 18 race under overcast skies. According to, no precipitation is expected in Baltimore until early afternoon. The chance of precipitation is 50% at 2 p.m. EDT and will continue at 40%-50% throughout the rest of the day, meaning the weather could impact the race.

"I think we are going to be strong today," Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas said of the Preakness day attendance. "All of the tickets, except for general admission, were sold out earlier in the week. To do what we did last year, we have to get a really strong walkup.

"The bands we have in the infield and the race itself will attract a lot, but we might be down (from 2012) a little bit because of the weather."

Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable's Orb , who won the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) on a sloppy and sealed track at Churchill Downs May 4, was among the Preakness horses to go to the track to stretch his legs early Saturday. After returning to the barn, the son of Malibu Moon  was given a bath by trainer Shug McGaughey.

In early Preakness wagering through May 17, Orb continued to be a strong 4-5 favorite to win the second leg of the Triple Crown. In post-position order, the early wagering was:

1. Orb , 4-5
2. Goldencents , 7-1
3. Titletown Five, 23-1
4. Departing, 11-1
5. Mylute, 7-1
6. Oxbow , 14-1
7. Will Take Charge , 12-1
8. Govenor Charlie, 11-1
9. Itsmyluckyday , 9-1