Preakness Forecast: Partly Cloudy, 20% Chance of Rain

Although thunderstorms are forecast for Baltimore, Maryland from Wednesday through Friday, the forecast calls for the precipitation to be out of the area in time for Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Racecourse.

According to the Web site, scattered thunderstorms will be developing late Thursday, with winds in the 10- to 20-mile per hour range and a 40% chance of rain. With temperatures dropping into the mid-50s overnight Thursday, the forecast for Friday is for more thunderstorms and mild temperatures.

On Saturday, with partly cloudy skies and only a 20% chance of rain, the high temperature will be in the low 70s.

If that forecast holds, the track condition should not be a factor for the Preakness. Of the probable starters, four have off-track experience, with three of those winning on sloppy tracks.

In his lone off-track effort, Barbaro won the grade III Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park by three-quarters of a length over sloppy going. Maryland-based Sweetnorthernsaint rolled to a 10-length victory over a sloppy track at Laurel to win the Miracle Wood Stakes and another local horse, Ah Day, won the Federicao Tesio Stakes at Pimlico by 5 ½ lengths on a sloppy track.