When Big Brown roared past the crowd of 112,222 in Baltimore to win the Preakness Stakes and the second leg of the Triple Crown, it was a moment for the history books. His jockey, Kent Desormeax never even lifted his whip, despite falling behind pace-setter Gayego early on.
Big Brown, named after the UPS trucks, flew past the field to take first place and never looked back. Macho Again finished second, while Icabod Crane swooped in to steal third. The third stage of the Triple Crown will be held on June 7 at the Belmont, when Big Brown will look to become the first horse to win all three races since 1978 when Affirmed achieved the feat.
The infield of the race track was another experience entirely, as nearly 100,000 people, mostly college students, partied while races went on in front of them. As one group’s shirts read, “There are horses at this party?” Pimlico Race Track officials tried to curb the partying by staggering the portable bathrooms, preventing the races on the tops of them that have occurred in the past. But fans still tried to jump from porta-potty to porta-potty, throwing beers into the air while doing so.
Now horse racing takes a back seat once again until June, when it will be back in the spotlight. Although other horses have come close, notably Smarty Jones in 2004, no horse has appeared as dominant as Big Brown for years. But he faces a new challenge, this time from the Far East. Casino Drive, who has born in America but has raced in Japan, poses a threat to Big Brown in the longer Belmont Stakes, but the New York raised Big Brown will be a home-favorite as he attempts to make history.