Preakness day itself is an odd one. Where else are you going to simultaneously hear one crowd cheer for Grammy Award winner Lorde perform her hit song "Royals" in the infield while another one cheers home the winner of the Sir Barton Stakes presented by Jagermeister?
The fact a race named for the first Triple Crown winner is sponsored by an alcohol company pretty much sums up the day. In many ways, it is sensory overload simply because it is two different worlds partying in the same space. For all the separation between the two, though, they all come together to cheer home the Preakness winner.
The difference in mood leaving Pimlico when the Triple Crown is still on the line versus when it is not is vast. Last year, when Oxbow defeated Derby winner Orb in the Preakness, it was like a balloon had been popped. This year, everyone is all smiles, and why not?
California Chrome and his connections are the feel-good story the sport needs. I have said it before, and I will say it again: A Triple Crown won't save racing, but it definitely couldn't hurt, either.
For three weeks more, we all get to dream, and it is courtesy of a colt named California Chrome.