The 140th Preakness Stakes Day opened bright and beautiful, with a record crowd passing through the gates to watch Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah go for the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
The perfect weather lasted until the call came for “Riders Up!” ahead of the 2015 Preakness. That’s when the skies opened up and dumped about a quarter-inch of rain on the track as the horses were preparing to go to the gate. The soggy post parade was viewed by fans who had taken shelter inside Pimlico as thunder rolled and a deluge of rain soaked everything in sight.
The rain let up just in time for the race itself, and the newly sloppy track proved no detriment to American Pharoah. The Bob Baffert-trained bay easily sailed home over the muck and was seven lengths clear on the wire while finishing up 1 3/16 miles in 1:58.46.
Victor Espinoza earned his second straight Preakness score aboard Ahmed Zayat’s homebred American Pharoah after piloting California Chrome to victory in 2014.