Baltimore Sun writer Kevin Van Valkenburg compares the Derby to the Preakness to determine which is best. Of course, since Van Valkenburg works for the Sun we would expect him to weigh in on the side of the Black-Eyed Susans primarily because the Second Jewel offers the Kentucky Derby winner and the hope of a Triple Crown. Something the folks at Belmont Park are also currently enjoying.

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The Kentucky Derby is like a cross between the circus and the opera for rich people, only with more drinking and less-tasteful nudity.

The Preakness is more like a working-class celebration, something out of a Damon Runyon short story. It’s the people’s horse racing event, and it’s as exciting as it is unpredictable.

You never know whether the power is going to fail or whether you’re going to find true love at the bottom of an inflatable pool that’s filled with warm beer…

Ron Martin of Tabernacle, N.J., looks over the Preakness Day entries from the Pimlico Race Course grandstand. Martin says he’s been coming to the Preakness with friends for the past 20 years. (Baltimore Sun photo by Robert K. Hamilton / May 17, 2008)