Anticipation of today’s 138th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course made us think back to the biggest thoroughbred race in the history of Baltimore public access television. Yes, we’re talking about the historic Atomic TV Classic held at Pimlico on June 16, 2001 and presented by Atomic TV ‘s Tom Warner and Scott Huffines. Unlike the high-class, high-profile Preakness, the Atomic TV Classic reflected its low-budget, lo-fi public access roots: it was run over a course of five furloughs, featured a field of 2-year-old “maidens” (track parlance for glue-factory pedigree nags that have never won a race), and offered its champion an underwhelming purse of $25,000.
But, boy, what a field! It easily held the record for the most-creatively named mounts, making the 1st (and only) running of the Atomic TV Classic a veritable “Freakness Stakes” jewel (albeit zircon-encrusted) in Baltimore’s non-existent Public Access Triple Crown.
Note that many of the unusually named ponies (such as the coupled entry Pontiff in My Pants and Nun with Two Dicks) came from the unstable stables of legendary inbreeder Ivan Brunetti. They were all scratched and replaced by a new card; for details, stay posted for an update at Baltimore Or Less (www.baltimoreorless.com).