May 3, 2010

On to Pimlico

The celebrations of Kentucky Derby glory are winding down. Big winnings from Derby Day are already earmarked for this, that, and the other thing. Time to slow down, and ease up on the racing discussion. Uh…no! The Preakness has always been one of my favorite races of the year. Often the most formful race of the Triple Crown, the Preakness does not feature the twenty horse pinball effect of the Derby. It is at a distance which better matches the horses running, as opposed to the marathon of the Belmont Stakes. It also offers something no other race in the world can boast…a brand new Kentucky Derby champion on his quest to become racing’s twelfth ever Triple Crown winner. For these reasons and many others, the Preakness is truly one of the great American races, and I will diving in head first over the next twelve days to break down the Preakness, ZATT style.

Here is the most current list of Preakness possibles, with my current morning line odds, and quick comment:

Aikenite 25-1 Pletcher plan B runner showed improvement in the Derby Trial, but I think that is because of the shorter distance. 1 3/16 will prove tough for the son of Yes It’s True.

A Little Warm 25-1 He went from a stakes win sprinting to a solid effort in the Louisiana Derby. Not sure if he can make another big jump up against these, but should be a pace factor.

Bushwhacked 20-1 Lightly raced colt is getting better at the right time. I have a lot of respect for his trainer, Jonathan Sheppard, but this is still a lot to ask of a horse who won a maiden sprint in April.

Caracortado 15-1 Scarface returns! Likeable California bred has been freshened since the Santa Anita Derby, should get a good stalking trip, and if he takes to dirt…watch out.

Dublin 15-1 Actually ran a good race in Louisville, but once again came up a little short in the late stages. A nice horse to be sure, but a flat mile may be the distance he is best suited.

Hurricane Ike 15-1 Where did the Derby Trial come from? It was a big performance in his second dirt try. The Preakness will be another huge step up for the Sadler trainee, but his last makes him at least a little interesting.

Ice Box 9-2 The Florida Derby win was clearly no fluke, and all in all you could make a solid argument that he ran best at Churchill. Fast pace made his rally all the more potent and may need the same pace to win at Pimlico.

Jackson Bend 15-1 May be the more likely of the Lapenta/ Zito colts to make the race. Hard trying little guy deserves another chance after the Derby craziness.

Lookin At Lucky
7-2 The trip in the Derby was bad, come to think of it every trip he has had since the Breeders’ Cup have been bad. Sooner or later he will get a good trip. He is the Derby winner’s main threat.

Paddy O Prado 10-1 As many predicted, he ran big in Louisville. Not that long ago he was a maiden, but now he may be have progressed enough to win a big one. Can he do it on a fast track?

Pleasant Prince 25-1 Connections tried hard to qualify him for the Derby, it did not work. Now I am afraid they are left with a non-fresh horse moving in the wrong direction.

Schoolyard Dreams 20-1 He defeated Super Saver just a few races ago, but then disappointed in the Wood Memorial. I still think he may have the potential to be a live longshot in Baltimore.

Super Saver 5-2 Derby winner is progressing with each start. His new found ability to rate makes him doubly tough to handle. The horse to beat to get two thirds of the way to immortality.

Turf Melody 50-1 Motion runner has not been able to scare the top horses in mediocre preps so far. I can’t recommend him to do any better in the Middle Jewel.


LDP said...

Another nice, prospective field. Pimlico is a good race for frontrunner and stalkers, but horses that are good enough as closers have shown the ability overcome the slight bias. I'm still not gonna give up on Dublin, which is why my top three right now, in no particular order, are SS, LAL, and Dublin.

In the Derby the horse that I was most impressed with was LAL. Last year F.Fire got hammered hard at the start and never recovered. LAL was slammed out of the gate and nearly pushed over the rail twice after that and he still came on.