As the 2nd jewel of the Triple Crown arrives, this blog hopes to rebound from a miserable showing yesterday at Pimlico. So here are the selections for the stakes on the Preakness card. This blog cannot wait for Race 8 as the horse who is held in high regard is running. First things first however...
Race 6: Chick Lang S. - Grade 3 - 6 Furlongs
This race looks to be a one-horse race. #3 Comedero is coming in on a 3 race win streak, is undefeated sprinting (6-for-6) and showed a new dimension by laying just off the pace in his last two starts, taking over in the stretch and drawing clear. His running style will have him sitting just off the #5 Latigo Shore and/or the #4 Quiet Invader, making his move turning for home and he looks to extend his winning streak to four races. #2 Gary D is shipping in from Woodbine for Steve Asumussen, where he finished 4th in a stake. His two lifetime wins both came at the distance and looks to be sitting just to the inside of the #3. #6 Charles Russell has only made one start lifetime, but it was a winning one. He did it stylistically nice, though it was 10 weeks ago and there are only three works in the interim. He has been working fast, but gives up a world of experience.
#2 Gary D
#6 Charles Russell
Race 7: James W. Murphy - 1 Mile (Turf)
This race is a scramble. This blog is going to take a stab with #11 Thunder Brew. He is riding a modest two race win streak, which includes a small state-bred stake at Tampa Bay Downs. He seems to be on the improve, and has three nice works since his last race. He can rally into a slow pace or come from far out of it, and looks like to have a good chance. #2 Beau Choix comes in with a nice series of works and out of a race that produced at least one next out winner in Our Douglas, who won on Friday at Churchill Downs. He has definitely improved on the turf, and willing be rolling from the back of the pack. #6 Regal Warrior is not really bred for the grass, but is a local horse, and the locals always seem to find there way into a trifecta or two. This son of Preakness winner Louis Quatorze has a nice tracking style, and if he takes to the grass, could fall into a nice trip. Others to consider are #7 Manhattan Fox, coming in 3rd off the layoff, and #5 Kera's Kitten, a multiple winner on the grass and a small stakes winner on the Poly.
#11 Thunder Brew
#2 Beau Choix
#6 Regal Warrior
Race 8: The William Donald Schaefer Hcp. - Grade 3 - 1 mile & 1/16
This race marks the return of Blame, who finished off his three-year-old season with two wins over older in the Grade 2 Fayette at Keeneland and the Grade 2 Clark at Churchill Downs. This blog is so high on him that the blog thinks he can be Horse of the Year. The campaign starts here against a suspect group of older horses. He has been working steadily the last 6 weeks and towers over this field on class. He has run well off a similar layoff, albeit it at a much shorter distance than his optimum, and looks primed to go. #4 I Know Why comes in on a tidy two race win streak, both won in gate-to-wire fashion. However, in the past he shown the ability to track and win. If Blame doesn't bring it, he could be the one to upset the apple cart. #8 Indian Dance comes in off an okay 4th in the Charles Town Classic, but the cut back of a 16th of a mile has to help this son of Indian Charlie. While he has won further than this, the distance strikes this blog as one that hits him right in the wheelhouse. He will sitting mid-pack and can factor in the exacta.
#4 I Know Why
#8 Indian Dance
Race 9: Gallorette Handicap - Grade 3 - 1 mile & 1/16 (Turf)
There is a formidable favorite in here in #4 Rainbow View. She comes off of a facile win in a conditioned allowance at Keeneland. This multiple group one stakes winner in Europe looks to come into this race in fantastic shape for trainer Jonathan Sheppard. But one man can take only so much chalk, so this blog shall try to beat her with #7 Denomination. This daughter of Smart Strike comes in 2nd off a layoff for trainer Christophe Clement and looks to capitalize on a wicked pace. She has worked well in the interim and looks to be sitting on a big race. #6 Payton D'Oro won the Black-Eyed Susan on the main track here last year, and makes her turf debut today. This daughter of Medaglia D'Oro won in a grinding finish, wearing down the lone speed in her last race. She has fired two bullets in the interim for trainer Cindy Jones. If she takes to turf, she could be a force to reckon with on two surfaces.
#4 Rainbow View
#6 Payton D'Oro
Race 10: Maryland Sprint Hcp. - Grade 3 - 6 furlongs
This blog will just come out and say that this race is nearly impossible. The pick ended up on #2 Malibu Kid. He just won 9 days ago on this course at this distance. He comes third off the layoff for the local connections of Jenkins & Dunkelberger. A upward-moving horse can overcome many of things, including the class rise to graded stakes. #1 Snapshot has run well fresh in the past, as he comes in today off a 7 week freshening. He can go to the lead or sitting just off. He has worked swiftly in the interim and the horse he just beat, Barge, just won Friday at Churchill Downs in a 5 furlong turf race. #8 Taqarub can run in a dogfight and keep going, as he did last time. Hopefully the connections have realized that he is a sprinter, and keep him running short. He has steady works in the interim and comes in 2nd off the layoff. Disregard his lone race here, as something clearly went awry. Also consider #11 Half Metal Jacket and #3 Roaring Lion, though there are others who have chance as well.
#2 Malibu Kid
Race 11: Dixie Hcp - Grade 2 - 1 mile & 1/8 (turf)
Another tough race. The top pick is #9 Rahystrada. This 6yo gelded son of Rahy is in great form, coming in off a win in a prep race at Hawthorne Park. He is using the same pattern he used to pull the massive upset in the Grade 3 River City Hcp. at Churchill Downs last fall. He comes in 2nd off the layoff with two steady maintenance works in the interim and could be ready to pop once more, albeit at a smaller price. #2 Grassy comes in off a decent 2nd last out, his first race in six months. With three steady interim works in the holster, this lightly raced son of El Prado hopes to move up right into the winner's circle. #4 Just As Well comes in off a throw out performance on the Poly at Keeneland in the Ben Ali. He returns to turf and looks to rally from way out of the pack, though this may be a bit short. #13 Nicanor is sure to attract some attention at the windows, but might be in a bit too steep at this point in his career.
#4 Just As Well
Race 12: Preakness Stakes - Grade 1 - 1 mile & 3/16
Another Triple Crown race comes around, and the horse this blog is most excited about ends up scratching the day of the entry. Endorsement was this horse for the Derby, and Hurricane Ike is the one for the Preakness. So once again, the selection is made without much conviction. One would figure that after having Super Saver rub it in over this blog's insistence of betting him to place, but insisting he could not win. After the win, i was all for seeing him as our next triple crown winner, even saying so in a few places. But then a huge monkey wrench was thrown into the mix when Pletcher decide to work him three furlongs. That simple act has forced this blog to look to another horse as he top pick. Nothing in the work itself was bad, but this blog has a policy about 3 furlongs, and it goes like this:
If a horse's first (or only) work after a race is at three furlongs, and the time between races is between 13-59 days, the horse is automatically tossed from the win slot.
Now why does this policy exist? It does because this blog has the ugly stat of 1 win from 143 starts when betting a horse that fits these conditions. This blog has stop betting them all together due to this stat.
So we move on to another horse. But who? None of the remaining new shooters excite me. That leaves me with only those who where in the Derby. Of the others who are coming out of the Derby, the pick is Paddy O'Prado. He has looked well in the interim, he draws the #10 again (always a plus) and might benefit from a change of tactics. This blog is under the assumption that one of the two Dale Romans horses, either Paddy or First Dude, will go to the lead to try and soften up Super Saver. If Paddy goes to the lead, he has shown he can cook and keep going. If First Dude is the one to go, Super Saver will have to prove that he can pass again, and Paddy will be right on his flank turning for home. #8 Super Saver is the 2nd choice, once again being the top choice for the place spot. He has done nothing wrong, but the work is enough to play against. If he wins, he will go to Belmont with the chance to win the sport's first triple crown since 1978 an Affirmed. The co-3rd choices are the ever unlucky (and ironically drawn in post #7) Lookin at Lucky, and the only new shooter to crack this list #5 Yawanna Twist. Lucky looks to avoid another rough trip, as he was mauled in the Derby. Yawanna Twist has been off 6 weeks, and with a deceivingly good run in the Illinois Derby plus a steady stream of works, this son of Yonaguska could give his sire another placing in a triple crown race, after Musket Man ran third in both the Derby and Preakness last year.
#10 Paddy O'Prado
#8 Super Saver
#1 Lookin at Lucky/#4 Yawanna Twist
There they are. I wish everyone good luck and hopefully this blog will lead you to a life-changing score.