I'll Have Another came out of the pack to gun down Bodemeister deep in the stretch of the Kentucky Derby to end the 23 year drought of the Santa Anita Derby winner going on to take the run for the roses. Two weeks later, the North American racing world finds the attention focused on Pimlico Race Course. The Preakness Stakes is the middle leg in the Triple Crown and the next step to see if I'll Have Another can break another streak of futility, the thirty-four year gap since Affirmed last won all three jewels. Many of the top finishers of the Derby come back in an attempt at avenging the loss. Some new shooters will attempt to upset the bid for immortality as well. Let us get to the action.
I'll Have Another seems to have bounced out of his grueling effort fine. He shipped to Pimlico early to become acclimated with his surroundings before most of the other competitors. He was installed as the 2nd choice on the morning line to the horse who he passed in deep stretch Bodemeister. Bode shipped in this week and has been looking fine over the track, The biggest question for both of these runners is how will they bounce back after their grueling efforts. IHA has only two preps and could be under raced this year to bounce back quickly from such an effort. Bodemeister will be making his sixth start in four months and his third start in 5 weeks. Is it too much too soon?
The others coming back from the Derby in attempt to avenge are Went The Day Well (4th), Creative Cause (5th), Daddy Nose Best (10th) and Optimizer (11th). Many are jumping on the bandwagon of the first two because of their late-running and wide trips in the Derby. CC shipped back to California, then to Pimlico for the race while WTDW shipped home to Fair Hill before coming in for the race. Optimizer is being run into the ground by his trainer, just begging for turf one day in his future. This blog picked Daddy Nose Best in the Derby (but did say that the winner would be on all of the exotics in the win spot), and like him to bounce back from his effort, chalking up the clunker to being too close to hot pace early on in the race, leaving him nothing left in the stretch.
The new shooters seem to be a bit below the runners from the Derby, but some out there like them. Tiger Walk is owned by the one of the best local folks in the business, Sagamore Farm. The distance & class are the question with him. Teeth Of The Dog comes in for Michael Matz, so those who bet Union Rags in the Derby may play him for a chance to make his money back. Pretension is another local horse, but he looks too slow to even clunk up for a minor award, even though he won the local prep. Zetterholm comes in for the crafty Rick Dutrow and steps up from the state-bred ranks. Maybe has a chance to garbage collect underneath in the superfecta. Cozzetti has run some okay race that could maybe earn him a share of the trifecta if things go right.
ANALYSIS: Once again Bodemeister is a play against based on the price and the fact
that this feels like too much racing in such a short amount of time.
The shipping back and forth for Creative Cause is a major negative for
this blog. Went The Day Well will be overbet for what this blog feels
was an optical illusion of a fast-closing effort in the Derby based on
how slow the final furlong was run in.
Daddy Nose Best was the pick in the Derby and he will be the pick in the Preakness. He figures to get a better trip than the two favorites and will be a better price than WTDW or Creative Cause. But just like the Derby, I'll Have Another will be a part of all tickets in the top spot. An exacta box of these two will be the main play.
Good luck folks!