Friday, May 14, 2010

Preakness Stakes


Saturday May 15th , 2010
Estimated Local Post Time: 6:12 pm EST
Name: Preakness Stakes Grade: 1
Purse: $1,000,000
Distance/Restrictions: 1 3/16 Miles, Dirt, 3 Year Olds, STAKES

Aikenite                         3rd Fountain of Youth
Schoolyard Dreams       4th Wood Memorial
Pleasant Prince              2nd Florida Derby
Northern Giant              9th Arkansas Derby
Yawanna Twist              2nd Illinois Derby
Jackson Bend                12th K.Y. Derby
Lookin At Lucky           6th K.Y. Derby
Super Saver                   1st K.Y. Derby
Caracortado                  4th Santa Anita Derby
Paddy O’prado             3rd K.Y. Derby
First Dude                     5th Florida Derby
Dublin                           7th K.Y. Derby

Similar to the Kentucky Derby I’ve listed the horses and their most pertinent or most recent accomplishments above.

Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver (and Jockey Calvin Borel) attempt to seize the second jewel of the Triple Crown – and I for one am certainly cheering for a Triple Crown winner – however I’m having a very hard time believing Super Saver is going to get it done.

My reasoning is this – with 20 horses navigating the field of any given Kentucky Derby luck tends to play more of factor in that race than perhaps any other American horse race. With that many moving bodies in place – one momentary ill timed decision or one poor placement in the starting gate could cost the most gifted of horses their shot at glory.

In the Derby Super Saver (seen here is his lounge wear) -

(Saver) had a solid starting spot and Calvin Borel once again weaved his way to the winner’s circle at Churchill Downs. However as I see it better horses just suffered worst luck that day.

The Preakness however is perhaps the best test of talent for three year old horses – with a more manageable 12 contenders in this year’s field it makes this race comparable to the prep races many of these horses have been running all season.

With that in mind as I look at the contenders in this race I have Super Saver as perhaps the third or even fourth best horse in this group. So while Borel has been nothing short of magic on the first Saturday in May – I don’t know what kind of smoke and mirrors he could have up his sleeve to keep some of these other (and in my opinion) more talented horses behind him.

The horses that I don’t think have much of a chance in this race are Aikenite (#1), Northern Giant (#4), Yawanna Twist (#5), Caracortado (#9) and First Dude (#11).

The only thing these horses have going for them is rest – which shouldn’t be completely ignored – these horses will have fresher legs then the horses coming off only a two week rest from the Kentucky Derby, however there’s also a reason these horses didn’t make the 20 horse “club” of the Kentucky Derby in the first place.

The horses that I think have the potential to beat Super Saver are as follows:

Schoolyard Dreams (#2) – Disappeared in his last race, however he may be able to control the early pace of this race – and when this horse is on his game he won’t be easy to beat. Currently at 15/1 he might be worth taking a flyer on.

Pleasant Prince (#3) – Ice Box (2nd in the KY Derby) barely beat this horse in the Florida Derby, the Prince hasn’t seemed to improve since that race. He’s tough down the stretch and while I don’t think he’ll win the Preakness – I think he could manage a place in this race.

Jackson Bend (#6) – Outside of the Kentucky Derby this horse hasn’t finished worse than second place for over a year. With the luck factor reduced and the skill factor improved in the Preakness I think Jackson Bend has got to be a strong consideration for your top three –

Lookin At Lucky (#7) – he has had three very poor consecutive finishes – due to either a poor choice made by the jockey (he has a new jockey for this race) or a terrible post position (he has a gem of a post position in this one). Lookin At Lucky could be the most gifted horse in this race, the only questions as I see it are – Will his ironic string of bad luck continue, and did the last two rough outings (where he collided with horses and also the rail) affect him as a race horse? They do say 7 is a lucky number. – likes Paddy O’prado (#10) to pull out the victory, and I think that if Dublin (#12) weren’t positioned on the outside he would certainly be more of a pre-race factor to consider.

As I see it Schoolyard Dreams, Super Saver and Yawanna Twist will make things very interesting in the first half of the race. Jackson Bend and Paddy O’Prado won’t be far behind. As they come for home – I think Lookin At Lucky will find his stride and finish ahead of Schoolyard Dreams (2nd) and Super Saver (3rd).

Closing Speed likes – 7-2-8

*Seeing how Summertime is just around the corner - here's a little something from a pleasant (and Fresh) Prince -

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