Saturday, May 18, 2013

Preakness Stakes 2013

PIMLICO - May 18, 2013
Race 12 - 6:20 PM
Preakness S.   (Grade I)
Purse - $1,000,000
Distance - One And Three Sixteenth Miles

1 – Orb
2 – Goldenscents
3 – Titletown Five
4 – Departing
5 – Mylute
6 – Oxbow
7 – Will Take Charge
8 – Govenor Charlie
9 – Itsmyluckyday

I began writing this blog several years ago in hopes of following the early career of a Triple Crown winner – and we’ve come close to breaking the thirty four year drought twice in recent years with Big Brown and I’ll Have Another.

Big Brown had mechanical difficulty in the Belmont, and I’ll Have Another unfortunately sustained an injury after the Preakness and was unable to race in the Belmont.

I believe #1 Orb has the talent to be a Triple Crown winner – He’s won his last five races, against quality talent – and the distance of the Preakness should be perfect for his style.

There is a 70% chance of rain, and he's proven that he can run in the mud (see KY Derby). 

A number of people are concerned with his #1 post position – and I’ll add that I have some concerns, but I don’t see it as being a big disadvantage. 

Orb has shown a maturity and a racing style that will allow him to sit back and find a spot he’s comfortable running in. If he’s able to keep up with the middle of the pack and find an opening in the final stretch I suspect (as long as he doesn't come out flat) he’ll sail by his competition to the winner’s circle as he has in the past few races.

I certainly agree that Orb should be the favorite in this race…..but I think he’s facing a bigger challenge than his 1/1 morning odds indicate, considering the competition….and here they are......

#2 Goldenscents finished a very disappointing 17th in the Kentucky Derby – but this horse has bounced back before (With Santa Anita Derby and Delta Downs Jackpot victories). I’m throwing away his KY Derby performance – too much mud and too many horses. I disagree with his 8/1 morning line odds, I think this horse should be the second favorite here.

#3 Titletown Five is the longshot here at 30-1 odds….now these odds I completely agree with. I believe he’s completely outclassed in this one.

#5 Mylute and #4 Departing are the second and third favorites in this race respectively.  Mylute finished 2nd just ahead of Departing in the Louisiana Derby…..and Mylute was the next closest finisher to Orb in the Kentucky Derby (5th), that's facing him again today….but I’m just not a believer in these two horses being the second and third favorites in this race. I do like their post positions --- but if the ground isn’t muddy I think there are bigger challengers to Orb than these two.

Like #6 Oxbow – I like Oxbow and I think if he continues racing he’s going to be a very good horse in the next few years. I think if he runs "his" race and Orb runs into traffic Oxbow could pull off an upset here, but he’s the kind of horse that will need help. Oxbow is just kind of a Blue Collar, Lunch Pail, get the job done kind of horse – however I don’t think he has the explosive talent of some of the other contenders.

The next three horses are the ones that scare me the most…..

#7 Will Take Charge --- again I’m throwing away the muddy crowded KY Derby --- and I’m looking at his victory in the Rebel Stakes. I think on solid ground this horse is a bigger contender than his 8th place Kentucky Derby finish or his 12/1 odds would indicate. If the ground is muddy….he doesn’t seem to run well in the muck so I may cross him out at that point…..but if it’s dry – watch out.
Strangely Sensitive Cheetah
would like to be addressed
as Governor from time
to time.

#8 Governor Charlie – worries me the most. It’s been 55 days since he last raced, however in his last outing the Sunland Derby, he kept up with the leaders on a 23 second first quarter,  a 46 second half mile and finishes a Mile 1/8 well ahead of the rest. This horse may be able to go wire to wire in this race, and if the rest of the horses gang up on Orb and try to prevent him from winning by simply keeping him pinned to the rail or in traffic…..Governor Charlie could be the horse that benefits the most.

In my opinion this horse will be rusty having taken almost two months off – however he’ll also have the freshest legs on the track, especially compared to six Kentucky Derby challengers who just ran 14 days ago in a different state.

At 12/1 odds…..He’s definitely my LONG SHOT ALERT!

Finally #9 Itsmyluckyday --- currently going off at 10/1 after a 15th place finish in the KY Derby. I still think this horse has SCARY TALENT….because he was absolutely stunning in his Holy Bull Victory. However this will be his third time going up against Orb and he has yet to beat him. It’s getting harder to believe that Itsmyluckyday just didn’t have a lucky day in the Holy Bull.

Closing Speed likes: Orb, Governor Charlie, Goldenscents

If I’m betting $8 here’s who I like

$1 Exacta = 1/8 w 1/2/7/8/9

If Governor Charlie’s odds stay around 15-1 or 20-1 --- I like laying down $10 to win, and $10 to place.

Good Luck Champ - I'm pulling for you!

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