Saturday, May 20, 2017

Preakness Stakes 2017

Pimlico  - May 20, 2016
Race 13 - 6:48 PM
Preakness Stakes.   (Grade I)
Purse - $1,500,000
Distance - One And Three Sixteenth Miles
Surface – Dirt

1 - Multiplier
2 - Cloud Computing
3 - Hence
4 - Always Dreaming
5 - Classic Empire
6 - Gunnevera
7 - Term of Art
8 - Senior Investment
9 - Lookin At Lee
10 - Conquest Mo Money

For anyone who missed #4 Always Dreaming”s victory in the Kentucky Derby see the video below.

Kentucky Derby:

#4 Always Dreaming is the significant favorite in the Preakness and he certainly has earned that distinction. So far this horse has shown that he does everything well – he runs in the mud well, he handles traffic well, he closes like lightning and he’s a very disciplined competitor.  From what I’ve seen I think there’s only three things that can beat Always Dreaming.

1st  Exhaustion – he could come out flat after only two weeks rest – two weeks is an unusual task for these horses and Always Dreaming, Hence, Classic Empire, Gunnevera and Looking at Lee are all coming off of a short rest.

The Empire Strikes Back?!?!
It's like you see the horrible joke
coming from a mile away, but
you can't do anything about it.
2nd Injury – and I for one hope no one gets hurt in these races. It still pisses me off A LOT remembering that people actually cheered when Barbaro stopped racing because of an eventual life ending injury....yeah people were applauding.

3rdClassic Empire…..aka The Empire Strikes Back!

#5 Classic Empire will likely be the 2nd favorite in the Preakness and, in my opinion, also well deserved. Classic Empire finished a disappointing fourth in the Kentucky Derby, but I’d throw that race away. Classic Empire got squeezed coming out of the gate and pushed into the center of the field – there was also some shifting among horses behind Always Dreaming as they came home causing unusual traffic – and the mud didn’t help Classic Empire either.

Classic Empire *may be the better horse – I don’t think he is – but that’s what we’ll find out in the Preakness.

Image result for empire strikes back
I just assume NBC is going to abuse this idea
A look at the rest of the field:

#1 Multiplier – He’s going off at about 30-1….but here are a few things to consider – he won his last race, and he won it on the rail – so his post position could be perfect for him. He likes to stay in the middle of the pack – which should place him in an area of the field where he has room to maneuver.

Multiplier has had more rest (28 days) – and from what I saw he was FEARLESS in the Illinois Derby. If the quick turnaround has exhausted Classic Empire and Always Dreaming……Multiplier could make things interesting.

#2 Cloud Computing – has 1 win in 3 races – and he faded hard at a mile and 1/8th…….Cloud Computing is an amazing technology, but an average horse.

Related image
Speaking of Cloud Computing and the Empire Strikes Back -- Cloud City Everybody!
This made me anxious as a child....I mean what's holding this City up?
And what's below all of these clouds that we need to live above...but not on
So many questions.

#3 Hence – I like Hence – but he has 2 wins in 7 attempts and finished 11th in the Kentucky Derby. He’s a Deep Closer…..but he’ll need a lot of help to win this one  -- he’s a possible 2nd or 3rd place, and maybe the mud was a factor in Kentucky…..but I think at best a 3rd place finish here.

#6 Gunnevera – finished 7th in the Kentucky Derby and has finished behind Always Dreaming in two straight races (Florida Derby)…..I think the Preakness will likely be the third time.

Gunnevera is a good horse, and he’s also a bit of a deep closer – if Classic Empire isn’t up for a big finish Gunnevera could steal 2nd place.

#7 Term of Art – he’s won 2 races out of a lifetime 9 --- he hasn’t race in 42 days and his last victory was around Thanksgiving….which is what the teller will be saying to you if you bet on this horse… know, Thanks (for) Giving us your money…….huh??? See what I did there……And, no I have no shame.

#8 Senior Investment – is fresh off of an impressive victory in the Lexington Stakes – he has a lifetime 3 wins in 8 attempts – a better look at this horse is likely his 6th place finish in the Louisiana Derby.

He closes very well, but he would need a LOT of help to pull off a victory – I honestly believe he could be more of a traffic issue for Classic Empire more than anything else.

#9 Lookin At Lee – finished 2nd in the Kentucky Derby – and he’s going off with 2 wins in 10 attempts. Looking at Lee really impressed me in the Kentucky Derby – and he’s currently the third favorite at 10-1. I just don’t see this horse beating Always Dreaming and/or Classic Empire – BUT Lookin At Lee is just talented enough to pull off another 2nd place finish in this one…’s possible.

#10 Conquest Mo Money – A LOT of buzz has been made about Conquest Mo Money entering the Preakness – he did NOT run in the Kentucky Derby, however he has 3 wins in 5 attempts --  including a 2nd place finish in the Arkansas Derby behind Classic Empire.

Mo Money comes in Mo’ Rested and could certainly pull off an upset if the Kentucky Derby horses are gassed for this one.

At 15-1 he has my attention…..however in the Arkansas Derby he looked like he began to fade at the mile marker…..and while he may have built stamina more….I just don’t know that he has that last 3/16 of a mile in him.

Related image
Apparently the Preakness is also Movie Night for my blog.
Here’s how I see the race unfolding:

Always Dreaming will come out of the gate clean, take the rail and take the early lead – Conquest Mo Money will cross over and attempt to stalk Always Dreaming….or possible push the early tempo.

If Conquest Mo Money and Always Dreaming hit the quarter mile in the high 21 or low 22 that could be good news for the late closers who will be hoping that a hot early pace will tire these two horses out.

From what I’ve seen Always Dreaming will run “his” race – he’ll be at the quarter mile in the high 22’s or low to mid 23 and really pay Mo Money – No Mind….which is also the title to my second Rap Album.

A horse like Cloud Computing or Term of Art “might” try and run with the big boys at the front of the pack….that won’t last long.

Lookin At Lee and Multiplier will likely be just off that pace and Hence, Senior Investment, Gunnevera and Classic Empire will likely be several lengths back for most of the race.

Midway in the final turn – we’ll start to see movement in the back of the pack – For Classic Empire a lot of his success will be determined on what kind of position he has made for himself coming out of the final turn……there could be a lot of traffic with the deep closers and also some fading horses in the way.

Conquest Mo Money and Always Dreaming are going to be “asked” for another gear… guess is that Always Dreaming will go into his jaw dropping final gear and Mo Money will start to lose ground on the leader.

At this point it could come down to *if Classic Empire can make an incredible final burst and how much ground he’ll have to cover.

From what I have read and seen in the past – in a race like this when you have two strong favorites with two different racing styles – it’s wise to throw in a “longshot” to break up the favorites.

I’m going to be bold and say it’s Multiplier

Closing Speed likes:  Always Dreaming / Multiplier / Classic Empire

**I’m not crazy about betting on this race, because I think the favorites are going to do well  -- but here are some ideas.

If I’m betting $32 on this race I like:

$1 Trifecta Box: 1,4,5,9 = $24  
(we might catch a break and get a decent longshot in second)

$1 Exacta Box: 4,5 with 1,6,9,10 = $8

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