The second leg of the Triple Crown goes to post at 6:20 p.m. this Saturday. Mother Nature has plans to behave, and the post positions have been drawn. The only left is to grab your E-Z Win Forms and lets capping… Oh, did I mention that each runner has a story? Every year brings new factoids and the hope continues to find the elusive Triple Crown winner.
The (G-1) 138th Preakness Stakes – 1 3/16 – 6:20 p.m. ET
The weather outlook is very good, and I would look for a fast track in Maryland.
#1 – Orb (1-1) = Joel Rosario in the irons for a trainer who prefers to let the horses bring him to the big races. He is the only one who can make history, and after hearing how he has been looking this pats week. The odds seem to fit the runner well. I wouldn’t get too mired down in the post. There is 3/16ths of a mile to get into position, and I think this maturing colt can move enough early as to not get “trapped” down on the rail.
#2 – Goldencents (8-1) = Kevin Krigger shoots to become the first African-American rider to win since 1898. Doug O’ Neill won last year with I’ll Have Another, and is the only trainer able to pull off the “two-in-a-row” feat. I think we’ll see him send, and they hated the track condition in Louisville. Toss the last race, and his “A” game will have to find more to beat the chalk.
#3 – Titletown Five (30-1) = Leparoux in the driver’s seat for D. Wayne Lukas. This son of Tiznow is good, but in my opinion has a tough day ahead. I don’t think Paul Hornung can carry him across the finish line.
#4 – Departing (6-1) = B.J Hernandez up for Al Stall with the “new shooter.” 5/5 ITM, and an impressive winner of the Illinois Derby. Didn’t run in the Derby, and brings fresh legs. How good is he? I will be able to answer that at the 16th pole the second time around that race. Look for a mid-stalker type with a purpose.
#5 – Mylute (5-1) = Rosie Napravnik up for Thomas Amoss. She is looking to be the first lady in the Preakness winner’s circle, and she steadied early in the Derby. Add this up, and Amoss brings a dangerous sort with a red-hot rider. This guy is a major player. Good vibes…
#6 – Oxbow (15-1) = Gary Steven teams back with Coach Lukas for another Triple Crown win. He had the dreaded one post in the Derby, and was bumped a bit. This son of Awesome Again has the perfect style at the distance. He is honest, and like many… Toss that last race.
#7 – Will Take Charge (12-1) = Mike Smith in the saddle for D. Wayne Lukas. This is a legit complainer for the Derby. Had to check at the 3/16ths, and rebounds well off the slop as he did three back. I feel he could be a problem if Orb doesn’t live up to the talk/numbers/hype/training/rider.
#8 – Govenor Charlie (12-1) = Martin Garcia gets the call for Team Baffert. Been off since the Sunland Derby win, and this son of Midnight Lute comes in light with no two-year-old season. He worked a bullet, and if he duplicates his last, he could make the painter look for his silks to be on the weather vane.
#9 – Itsmyluckyday (10-1) = John Velasquez replaces Elvis Trujillo. Eddie Plesa said he is feeling himself, and the change of riders could be a plus. I can see him in the super, but not as a winner. He’ll have to beat the nine post, and mature off the Derby. Style fits Pimlico, and needs a super “A” game.
If you took a look at the “Preakness Plans” blog, you will see how much the tier levels will help. Take a look at your E-Z Win Forms as soon as possible, as there is a fat $1,500,000 pick-four, and a potential huge super payout. No bad clouds coming, and the positions are in the book. All we have to do is get our bets down, and keep our fingers crossed for the illusive Triple Crown beast. He hasn’t been sighted for over 35-years.