Post time draws closer with the passing of every minute and the second jewel of the Triple Crown is up for grabs. For the sake of being master of the obvious, only one can be the next Triple Crown winner. But the bigger question begs, “is this the year we keep it going ?” – If you watched the Derby and saw Nyquist draw off with the greatest of ease, you have to support that camp even if you don’t like the price. But if you’re spending time watching the weather, the horses in the morning, and who the hard core handicappers like. You’re probably looking elsewhere.
In a nutshell, this race should offer an honest to quick pace. – The odds should be pretty short on the Derby winner, and you’re going to have to find exotics or a guaranteed pick-four pool to draw my money out of my pocket. As a fan there is nothing I would rather see, as a handicapper this is the last thing I want to happen. So what’s a player to do ? – Do you sit back and take what they give you, or do you go to work now and find that hidden nugget of gold ? – I’ve got my miner’s hat and pick in hand and off I go with my trusty mule Sadie to head into the gold mine.
According to handicapper Derek Simon of US Racing; “Since 1990, Kentucky Derby winners are 10-for-27 (37 percent) in the Preakness.” – They say the numbers don’t lie, and aren’t you looking to make up for some lost ground in the Derby ? – I know that I’m standing in that line, and it is pretty darn tough to knock a colt who comes into the Preakness undefeated. As “Devil’s Advocate” here are the tales of the tape that may in fact hold some water. – Nyquist became the 8th undefeated winner of the Kentucky Derby, and it appeared that Exaggerator was getting to the winner in the late stages. – Or was he just chasing a runner who had a whole new gear yet to show ? Take a look at the Derby replay and keep an open mind. – Fast forward to 1:26 in the race, and watch how Gun Runner softened up the leader and looked like a real threat. – Oh, by the way. Gun Runner is hanging up the remaining Triple Crown races to focus on a summer campaign. – If Gun Runner wasn’t in the picture. How far would Nyquist have drawn off ?
Ok, now you’ve watched the Derby for the 100th time, and yes Nyquist looks incredible. It has to be on the mind of racing fans far and wide that Nyquist is bound to etch his name with the immortals who have captured the Triple Crown. – The weatherman is calling for a high percentage of showers on Saturday starting around 6:00 am, and that leaves little magic for the track crew to work. It looks like a steady downpour all day, and I for one hope the weather man is out to lunch. – The weather has been tossed around by handicappers since the Derby and if you missed the Florida Derby. Here is another glimpse of Nyquist handling a soggy / good track for his meeting with the ultra-tough Mohaymen. Fast forward to 1:45 in the race and see if it looks like a replay of his last race win in the Kentucky Derby.
Ok, ok. – It is time to try to beat this monster. At the time of this entry the post positions have not been drawn and who knows if there will be additional defections. – Cherry Wine is an excellent candidate to get the job down. Lightly raced this year, finished a fast closing effort in the Bluegrass Stakes getting beat a head for place and the whole enchilada by 1 3/4. Oh, and if the rain dance is on your mind. He broke his maiden at Churchill Downs on November 28, in Race #7 drawing off to win by 9 and 1/4 on the sealed sloppy oval. Once they figured out to take him off the turf and test his mettle. I think we have a good horse getting better at the right time.
Exaggerator was rolling late, but Nyquist didn’t look worried. Was it he had the race in hand, or he had given his all and it was time to find the finish line ? – The players who like this son of Curlin have been thinking rain since the Derby. – The big knock on this colt is he has faced Nyquist four times and hasn’t sealed the deal yet. He does enjoy the off going with a record of (3) starts with (2) win and (1) place effort over the goo. I feel he is a late bloomer, and we’re just getting to see his best efforts. Can he knock off the top runner, well you better hope the rain really is his hole card. He’ll still have to face this nasty runner who is also peaking at the right time. Remember, the Preakness is a 1/16th shorter than the Derby and he’ll rely on a blistering pace to play into his hands. – When he moved early, he took on the dimension of a different animal. He moved at the 4 furlong pole, and looked like a downhill train by the time they hit the 3/8th’s pole. Take notice of the early fractions: 22.15, 45.24, and 1:10.10. – If you see anything near this, the race could be for place for anyone else.
At the end of the day we have to make decisions as handicappers. I know this is early and barring any crazy defections, Exaggerator gets my money, vote, and hopeful bid to win Preakness 141. – I’m looking for Cherry Wine to put up a very game efforts, but he’ll fall just a little short to the two heavyweights. Nyquist will be second on my tickets, but he’ll be on there as sure as Saturday. – First race post Saturday is 10:30 a.m. – The Preakness, the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown and the 13th of 14 races, will anchor a $2 million guaranteed Late Pick 4 and a $1 million guaranteed Late Pick 5. The Preakness will also be the last race of a $100,000 single-winner guarantee in the Rainbow 6, which begins with Race 8. – Other guarantees will include a $250,000 Early Pick 5 beginning with Race 2, a $300,000 Early Pick 4 beginning with Race 3, and a $500,000 Pick 5 beginning with Race 6.
There is plenty of wagering action on the menu, and you’ll be hard-pressed not to take part. – You’ll want to download your Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms as soon as possible, and keep your eye on the weather. Winning Ponies is ready if it is sunny and 70, or rainy and 55 degrees. You can change your one-of-a-kind E-Z Win Forms by clicking “the change of weather tab.” – With so much on the table, and guarantied pools swelling. You’ll want every edge you can find, and the ability to receive a brand new set of E-Z Win Forms if the weather turns one way or the other can be the difference. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies, and be sure to check back for your E-Z Win Forms later this week with some free E-Z Win selections to get your day rolling !