Friday, May 15, 2009

Terry's Horses To Watch For The Preakness

Pimlico Race Course
Saturday, May 16

After an unlikely win in the Derby at 50/1, Mine That Bird should be creating a lot of “buzz” around Old Hilltop this week. Well, he is having just a little trouble finding the respect that is usually afforded the Derby winner and even his jockey jumped ship. One horse is creating a lot of “buzz” at the Preakness this week. The sensational Rachel Alexandra will attempt to become the first filly to win the Preakness since Nellie Morse won this race in 1924. She is the first filly this century to even try.

Preakness Stakes ~ Grade I ~ Purse $1,000,000 ~ 1 3/16 Miles

Rachel Alexandra – Post 13 – Morning Line 8/5
An eye popping 20 length winner in a hand ride in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks, “Rachel” has reeled off 5 straight wins under Calvin Borel, the Derby winning jockey who chose to ride her today. She is bigger than most of the colts and has the pace stalking running style that wins this race. Her biggest problem may be post 13. Win or lose, we salute new owner, Jess Jackson, and new trainer, Steve Asmussen, for entering her as a gesture to the fans of this sport.

Pioneerof The Nile – Post 9 – Morning Line 5/1
He stalked the pace throughout before taking the lead at the top of the stretch in the Derby only to finish 2nd in a three horse photo for place in his first race on dirt. He previously had a 4 race winning streak including the Grade I Santa Anita Derby. After watching his coveted 4th Derby win slip away along the rail you can count on Baffert having him ready today. He may go off the favorite and Gomez stays aboard.

Musket Man – Post 3 – Morning Line 8/1
After wins in the Grade III Tampa Bay Derby and Grade II Illinois Derby, generally considered to be the second tier of Derby prep races, he showed he was for real in the Derby by finishing 3rd in that grueling stretch run. He was bumped near the wire and in a normal race would likely have been moved up to 2nd by DQ. He seems to be heading in the right direction as a bullet 4 furlong work at Monmouth Park on Tuesday would indicate. Coa stays aboard with a big chance.

Papa Clem – Post 7 – Morning Line 12/1
He looked to be closing for 2nd in the Derby before having to check down the lane due to the bumping previously mentioned and finished 4th. His mid pack running style doesn’t usually win the Preakness but if Bejarano can keep him a little closer, he has a chance and should at least be considered in the Exotics.

Fresian Fire – Post 5 – Morning Line 6/1
He was the favorite in the Derby but was crunched coming out of the gate and clipped heels. He finished a disappointing 18th but returned after the race with cuts and blood on all 4 legs due to the incident coming out of the gate. He still has the win over an off track in the Grade II LA Derby and an off track is expected today. His trainer still is Larry Jones who always has his horses ready in big races. If he is healthy, he has a chance. Saez stays aboard.

Mine That Bird – Post 2 – Morning Line 6/1
He pulled off a shocking win at 50/1 in the Derby with a masterful rail hugging ride by Borel who will be on “Rachel” today. The Derby winner doesn’t usually prep for the race with 2 straight losses in New Mexico and the lifetime best (by a lot) Beyer number in the Derby could have him ripe for a bounce or maybe he is just coming into his own. His running style doesn’t fit how this race is won but new jockey Mike Smith is an outstanding big race rider. Tough call.

Others in the Race:
Big Drama – Post 1 – M/L: 10/1
– Has the speed and 7 straight wins but class is an issue. Johnny V rides.
General Quarters – Post 8 – M/L: 20/1 – Traffic trouble in the Derby but hasn’t beat top rivals. Leparoux rides.
Take The Points – Post 11 – M/L: 30/1 – Stayed with Pioneerof the Nile in SA Derby. Pletcher with Prado up.
Flying Private – Post 10 – M/L: 50/1 – Showed nothing while last in Derby. Lukas with Garcia aboard.
Terrain – Post 6 – M/L: 30/1 – Respectable in LA Derby and Blue Grass but Leparoux gets off. Rose picks up the ride.
Tone It Down – Post 12 – M/L: 50/1 - Local horse was 3rd in only minor stakes. Desormeaux aboard a plus.
LuvGuv – Post 4 – M/L: 50/1 – Broke maiden on Derby Day in 10th attempt. Lukas and Mary Lou Whitney but why.