Friday, May 14, 2010

Super Saver is the Favorite But Preakness Looks Wide Open

As it has for the past 134 years this series moves on to Baltimore with one horse having captured the country’s attention and fueled the discussion among racing fans whether this could possibly be the year for another Triple Crown. Racing’s biggest party will again inhabit the infield and crab cakes will replace mint juleps as the food of the day. It’s Preakness Day at Pimlico and time to see if the Derby winner is for real.

Preakness ~ Grade 1 ~ Purse $1,000,000 ~ Surface: Dirt ~ Distance: 1 3/16 Miles
Super Saver – Post 8 – Morning Line 5/2
This horse looked to be sitting on a big race before the Derby and a masterful ride by a jockey who owns Churchill Downs allowed his all world trainer to break an 0-24 streak in that race. Today, the decision is whether his lifetime best Beyer in the Derby and the fact that this horse loves the mud and Churchill means he is ripe for a bounce or is he just peaking at the right time. He deserves to be the favorite today and favorites win the Preakness around 50% of the time. Calvin Borel rides for Todd Pletcher.

Lookin At Lucky – Post 7 – Morning Line 3/1
The Derby favorite had no chance from post 1 and was bumped into the rail twice before they reached the first turn. However, many in the sport feel that horses who are constantly in traffic trouble will continue to find traffic trouble and the promise he showed as the 2 Year Old Champion has simply not been there this year. Baffert seems to be blaming the rider and has dumped the veteran Gomez in favor of the young Garcia. If he wins he would be the first beaten Derby favorite to come back and win the Preakness since 2001. Martin Garcia rides for Bob Baffert.

Jackson Bend – Post 6 – Morning Line 12/1
A horrible trip and a wet track in the Derby led to a 12th place finish but it will be dry today and a bullet work on Monday indicates he may be ready to rebound in here. If you throw out his Derby performance he still finished second to Eskendereya twice this spring and Hall of Famer Smith stays aboard. Mike Smith rides for Nick Zito.

Pleasant Prince – Post 3 – Morning Line 20/1
He ran a close second to Ice Box twice this spring including just missing by a nose in the Florida Derby. He didn’t seem to like the Keeneland Polytrack in the Blue Grass and ran third in the Derby Trial in the mud at Churchill. Missed the Derby on earnings but fits well with these. A sharp work last Sunday indicates he may be ready. Julien Leparoux rides for Wesley Ward.

Paddy O’Prado – Post 10 – Morning Line 9/2
He usually hits the board and ran a solid 3rd in the Derby with a positive Beyer move. Ran second to Stately Victor in the Blue Grass and won the Palm Beach on the turf at Gulfstream. The biggest question mark about him is that none of his seven lifetime starts have come on a dry dirt track. Would like him better on the turf but there is a lot to like if he takes to the surface. Kent Desormeaux rides for Dale Romans.

Dublin – Post 12 – Morning Line 10/1
He hasn’t won lately but has consistent high 90’s Beyers and is another who looked like he did not like the mud at Churchill Downs plus post 17 didn’t help either. Other than the top 3, this is a very similar field to what he has faced this year and trainer Lukas has won this race 5 times. Positive jockey switch to Gomez also helps his chances. Garrett Gomez rides for D. Wayne Lukas.