Obviously all eyes will be on Pimlico Racetrack in Baltimore, Maryland this weekend as 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb tries to capture the second leg of Horse Racing’s Triple Crown, 2013 Preakness Stakes.
I’ve written four or five articles this week in regards to the present, and even past, Preakness’ so I think I’ve covered the gist of exactly how important this race is.
Therefore, I will skip the long introduction and get right to the race. Remember, I’m doing each horse individually by post position with my selections at the bottom.
Also, my weekly report will probably be a day later next week being that I’m focusing on the Metropolitan Mile at Belmont Park but that race is run on Monday (Memorial Day) as opposed to Saturday. In any event, I’ll try to get it posted as soon as possible
Pimlico – Saturday, May 18, 2013
Race 12 – 6:20 PM
Preakness S. (Grade I)
Purse $1,000,000. For Three-Year-Olds
One and Three Sixteenth Miles
C R McGaughey III
D F O’Neill
J R Leparoux
D W Lukas
B J Hernandez, Jr.
A M Stall, Jr.
T M Amoss
G L Stevens
D W Lukas
Will Take Charge
M E Smith
D W Lukas
J R Velazquez
E Plesa, Jr.
Analysis (In Post Position Order; Selections below)
PP#1- Orb- obviously the stand alone three year old male division leader based on his past three (in a row) wins in the Fountain of Youth, the Florida Derby and, of course, his remarkable Kentucky Derby.
In fact, the more times I watch the Derby replay, the more I’m impressed with what he did, and more importantly, what he overcame (sloppy track, traffic and forced to go six wide at the top of the stretch) to win that race.
Also, if you go by the rule of thumb that for every one horse wide a horse must go on a turn, it equates to one length in distance. That being said, that means this colt by Malibu Moon, had he gotten a rail trip, would have won the Derby by 8 or 9 lengths. (The math being he went 6 wide, yet still won by 2 ½ lengths…6 plus the 2 ½ he won by puts him at 8 ½.)
Wow…that’s impressive….winning by that much puts him in the Big Brown, who won the Derby by 4 ¾’s after being 5 wide at the top of the stretch and Barbaro, who was 3 or 4 wide on the turn and won by 6 ½, stratosphere.
I posted an article with a video of this horses’ jaw dropping half mile work (:47.1) last Saturday and I’m still amazed at it. (He ran the second and last quarter in :22.4). Remember, that’s just a week after the Derby…no wonder why trainer Shug McGaughey called it a “freaky” work….it really was and if he keeps winning, and working out, like that? There’s no telling how good he is.
His training this week, and after that huge half mile work, has gone off without a hiccup too, that’s always a plus.
Orb arrived at Pimlico (and was bedded down in stall #40, the traditional stall for the Kentucky Derby winner) this past Tuesday. He jogged for a while and then galloped a mile on the Pimlico surface on both Wednesday and Thursday.
“As far as I’m concerned it’s all systems go,” McGaughey said Thursday afternoon. “I was just looking at his attitude this morning, and wanted to see if he’s fresh. He has been here two days, and I’m pleased. Actually I’m very pleased at what I’ve seen.”
The only negative thing I see is that Orb drew post #1, so he’s stuck down on the rail for the start, but don’t let that bother you. I mean, Shug is right about what he said about breaking from the #1 post.
“The one post here is different than the one post at Churchill Downs (for the Kentucky Derby),” McGaughey said. “It’s not going to be a concern.”
“He won the Fountain of Youth from (post 1),” McGaughey added. “His first race was from post 1, and he finished third in a very good race. Obviously if I was going to pick the post, I wouldn’t have picked post 1. But with only nine horses in there and with a rider like Joel (Rosario), he’s going to figure out what to do”.
“He’ll have him in the right spot. I’m looking forward to Saturday afternoon. We’ve got an even-money shot in the Preakness. What more could I ask for?”
Like Shug said….it’s all systems go here.
PP#2- Goldencents- his last (17th in the Kentucky Derby, beaten almost 50 lengths and being pulled up at the eighth pole) was too bad to be true.
He obviously didn’t like the slop and he was out of his natural (on or close to the early lead) running style.
I can’t blame Krigger all that much. I mean, if he let’s his horse run early he gets into a speed dual with kamikaze Derby pace setter Palace Malice, yet if he takes him back off the early pace and out of his element, he gets mud kicked in his face and doesn’t like it.
Either way, this colt by Into Mischief was not winning the Derby under any circumstances.
But this is a new race and on what looks to be a fast track…don’t forget, before the Derby this horse was 4 for 6 in his career and won the Santa Anita Derby.
Also, after changing his mind several times, trainer Doug O’Neill decided to work Goldencents….kind of.
“I called the stewards when I got here, because back home if you’re beaten more than 30 lengths, you have to work, but the stewards said we were OK,” O’Neill said.
The good looking colt turned in a strong gallop at Pimlico on Wednesday, one in which he went faster than a two-minute lick.
“I got him a mile in 1:50,” O’Neill said. “He galloped so great; going strong and straight the whole way. He’s even better now than he was before the Derby. He keeps continuing to move forward after bouncing out of the Derby unbelievable.”
I’m not sure I understand the 8-1 (fourth choice) morning line odds. No way, I’m thinking he should have opened at 4 or 5 to1 and as the second or third choice.
You’ll definitely get some value on him regardless if his odds go up or down on Saturday because he is a huge, huge bounce back candidate and one of the top threats to knock off Orb….he’s also a “must use” in any exotics betting situations.
PP#3-Titletown Five- is partially owned by NFL great Paul Hornung and is one of a three entered in this race by trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
This colt by Tiznow was a “weakening” 4th in his last race (April 27 Derby Trail at Churchill) and was the early pacesetter in the Louisiana Derby before he “gave way” and retreated to 9th to Revolutionary. 30-1 morning line?…yes, he’s every bit of that….next.
PP#4 Departing- there is lots to like in Orb’s “brother” if you will (they spent the first few months of theirs lives sharing a paddock at Claiborne Farm).
Good looking gelding is 4 for 5 in his career and comes off a mighty impressive come from behind win in the Illinois Derby in his last.
This stretch runner by War Front has already outrun his pedigree and has one of the better, more efficient, strides I’ve seen from any three year old this year.
He worked a half mile in 50.4 on Tuesday and galloped a mile on Wednesday.
“Everything is fine,” trainer Al Stall Jr. said this past Wednesday.
It certainly looks like he is sitting on a big race and, like Goldencents, poses a formidable upset chance…..overall, he merits big time respect.
PP#5- Mylute- ran a very respectable 5th (beaten less than 4 lengths) in the Derby after being steadied early and being forced almost seven wide on the turn for home.
I’m convinced now that taking the blinkers off had a lot to do with the marked improvement in his last two races (Before the Derby, he came from far back to get beat a neck to Revolutionary in the aforementioned Louisiana Derby).
He had a light morning walk at Churchill Downs on Tuesday and a half-mile work in :49 3/5 on Monday.
“He came out of the work good and will jog in the morning,” trainer Tom Amoss said.
He won’t need to improve all that much more to make a substantial impact on this race and is yet another is capable of pulling off an upset
PP#6- Oxbow- was among the early leaders in the Derby and backed up to finish sixth (beaten almost 10).
This colt by the gorgeous Awesome Again was nowhere to be found in the race prior to the Derby (the Arkansas Derby) too.
It’s kind of tricky to try and handicap this horse…I mean, he hasn’t won since January (and is 2 for 10 in his career) yet he hasn’t really been blown out of races either. (even though he was beaten 10 in the Derby, remember, that’s probably not that bad considering the scorching pace he was close to early on).
I’m going to pass…..I’d be surprised if he won or even ran well but it wouldn’t be a complete shocker to me
PP#7- Will Take Charge- if you draw a line thru those two horrible wet track starts, where he was beaten a total of over 30 lengths, you’ll see a second place finish in a minor stakes at Oaklawn in December, a win in the Smarty Jones Stakes and a win in the Rebel Stakes.
He went a half mile in :48 1/5 in his final workout for the Preakness on Tuesday and he gets a rider switch to Mike Smith (from Gary Stephens) as well.
If what it appears is true (he doesn’t like a wet track) then he’s a live long-shot possibly.
PP#8- Govenor Charlie- will be just two races removed from breaking his maiden at Santa Anita (Feb 17). But this colt by enormous Midnight Lute is trained by Bob Baffert who, as I’ve mentioned before, doesn’t put his horses in spots where they are totally overmatched. (He didn’t run in the Derby because a minor foot bruise caused him to miss some training time in April.)
He was dead game in winning that aforementioned maiden race and came back to blow away the field (he won by 5) in the Sunland Park Derby.(March 24)
He recorded a pair of eye popping six furlong works (May 7- 1:11.4) but it’s really the second one that is more impressive (May 13- 1:10.4)
He started behind talented stable-mate Fed Biz and cut fractions of :11 4/5, :23 4/5, :35, and :58 1/5 for five furlongs. He galloped out seven furlongs in 1:24 4/5.
“He came out of his (second) work really, really well,” said Baffert. “We are prepared to go.”
PP#9- Itsmyluckyday- finished a disappointing 15th in the Kentucky Derby and I’m really starting to believe this colt peaked out in the month of January (two monster wins) because since then, he’s been beaten handily twice by Orb (once in the Flordia Derby and then, of course, the Kentucky Derby).
He posted a fast half mile work (:47.1) at Monmouth for this race on Monday and jogged around the same track on Tuesday.
“Everything is good,” trainer Ed Plesa Jr. said.
I’m going to pass on him to but, like Oxbow, this colt by the fleet Lawyer Ron could bounce back and run well. If he does, I wouldn’t be all that surprised.
Thank for reading…
Record: 9-24 = 38%
2012: 24-74 = 32%
To receive an email each time a new Horse Racing article is published, fill out the Email Notification Form