Thursday, May 17, 2018
HANDICAPPING HEROES -- Some early Preakness thoughts
It looks like Justify has been establish as the 1-2 favorite for the running of the Preakness on Saturday. I don't think he'll stay at those odds, he'll probably go off 2-5 or lower. It looks like the track conditions could be "off" based on the projections for weather at Pimlico.
We all know Justify can run in "the slop". We know that Good Magic, currently 3-1 odds can close in the slop. So, the question is this...is there a "longshot" that can win this race? Post positions really don't make that much of a difference in a eight-horse race, but, for what it's worth...#7 belongs to Justify and #5 to Good Magic.
I'll give you two horses...long shots... to watch. Not saying they'll win, but they just might hit the board. Anything can happen in a horse race, as we all know.
TENFOLD has a morning line of 20-1. he's trained by Steve Asmussen and Victor Espinoza receives the ride. Like Justify, he didn't run as a two-year old. He also didn't run in the Kentucky Derby. He finished fifth in the Arkansas Derby. The barn reports he's gained weight and muscle since then and in Espinoza, he gets a three-time Preakness winner on his back. Asmussen is one of horse-racing's best trainers and the additional time off could be of benefit to the son of Curlin. It would take a huge effort from him to win the Black Eyed Susan bouquet, but, at 20-1 or higher, it might be worth a small investment to take a chance on a horse that is 2 for 3 lifetime and coming into his own. He'll get the #6 hole at the gate. Will he be able to match the early speed or will he try to come off the pace? I'll probably include him in any "exotics" I play in the race.
LONE SAILOR draws my interest as well. He's a 15-1 shot and comes out of the highly-regarded Tom Amoss barn. His eighth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby did have him closing a bit, and one of the "kings" of New York racing, Irad Ortiz, gets the mount. He did have a second-place finish in the Louisiana Derby by a neck. He's the only other horse, besides Justify, to have a 100+ Brisnet Spped rating to his credit, so perhaps he'll challenge Justify early and either wear him out or maybe even hang on to go wire-to-wire. At 15-1, he's another that will figure in my "exotics"wagers and perhaps a small "across the board" bet also.
I've haven't mentioned QUIP here.He did winthe Tampa Bay Derby and his owners decided to forego the Kentucky Derby and wait for the Preakness. Buyer beware here, of course, but 12-1 and Florent Geroux on board could attract some. I'll remain on the sidelines on him except for including him on the bottom of trifectas and supers.
We'll be back Saturday with our Late Pick 4 selections for Preakness day.