All the great generals, all the top notch political consultants and Wall Street types study history as a guide to the future. If you go back over previous Preakness Stakes, the winner this Saturday will be one of the horses that ran in the Kentucky Derby.
There are several new shooters, but none with the credentials of I’ll Have Another, Creative Cause or Bodemeister. All have proven they can compete at this level.
Handicapping the Preakness at this early date is not easy. We don’t know how the field will line up or the track conditions – whether or not Pimlico comes up sloppy and rainy. An off track can change everything just as an early rain and a sealed track can.
On big days like the Preakness, the grounds crew sometimes hypes up the dirt course to make it lightning fast to create some faster times, making it unfair. All we want as bettors is a fast and fair track.
So what can we expect this Saturday?
Bodemeister will have the front end and be playing catch me if you can.
I’ll Have Another will need to show more early speed. He’s shown that ability in the past so look for him to gain a good stalking position in the early going. Trainer Doug O’Neill has really done a great job with this colt, bringing him into the Kentucky Derby fresh and fit.
O’Neill shipped him to Pimlico right after the Derby so he has been there for two weeks just jogging around the course. He did not and will not give him heavy work, but that doesn’t concern me.
“Another” is ready to run his race, but will need to be at his best in order to chase down Bodemeister. I think one of the top two will win and move on to the Belmont. For rooting purposes, I know our Las Vegas race books will be cheering for I’ll Have Another.
Creative Cause, who is basically a one pace runner, will be making his usual late run picking up a piece of the exotics and is a must use.
Went The Day Well is a very interesting colt who never backs up. He made up the most ground late in the Derby despite trouble – coming from 17th to finish a fast closing fourth just 2½ lengths behind the winner.
This colt has improved in all of his starts and is lightly raced. Went The Day Well has a top jockey and trainer with J R Velazquez and Graham Motion. He will be at least part of the trifecta and superfecta with an outside shot if the price is right for the outright win.
Liaison, Bob Baffert’s other runner in the Preakness, ran sixth in the Derby in a much improved effort. He looks to be moving in the right direction and may get a piece.
And what of the new shooters?
Zetterholm won three straight races and passed on the Peter Pan for this much tougher spot. Does trainer Richard Dutrow know something we don’t? He has been on a diet of New York breds so this is a different ball game.
Teeth of the Dog trainer Mike Matz sent out Union Rags in the Derby. He runs the Dog here, having passed on the Peter Pan. Dog could not handle Gemologist in the Wood so how would he beat these?
Hierro, trained by Steven Asmussen, beat the Baffert runner Paynter in the Derby Trial. These could be two nice horses but not here.
So what is the bottom line? One of the horses that raced the Kentucky Derby will win the Preakness!
The betting strategy will be to key on Bodemeister and I’ll Have Another first and second. Then key them with Creative Cause and Went The Day Well. Box all four in the tri and super, then key Bodemeister, the lone speed first and second with the three horses in a tri and super.
I will play Bodemeister first and second with I’ll Have Another and Went The Day Well with a few horses third and fourth in the tri and super looking for some prices.
The books will be rooting for a run at the Triple Crown and we all would love to see it. It will take a supreme effort by I’ll Have Another and the young Mario Gutierrez to get the job done, but he has the speed, class and stamina, and can sit right off the pace.
This will be a very exciting Saturday and all we can hope for is good weather and a fair track, and hope the betting gods will be with us. Have fun and enjoy. Get a complete rundown of the race Friday on www.gamingtoday.com