Afleet Alex ready
to run big race

May 17, 2005 3:22 AM

By Richard Saber

Will Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, named after the son of rock star Sting (who named him after Italian composer Giacomo Puccini), beat most of the same horses in the Preakness?

I think not!

Giacomo (the horse) will not get the perfect set-up in this race as he did in the Derby. Plus, he’s not good enough. He should maybe run third or fourth at best in Pimlico this Saturday, but don’t expect a win here.

The race will be between Afleet Alex, who ran a bang up third in the Derby, and High Fly, who made a big move but faded to tenth. Wilko could also hit the board for a nice price and finish better than his sixth in the Derby.

My probable play is keying Alex first and second in the trifecta, coupled with High Fly and Wilko first, second and third. Closing Argument and Don’t Get Mad would also be in the mix.

In a superfecta bet, Giacomo would be a play in the fourth slot only. A strong house quiniella would be keying Afleet Alex with High Fly, Wilko and Closing Argument.

Prior to the Derby, every handicapper in the universe knocked the Santa Anita Derby and all the West Coast horses. Well, they finished in four of the top six spots in the Kentucky Derby. So much for Andy Beyer’s speed figures.

One other Derby note: After the race, Mike Smith reached into his pocket and pulled out a ticket that owner Jerome Moss gave him before the race.

Smith never looked at the ticket as Moss told him to check it after the race. When he did, the crumbled ticket turned out to be a $200 win bet on Giacomo. At odds of 50-to-1, the ticket was worth $10,260.

I reached into my pocket after the race and pulled out a $10 ticket on Bandini, the wrong Italian horse, and ripped it up.