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Big Brown poised for greatness in the 133rd Preakness Stakes

May 13, 2008 7:05 PM
by Richard Saber | This week we have the anticipated 133rd running of the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes. Not only has it been 133 years of great horses posting great wins, but there have been very great horses winning the second jewel of the Triple Crown on their way to immortality.

Those great horses include Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Affirmed, and this weekend we’ll be closer to knowing if Big Brown should be added to the list.

As I was studying my Brisnet past performances of the horses that were going to challenge Big Brown in this 13/16 mile race, I could not get any vision at all of the race. So, I decided to lay back, have a brew and watch a little boob tube.

Lo and behold the answer came to me, right there on the black-and-white screen, as I watched an old rerun of "The Twilight Zone."

The episode ("A Most Unusual Camera") is classic; you probably remember it. A trio of degenerates find a box camera that takes pictures of things that haven’t yet occurred.

Like all good degenerates, they take the camera to the race track, take a picture of the blank tote board, then view the results before the race is run.

Of course, they win big, but their greed eventually gets the better of them, as you probably recall.

From my perspective, barring taking a magic picture of the Preakness tote board, I found my insight in the black-and-white Twilight Zone re-run: my Preakness vision was set to unfold in Brown and White.

Obviously, the "Brown" half of the equation was Big Brown, while the "white" half signified a horse called Harlem Rocker, who is known as the "White Flash," and who, by the way, has never tasted defeat.

Unfortunately, trainer Todd Pletcher must have had a vision of his own – "Outer Limits" – as he on Monday elected to ship Harlem Rocker to Woodbine for the Queen’s Plate.

It’s not the first time that the best laid visions of mice and men (and handicappers) have been scrapped, but we have other options. With the "White Flash" dispatched to Canada, Pletcher must be high on Behindatthebar, who has three wins and a second, albeit on artificial surfaces.

Another possibility is Hey Byrn, who won the 13/16 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream, and should be rested for this. He’s shown ability with four wins and two seconds.

Icabad Crane could be right there as he has three wins and a third, with his last win coming at Pimlico on April 19.

Thus, we’ll put Big Brown on top of Behindatthebar, Hey Byrn and Icabad Crane in a trifecta.

Here’s a quick peek at other entrants:

Giant Moon will get chewed up in the early pace and couldn’t get close to Tale of Ekati in the Wood, and remember, Tale was a distant fourth in the Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Bear is lightly raced but was far back in the Fountain of Youth and third behind Momba in the Bluegrass (Momba finished last in the Kentucky Derby).

Macho Again won the Derby Trial in his last start at 7½ furlongs, but has bad defeats at the hands of such horses as Momba, Adriano and Z Fortune – all of who failed badly in the Derby.

Racecar Rhapsody has a maiden win to his credit and should have been looking for an easier spot. He is a deep closer, however, and could pick up some pieces if the other speed completely backs up.

Riley Tucker is another with just a maiden win to his credit and adds more speed to the lineup.

Stevil also has a maiden win and but is a steady, one pace sort of horse who may pick up some pieces late.

Tres Borrachos has speed but could not handle Gayego in the Arkansas Derby; he will get chewed up in the early going and is just another with that one maiden win to his credit.

I would like to get a piece of Yankee Bravo if only Solis was not riding as he has been really stinking up the track lately. But Bravo has a very good trainer in Paddy Gallagher and Solis will take him back and make one big wide run down the stretch. If things unfold perfectly he may get up for a piece of the pie.

Big Brown will be odds-on, so the only way to bet here is try for the "tri" and hope for the best. I will probably also play a quinnella and exacta with Big Brown on top, along with Behindatthebar, Hey Byrn and Icabad Crane

Don’t forget to check www.gamingtoday.com for my daily horse selections, as well as Saturday’s Preakness superfecta selections.