The Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another is already safely on the grounds at Pimlico, waiting for the second jewel of the Triple Crown, the $1 million Preakness Stakes (G1) on May 19.
It is the earliest I can ever remember a Derby winner getting to Baltimore to keep their Triple Crown hopes alive.
The Doug O’Neill trainee has not scared anyone away from the Preakness, as there are at least 16 probables for the race including seven that competed in the Run for the Roses last Saturday.
The Bob Baffert trained Bodemeister is likely to show up at Pimlico, and if he does probably is going to end up the betting favorite.
The colt held on to the runner up spot despite setting sharp early fractions, and we have seen in past years that bettors like to bet speed over the Pimlico main track.
Others exiting the Derby that are likely headed to Baltimore include Creative Cause, Dullahan, Hansen, Liaison, Optimizer, and Went the Day Well.
The field is limited to 14, and at this time it does appear likely we are going to have a full field on Preakness Day.
Churchill Downs is running Thursday through Sunday so we only have Belmont Park on the betting menu today.
Rain fell overnight and could continue into today and as of 10:15am this morning the track was sloppy and we are off the turf.
I handicapped today’s Belmont Park report for a wet track and no turf racing. So the day gets off with me handicapping the weather correctly, which hopefully is a sign of good things to come this afternoon.
To purchase my full card report for Belmont Park click here
Here is today’s opener at Belmont Park to get our day off to a good start:
BEL Race 1 OClm $32,000 (12:50 ET)
6 Golden Gulch 3-1
2 Self Control 6-5
3 Charles Russell 12-1
1 Dreaming Blue 4-1
Analysis: Golden Gulch was bumped lightly coming out of the gate, tracked the early pace and finished evenly in a third place finish last out at this level, beaten two lengths for the top spot. The winner was Saginaw, who came back to win the state bred Carr Heaven in his next outing on April 29. The four year old has come up short at this condition five times, but did land in the money in each of those starts. He has a decent off track pedigree and he should have the jump on the ML chalk here as they turn for home.
Self Control earned a career top two back beating Alw-1 foes earning a trip digit Beyer, then regressed last out in a third place finish in the Skip Away (G3). That big fig earned two back seems legit as the runner up in that race was Eye On Jacob, who came back to beat Alw-1 foes by 7 1/4 lengths earning a 97. He is going to be tough here but the price is going to be very much on the light side as he is dropping out of graded stakes company.
WIN: #6 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,6 / 2,3,6
TRI: no play
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 8 The Marta (4:34 ET)
5 Her Smile 7-5
1 Aquitania 2-1
4 Belle of the Hall 6-1
2 Erin Rose 4-1
Analysis: Her Smile returns from Gulfstream Park where last out the filly faced graded stakes company. Off the bench she ran a decent third in the Herecomesthebride (G3) and then last out came with a four wide bid but could not make up enough ground late in a sixth place finish in the Inside Information (G2). She is bred to like a wet track and won over the main track here last summer, taking the Prioress (G1). She catches a softer spot here for her third start since running third in last fall's Breeders;' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1).
Aquitaia stalked the early pace and could not get to the winner last out in a runner up finish in the Primonetta at Pimlico. The filly has won 6 of her 12 career starts including one start over a wet track. She owns solid early and mid pace number and breaking form the rail is likely going to be the one to catch here.
WIN: #5 to win at 6-5 or better.
EX: 1,5 / 1,4,5
TRI: no play
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.
R1: #3 Charles Russell 12-1
R2: #5 Pure Attitude 8-1
R3: #3 Song of Aspen 20-1
R4: #3 Secret Shifters 10-1
R6: #10 Winaholic 12-1
R7: #1 Glymisthemencase 12-1
R9: #6 World Premier 8-1
Good luck today!