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At the Gate - Thursday
Nine three-year-olds were entered on Wednesday for the $1 million Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico, the second jewel of racing’s Triple Crown.
The post position draw for the Preakness is relatively uneventful, but Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Orb drew the one post which may add a bit of intrigue. There is a long run to the first turn at Pimlico going 1 3/16 miles, but there is likely to be less trouble if he drew an outer post.
Trainer Shug McGaughey was not too worried about having to break closest to the rail.
“Well, he won the Fountain of Youth from the ‘1.’ His first race was from the ‘1’ and he finished third in a very good race,” McGaughey said after the draw.
“Obviously, if I was going to pick it out, I wouldn’t have picked the ‘1.’ But with only nine horses in there to run a mile and three-sixteenths, with a rider like Joel (Rosario), he’s going to figure out what to do. He’ll have him in the right spot.”
The colt was installed as the even money favorite on the morning line, and after the Derby winner it is pretty much a wide open race.
Derby fifth place finisher Mylute was made the second choice at 5-1 by Pimlico morning line maker Frank Carulli. That was a bit of a surprise as I think Goldencents and Departing may get more betting action.
However, Mylute has jockey Rosie Napravnik, who started her career in Maryland as an apprentice and is a popular jockey, so Carulli may be right in giving the colt second billing.
The weather possibly could be a factor again. Orb relished the sloppy going at Churchill Downs, and there is a 30% chance of a few showers on Saturday afternoon.
The field for the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course

2013 Preakness Stakes Odds
Post Position Horse Jockey *Trainer ML Odds
1 Orb Joel Rosario Shug McGaughey 1/1
2 Goldencents Kevin Krigger Doug O’Neill 8/1
3 Titletown Five Julien Leparoux D. Wayne Lukas 40/1
4 Departing Brian Hernandez, Jr. Albert M. Stall, Jr. 6/1
5 Mylute Rosie Napravnik Tom Amoss 5/1
6 Oxbow Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas 15/1
7 Will Take Charge Mike Smith D. Wayne Lukas 12/1
8 Govenor Charlie Martin Garcia Bob Baffert 12/1
9 Itsmyluckyday John Velazquez Eddie Plesa Jr. 10/1

Television: Saturday, NBC, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Eastern
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Here is today’s opening from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
BEL Race 1 OClm $25,000SAL (1:05 ET)
2 Tightend Touchdown   5-2
6 Magical Season   3-1
1 Cayambe   7-2
7 Quick Money   4-1
Analysis: Tightend Touchdown took the field gate to wire to beat $50,000 starter optional claimers on the main track at the Big A. His last go on turf came here last October and it produced a front running win against restricted $20,000 claimers. The gelding looks well spotted here and Rosario takes the call for the Servis barn that is off to a slow start at the meeting (1 for 13).
Magical Season was off a beat slow, exchanged a few bumps with a foe between the 9/16's to the half mile pole and finished up well, beaten just a half-length for the top spot. Two back at Fair Grounds he beat $20,000 non-winners of three or a race on turf since June 16, and the effort was flattered when both the runner up and fifth place finisher came back to win next out. The Maker barn has been on a nice roll and this guy faces easier here.
WIN: #2 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 2,6 / 1,2,6,7
TRI: 2,6 / 1,2,6,7 / 1,2,5,6,7
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 8 The Around the Cape (4:45 ET)
5 Next Question   2-1
2 Night Officer   6-1
8 Pacific Ocean    3-1
3 Hoofit   6-1
Analysis: Next Question set the early fractions and weakened to finish fifth last out on the turf in the Shakertown (G3) at Keeneland off a 5 1/2 month layoff. The third place finisher Perfect Officer came back to win the Dream Big At Atlantic City in his next outing on May 1. This guy is a Grade 1 winner, taking the Nearctic last fall at Woodbine and should be tighter for his second start off the layoff. He fits here on the class drop.
Night Officer came up the inside with a good late run to finish in the runner up spot last out in the Maryland bred Mister Diz last out at Pimlico off a 4 1/2 month layoff.  The runner that beat him was Ben's Cat, a really good turfer based in Maryland with the King T. barn that has earned $1.4 million.
WIN: #5 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 2,5 / 2,3,5,8
TRI: 2,5 / 2,3,5,8 / 1,2,3,5,8
Live Longshots:
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.
Belmont Park
R5: #2 Starship captain   8-1
R7: #6 Schillerette   10-1
R9: #2 Fizzano   8-1
Good luck today!

Dempsey: At the Gate - Thursday
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Mike Dempsey Mike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year round as well as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, the Triple Crown, and the Breeders' Cup.
The 2015 Triple Crown saw Mike correctly predict American Pharoah to win both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Mike nailed the Exacta and Trifecta in the Belmont Stakes.

Mike had a solid 2014 Triple Crown race season, correctly picking the winning horse in 2 of 3 races. He selected I'll Have another to win The Preakness, and nailed Union Rags to win the Belmont Stakes as his top pick.

Mike also had past succes in the Kentucky Derby, winning with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and rode his top picks, Super Saver and Street Sense, to the finish line in 2010 and 2007 respectively.

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Jerry Sessa Jerry "Shots" Sessa has been involved in horse racing for over 30 years. He now brings his meticulous handicapping style to When Jerry posts picks you are getting his best bets...when you win, he wins.
Jerry opened the 2016 Triple Crown season by hitting his Derby Day best bet, Nyquist. He also nailed the Derby exacta for a $30.60 payout. On 4/16/16 at Keeneland, Jerry hit an $819 exacta that led to a $38k Trifecta & a $300k Super.

In the 2015 Belmont Stakes Jerry dominated races 8-11 by hitting a $4,400 Pick 4, 3 Daily Doubles, 2 Pick 3's and calling American Pharoah as the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years.

Jerry is always looking to repeat his 2012 Triple Crown success, when he selected the winning horses for The Preakness and The Belmont Stakes.

Jerry looks forward to working with everyone and making money for anyone who invests in his picks on a daily basis.

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