Kentucky Derby winner Orb will take on eight foes in the $1 million Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico, and I cannot seem to find anyone that thinks the colt will get beat.
In Friday’s early betting the colt was 4-5, down from the even money morning line, and I don’t think his price is going to go up much by post time. In fact if Mother Nature makes an appearance, his price may actually go down.
Yesterday the forecast called for a 30% chance of showers, but as of 1:30am eastern as I write this (I can sleep in on Sunday) the chance of rain has risen to 50%, from early morning right up until post time.
Basically what that means is despite all of that sophisticated equipment, The Weather Channel has no idea whether it is going to rain or not. As I have said before, if the talking heads at The Weather Channel picked and wagered on horses like they predict the weather, Jim Cantore would be living in a cardboard box.
We know Orb will have no problem handling an off-track if the rains do come, but keep in mind the Pimlico surface does dry out rather quickly.
I am hoping the weather does not affect the earlier races on the card which includes five races carded for the grass.
I have attended about a dozen Preakness Days at Pimlico, and have pretty much seen it all. From a drunken fan taking a swing at Artax, to the Running of the Urinals on the infield, to a power outage where I had to spend the afternoon in the jockey’s room to get away from the stifling heat.
This year I will be watching and wagering from the comfort of home in Florida and while I may not have a huge wager on the Preakness itself, the other races on the card are just outstanding. There is going to be a ton of value to be had.
In addition, do not forget that Belmont Park is running today. I have been on a nice roll, with nine winners on top the past couple of days.
With $178,780 in the win pool this is how the early odds for the Preakness shake out:
1. Orb 4-5
2. Goldencents 7-1
3. Titletown Five 23-1
4. Departing 11-1
5. Mylute 7-1
6. Oxbow 14-1
7. Will Take Charge 12-1
8. Govenor Charlie 11-1
9. Itsmyluckyday 9-1
Analysis: Tazered stalked the early pace, made a good middle move by going to the inside in upper stretch and the could not go with the top pair in a third place finish last out at this level in his first go off the claim by the Englehart barn. The gelding s claimed for $20,000 two back and was given a 2 1/2 month break by his new connections. He has run well on turf fin his career, landing in the money in 5 of 8 starts without picking up a win. He has a solid turf pedigree, by Mizzen mast out of a Spinning World mare. We will give him another look here and should catch a decent price in a wide open race.
Loukas returns off a two month break after spending the winter in Florida. He was a decent fifth two back off a 1 month layoff facing Alw-2 optional claimers, then regressed second out, tiring to finish tenth. He drops into a softer spot here and adds blinkers. Note the barn is 32% winners (with a +ROI ) when adding the hood. The gelding is a two time winner on the lawn and is the logical one to beat on the class drop.
WIN: #6 to win at 6-1 or better.
EX: 6,13 / 6,10,12,13
TRI: 6,13 / 6,10,12,13 / 3,6,10,12,13
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 9 The Vagrancy Hcp G2 (5:17 ET) 2 Miss d'Oro 4-1 4 Spectacular Sky 5-2 6 Fantasy of Flight 7-2 3 Withgreatpleasure 5-1
Analysis: Miss d'Oro tracked the early pace from the outside and could not get to the winner last out in the stretch in a runner up finish in the Distaff 'Cap (G2) on the Big A. The filly caught a racing strip that as kind to inside speed that day. She zipped through her first two allowance conditions in her two previous starts and really seems to be putting it all together. Not much separates the top contenders in here but she looks like the value of the race if she goes off near her 4-1 morning line.
Spectacular Sky set the early factions and could not match strides late with the winner in the Inside Information (G2) last out at Gulfstream Park going seven furlongs. The winner was Aubby K who came back to win the Humana Distaff (G1) in her next outing on May 4 at Churchill Downs. The filly owns solid early and mid-pace numbers and is going to be part of a lively early pace.
WIN: #2 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 2,4 / 2,4,6
TRI: no play
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Pimlico:
PIM Race 11 The Dixie G2 (5:25 ET) 7 Howe Great 12-1 4 Imagining 5-1 9 Swift Warrior 4-1 5 Doubles Partner 6-1
Analysis: Howe Great looks primed for a good effort here for the Graham Motion barn and Team Valor. The multiple stakes winner is coming off a game win against a really tough group of allowance runners last out at Keeneland going nine furlongs in his second start off a 4 1/2 month break. Among the runner he beat that day were turf graded stakes winners Turralure, Air Support and Al Khali. The colt has landed in the exacta in 7 of his 10 trips and looks pried for another top effort here third off the bench. Solid value if this guy goes off near his 12-1 morning line.
Imagining came off a came off a 8 1/2 month layoff with a sharp win against Alw-3 optional claimers at Keeneland. It was snot as tough a field as our top pick faced, but he finished up well and the lightly raced five year old is Grade 1 placed and has landed in the exacta in 7 of 9 career starts. The Shug barn is 21% winners with runners making their second start off a +180 day layoff. I also like this guy's pedigree. He is by Giant's Causeway out of the stakes winner Daydreaming ($696,680).
Swift Warrior returns off a three month break, last out taking the Tampa Bay (G3) with a good late rally. The five year old has run well off the bench in the past and is in good hands with the Terranova barn that is 20% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff. He gets a jock upgrade here to Rosie.
WIN: #7 to win at 6-1 or better.
EX: 4,7 / 4,5,7,9
TRI: 4,7 / 4,5,7,9 / 1,4,5,7,9
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: #6 Tazered 12-1
R1: #12 Pocket Cowboys 8-1
R4: #5 Chardey 8-1
R5: #2 Change At Jamaica 12-1
R7: #2 You Tarzan 8-1
R8: #7 In My Eyes 10-1
R8: #6 Jonrah 20-1
R10: #7 Katmanstu 12-1
Mike DempseyMike 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. No handicapper in the industry works harder to bring you analysis that produces profits at the track! Mike's Reports include his selections, detailed analysis, a fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire card. Join Mike daily with top picks from Belmont. You can also get his Weekend Best Plays Report in his Multi-Track package or sit at the track with him for 30 Days with his Monthly Horse Package!
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Jerry SessaJerry "Shots" Sessa has been involved in horse racing for over 30 years. He now brings his meticulous handicapping style to VegasInsider.com. 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.
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