After that debacle of a Kentucky Derby, perhaps we can begin anew with some Preakness handicapping, eh?
Not that I was too wrong in my Derby predictions, picking Maximum Security to win before that lame disqualification. But I would have messed up my combos regardless, with 2 long shots running into the money and knocking some my other horses down to 4, 5, and 6.
I’m always less excited about the Preakness, to be honest. Fewer horses, smaller pools, and in way too many years a lopsided favorite destroying any chance of decent payoffs on combos.
But not this year! The Derby Champ and REAL Derby Champ aren’t in it, a few other horses dropped, and our favorite, Baffert’s Improbable, is opening at 5-2 and will probably go up as other horses, like the ones I’m about to mention, come down.
So I might put some other combos together, or I might just stick with the two horses I think have a really good shot at winning it despite their lack of experience at this class level.
My top choice is #7 Alwaysmining, winner of his last 6 races by multiple lengths, and whose consistent clock times indicate a strong chance to go gate to wire here. He’s in great form, got some killer workouts… the only caveat is a poor trainer record in graded stakes, something this horse has not run. BUT he’s got a good pedigree for stakes winners…. so I’m liking it. He’s 8-1 on the opening line, but expect that to drop to maybe 5-1 or so by post-time.
After that, another non-graded stakes, non-stakes winner of ANY caliber is the increasingly speedy #3 Warrior’s Charge, coming off of 2 straight wins by multiple lengths. Again, great time, solid works, good form… raring to go. And he’s 12-1 opening line, probably knocked down to 8-1 or so by post time.
I think Improbable is a totally beatable favorite here. I also think that other highly-touted horses like War of Will, Win Win Win or Bourbon War don’t have the speed to catch my 2 choices. The other horses I can see vying for money spots might be #5 Owendale at 10-1 opening, #12 Anothertwistafate (although he does MUCH better on artificial surface) and #4 Improbable (not a winner, but I can see him 2, 3 or 4).
If I’m right and it’s 3 or 7 followed by those others, those combos are gonna be worth it, especially if everyone decides they love Improbable enough to knock him down to 2-1 or so. But we’ll see. The weather should be decent, and the track won’t be the mudslide we got at Kentucky.
Here’s hoping we get a winner without the instant replay committee BS. And here’s hoping it’s my horse again.