Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Preakness picks

Same format as before (Horse, Post position, My odds, morning odds):

13: Flying Private, PP10, 99-1, 50-1
I developed a theory today to cover Mine That Bird's victory. Mine That Bird won because he's a cheap horse and hasn't been spoiled like most of the other Derby horses. Godolphin spent 2 million dollars on Desert Storm. Think Desert Storm is pampered? All the best food, temperature controlled facilities, flown in from overseas, the works? Mine That Bird cost less than $10,000 and drove to the Derby in a trailer from Arizona. Who might perform better in less than ideal conditions, the horse who has led the pampered life or the one that has been treated like a horse?

I make this point here because Flying Private is the most expensive horse in the Preakness, being sold for $700,000 at auction. I commented before the Derby that he had no heart. So how did the pampered horse with no heart fare in the wet mess of Churchill Downs? Dead last, 44 lengths back.

12: Luv Gov, PP4, 99-1, 50-1

The owners of Luv Gov are confused. Luv Gov won at Churchill Downs on Derby Day. The only thing is, he won a maiden special weight race that took place hours before the Kentucky Derby. So your horse wins his first race in ten attempts and now you think he's good enough for the Preakness? This will be Transfixed Ingress' horse here, methinks.

11: Friesan Fire, PP5, 99-1, 6-1

I didn't like Friesan in the Derby and the pros did and the public did. He finished a length ahead of Flying Private. So now the morning line has him as the third favorite? Huh?!?!?! He has to run better but there was no evidence that he was ready to run after the layoff at the Derby and a crap race and a good workout isn't going to make me think otherwise.

10: Tone It Down, PP12, 59-1, 50-1
I love Kent Desormeaux but I think it is a very questionable decision to have him replace local legend Mario Pino, the only jockey to ride Tone It Down in a race. Tone it Down is the only horse in this race to have raced on this track before. Tone It Down likes to be out front but starting right next to Rachel Alexandra, he won't be there long. I'm predicting 15 lengths behind Rachel at the end at a minimum.

9: General Quarters, PP8, 21-1, 20-1
I can see a third or fourth place finish out of General Quarters. I could see it better with a little more time off but the potential for a big run is there. There's just a lot of better horses in the race, though.

8: Terrain, PP6, 20-1, 30-1
Another one I can see in the money. With Leparoux taking General Quarters, Jeremy Rose gets to ride Terrain. Sort of the reverse of what Tone It Down's connections are doing. This could be a good longshot bet.

7: Take the Points, PP11, 16-1, 30-1

Twice Edgar Prado has ridden this horse, twice he has won. He's got the mount at Pimlico. Pletcher is putting blinkers on him for the first time which makes him VERRRRYY interesting. I think Take the Points is the fastest horse in this race. I don't think he can be the fastest horse for 1 3/16 miles. If this were a mile race, this would be my horse. But my odds say he can wire the field 1 out of 16 times. If you're going to get paid in the high 20's or 30-1+, you have to make this bet.

6: Mine That Bird, PP2, 14-1, 6-1
You have to respect the Derby he ran. But miracle worker Calvin Borel is riding Rachel Alexandra and this is going to be a much faster race than the Derby. You're not going to close from 20 lengths again and if you go back to the front running style, you're going to get creamed. I'm staying away.

5: Big Drama, PP1, 12-1, 10-1

Take the Points is going to be leading the race and Big Drama and Rachel Alexandra are going to be there if he falters. Edgar Coa is riding Musket Man instead of him and that means a lot to me. I also don't like the long layoff since the Swale Stakes and I'm leery about the blinkers coming off.

4: Musket Man, PP3, 8-1, 8-1
Ran a nice Derby in the muck but I think the pace ends up being too much for him as he'll be sitting behind Big Drama and Rachel Alexandra by a few lengths. My odds are in line with the morning odds which makes it unlikely that this will be a good value bet. Have to like him in the exotics, though.

3: Papa Clem, PP7, 8-1, 12-1
Also ran a nice Derby, finishing a shade behind Musket Man. Had a horrible workout yesterday and is in the middle of the pack. Needs a good run to win and Rafael Bejarano might get it for him.

2: Pioneerof the Nile, PP9, 8-1, 5-1
You can see that I have Musket Man, Papa Clem and Pioneer of the Nile all with the same odds. Needless to say, Papa Clem is the best value bet. Little story, here. Pioneerof the Nile's Dad is Empire Maker. The first Kentucky Derby wager I ever made was in 2003. I played an exacta box of Funny Cide and Empire Maker. That's the kind of bet that gets you hooked. Pioneerof the Nile is going to get bet down as people look for an alternative to Rachel Alexandra. He's one of the four best horses, no doubt. But I won't like the payoff.

1: Rachel Alexandra, PP13, 2-1, 8-5
People will be betting on her because she's female. People will be betting on her because she's good. People will be betting on her because she's the total package of speed and endurance. A third of the time she will win. Two-thirds of the time, one of the guys will. If you want to make some money, you'll take one of the guys.

Why might she not win? The big thing is the trainer change on short notice. That concerns me more than any gender issues which is what will concern other people. Not crazy about her Sunday workout time either.

So what's the bet? One of the top four horses is going to win this race 2/3 of the time. Papa Clem will likely give you the best payoff. I'm talking myself into Take the Points the more I think about it. If you're going to pay me 25-1, 30-1, or even more, yeah, I'll take the shot.

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