May 17, 2013
Part I · Part II
2013 Preakness Stakes Breakdown
PP Horse ML Odds Jockey (Preakness Record) Owner (Preakness Record)
1 Orb 1/1 Joel Rosario (0-1) Shug McGaughey (0-2)
Notes: I almost feel like I’m wasting our time writing about the Derby winner because there really isn’t much left to say, and what is left has been said by Shug, who normally doesn’t say a peep. I’ve had the absolute privilege of knowing and looking up to Shug for the better part of the past 25 years and never, ever heard him use the words “freaky” and “breathtaking” about any other horse. The rail draw doesn’t bother me because he’s going to be coming from off the pace anyway and has the best in the business on his back. Rosario is plenty aggressive enough to not allow any of his fellow riders to keep him trapped down inside because it’s not like Orb has to come from so far back. I think the morning line is a pipedream but if he’s even money or higher, everyone who bets him to win should be arrested for stealing.
2 Goldencents 8/1 Kevin Krigger (Debut) Doug O’Neill (1-1)
Notes: You’d have to say this guy was one of the top three disappointments in the Derby because he ran about three steps. Never got to the front, let alone loose on the lead, and was an afterthought at the half-mile pole. I don’t think he liked the slop at all and Krigger did the right thing by protecting him and pulling him up through the stretch. O’Neill looking for back-to-back wins in this and you’d have to think he’s telling the jock one thing in the paddock: GO!!! Like in the Derby, however, I’m pretty sure he’s not going to be the only one giving those instructions and while the others might not be as emphatic as he should be, it should be enough to take this guy out of the picture at somewhere around the top of the stretch.
3 Titletown Five 30/1 Julien Leparoux (0-5) D. Wayne Lukas (5-37)
Notes: The first of three from the Hall of Fame Lukas’ barn, I have to think this colt will give Goldencents fits on the front end. I know Lukas has said he wasn’t sending but from that draw I don’t think he has a choice. Not only is he inside but he’s right next to the main speed. Look for him to pack it in even earlier than his next door neighbor will.
4 Departing 6/1 B.J. Hernandez (Debut) Al Stall, Jr. (0-1)
Notes: This isn’t much of a spoiler alert but I’m just letting you know that you’re not going to read an excessive amount of positive comments after I finish with this gelding. If Orb falls, it almost has to be at the hooves of Departing. I’ve been known to do goofy things sometimes and they actually work out, like picking Bernardini in the 2006 renewal over the ill-fated Barbaro, and would have tinkered ever-so-briefly with the idea of making him my ttop pick IF he had a rider change. I know Hernandez had ridden him to four wins in five career starts but when the real money, and coveted Derby points were on the line in the Louisiana Derby, he gave this horse a terrible, terrible ride. Jammed up in traffic a bunch, had to start and stop on him….it was a nightmare, yet he still finished third. Crushed them in the Illinois Derby last out when racing in mid-pack from his outside post and could be awfully dangerous should he sit the same trip. A must use on all exotic tickets and the only horse I would save with on a pick three or pick four ticket.
5 Mylute 5/1 Rosie Napravnik (Debut) Tom Amoss (0-1)
Notes: My friend Veronica ALWAYS asks me “who’s the mudder?” before the Derby each year, whether the forecast is for perfect weather or a monsoon. I was ready for her this year with two answers: Oxbow and Mylute. I also told her I didn’t think it would matter with Mylute and it didn’t. Sure he came flying late but he didn’t hit the board and wasn’t in any gimmicks. I honestly believe that he ran the best race he possibly could and still wasn’t relevant. The only reason he’s second choice on the morning line is because he was closest to the favorite at the end of the Derby. He figures to take a lot of “bad” money as Napravnik always gets action and figures to get even more than usual as this is a homecoming of sorts. Plus, I’m not sure what kind of trip he’s going to sit. Too many questions along with zero value translates to a toss for me.
6 Oxbow 15/1 Gary Stevens (2-16) D. Wayne Lukas (5-37)
Notes: “Mudder 2” actually grabbed the lead turning for home in Louisville under his 50 year old rider who wasn’t even riding seven months ago. Got the worst of it at the draw in the Derby but faired much, much better in Baltimore with this pull. He won’t be stuck down along the inside on Saturday like he was at Churchill, a place you rarely want to be, especially over a wet course unless your name is Calvin Borel. He’s outside the two main speeds and should be with the second flight of horses going down the backside. His best races have come against a notch below the best of what we’ve seen of this crop so far but I think the trip he should work out can grab him a minor award. Using on bottom on trifectas and superfectas.
7 Will Take Charge 12/1 Mike Smith (1-14) D. Wayne Lukas (5-37)
Notes: Normally after the Derby, you’ll hear from about half the trainers that their horse encountered trouble or had an overall bad trip. Most of it is hogwash but in such a large field a few usually do get a rough run of it. Apparently, if you’re drinking the Kool=Aid, it was this colt two weks ago. Yes, he got stopped behind a tiring Verrazano and just so happened to be moving with Orb when it happened. But anyone who thinks he’d have hit the board is out of their mind. Lukas ran him in the Derby off a seven week rest and now wheels him right back. The rider change to Smith should help and while I think he can sneak his way into tris and supers if he gets a perfect set-up, I honestly think Lukas is using his last race and this one to have hime primed for the Belmont Stakes in three weeks. I will use him on bottom of tris and supers but it’s more of a knock against the rest of these than a testament to him.
8 Govenor Charlie 12/1 Martin Garcia (1-2) Bob Baffert (5-13)
Notes: Not sure what was going on with him in the weeks leading up to the Derby I just know he didn’t enter and for Baffert to not run in the Derby this horse wasn’t right. So the question is: if he wasn’t right two weeks ago hy should I think he’s right now? Earlier this week Baffert was still saying he wasn’t definite for the race until he stepped on the plane, and he didn’t do that until Wednesday, which was draw day. He’s lightly raced, beat absolutely nothing in his lone stakes try when he set the track record in the Sunland Derby but that was nearly two months ago. Baffert always takes some money on big race days but he won’t take any of mine in the Preakness.
9 Itsmyluckyday 10/1 John Velazquez (0-5) Eddie Plesa, Jr. (0-1)
Notes: On the walk over to the Derby paddock, Plesa was aked about how his horse would like the wet track. He said he’s won over it, trains fantastically over it and it would definitely improve his chances. Plesa must be a big Meatloaf fan because he must think that two out of three ain’t bad because this guy didn’t run two steps. Form has really tailed off since winning back to back stakes at Gulfstream this winter and while he did finish second to Orb in the Fla. Derby someone had to. He gets a huge rider switch to Johnny V but he’s not a magician. Post doesn’t mean anything in the Preakness, but the Preakness is still a horse race and the nine hole is the nine hole. Not sure what type of trip he’ll pull from out there but I’m not sure it will matter. Likely a cut below some of these and not for me.