Eleven horses are set to take to the track at Pimlico Racetrack in Baltimore, MD on Saturday, May 19th for the 2012 Preakness Stakes. Check out our Preakness Stakes picks and which horses we think that could be well on their way to capturing the second jewel in the Triple Crown!
There are very few instances at the Preakness Stakes where the horse that is the favorite isn't the Kentucky Derby winner. Normally when that turns out to be the case, there is a really good reason behind it. This year, we are in the same boat. The winner of the Derby, I'll Have Another is the second favorite behind the horse that he outdueled at the wire at Churchill Downs, Bodemeister. These two horses are going to be starting nearly side by side in posts No. 9 and No. 7 respectively, and we think that they are going to be in for completely different races once again.
It is clear that Bodemeister is going to jump out to the lead and be on the rail by the start of the first turn, as he has the best speed in this race. The pace is expected to be a bit slower than it was at the Kentucky Derby when there were other horses that were pushing him at the start, as there should only be two or three horses that even remotely try to challenge Bodemeister in the first quarter mile. From there, it is going to be a matter of stamina. There were times during the Derby that it really looked like Bodemeister was just going to run away and hide from the rest of the pack, and had the race been a sixteenth of a mile shorter like this one is, we might be talking about an odds on favorite and a horse that is going to go to Belmont looking for the first Triple Crown in over three decades.
This time around, there is going to be less traffic for I'll Have Another to get through, but the question is how many other horses are going to be right there with him. Another colt that really made a great run at the end of the Kentucky Derby unnoticed was No. 5 Went the Day Well. This wasn't a horse that there was much thought of at the Derby, knowing that he went off the board at 30 to 1, but in the end, he closed all the way to fourth, and he might have finished in the winner's circle with a cleaner run. This is a horse that proved that he can run with the big boys, and that might prove to be something to watch on Saturday.
As will some of the other horses in the middle of this field, including No. 6 Creative Cause and No. 8 Daddy Nose Best, both of which were in the Kentucky Derby field. Creative Cause hasn't won a race in quite some time, but he has been right there in the discussion of virtually every single race that he has run as a three-year old. This horse has heart, and the biggest in the field at that, and if he finds a way to get into the fray with a furlong to go, Creative Cause might end up pulling off the mild upset.
The horses on the outside are ones that we want to avoid in general, knowing that it is awfully hard to get from the far outside all the way down to the rail before the first turn. If there is a horse that can find his way out of trouble and compete though, it will be No. 11 Cozzetti, who has the history of a horse that might come out of nowhere to finish on the board.
In the end though, the key to beating the Preakness Stakes odds is backing Bodemeister. He's just the best three-year old colt in the world this year, and we just don't see him coming up short in this race as he did at the Kentucky Derby. We give a lot of props to the No. 5 and No. 6 as well, and we think that they are going to end up shutting out I'll Have Another from the board all together. There won't be great prices on this race, but winners are winners, and we think that we have the triple.
If you are looking for other horses to throw into your exotics, we recommend the No. 2, No. 3, and No. 11. Otherwise…
2012 Preakness Stakes Trifecta Pick: Bodemeister – Went the Day Well – Creative Cause (7-5-6)