LARRY'S PICKS for the 145th Preakness Stakes! Sept 29, 2020 20:54:14 GMT -5
Post by hezethebest on Sept 29, 2020 20:54:14 GMT -5
Analysis of the field for the 145th Preakness Stakes, this year to be run as the 3rd leg of the Triple Crown! A field of 11 including an accomplished filly are scheduled to load the gate this Saturday with post time scheduled for 5:36 P.M. Nearly 4 months after this storied series should have ended we finally get to conclude the 2020 Triple Crown. Having 2 separate winners of the previously contested Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes there is no Triple Crown championship on the line but there is still the prestige and monetary rewards that go to the victor of this classic race held at Pimlico, the 2nd oldest thoroughbred course in the country! My analysis will be in the order of post position draw with morning line odds reflected and I will comment on each runners’ respective chances for success as I see it. Thereafter, my personal “Selection” page will be on display at the end.
For more than 30 years LARRY’S PICKS has provided Triple Crown, Travers Day, Breeders’ Cup and Saratoga private party group outings analysis as
“A GUIDELINE FOR INTELLIGENT SPECULATION”! Larry was a 4 time finalist in the “WORLD SERIES OF HANDICAPPING” at Penn National in the 90’s as well as being a 15 time qualifier for the “HORSE PLAYER WORLD SERIES”, a Las Vegas event that began in 2005! LARRY’S PICKS highest priced Grade I winning selections over the years include DOMEDRIVER ($54.00 and the “cold” exacta for $142.00 BC Mile) FERDINAND ($37.00 Kentucky Derby) SINGLETARY ($35.00 BC Mile) GLORIOUS EMPIRE ($33.40 Sword Dancer) TEXAS RED ($29.80 BC Juvenile) COLONIAL AFFAIR ($29.00 Belmont Stakes) SEA HERO ($27.00 Kentucky Derby) TOURIST ($26.80 and the “cold” superfecta for $4,448.00 BC Mile) WAVELL AVENUE ($22.00 BC F&M Sprint) TONALIST ($20.40 and the “cold” exacta for $348.00 Belmont Stakes) SPUN
TO RUN ($20.20 and the “cold” trifecta for $705.00 BC Dirt Mile) In addition, numerous IRS level scores have historically occupied the “Selection” page of LARRY’S PICKS, the largest of which was at Saratoga on Travers Day 2011 when the 4 runners from the analysis of the 3rd race combined for an $11,355.00 superfecta box. More recently in the 2017 Belmont Stakes, LARRY’S PICKS “Selection” page yielded the $4,486.00 superfecta when his top pick TAPWRIT outran the other 3 horses occupying the analytical space.
While the major race days come and go, for year round stimulating conversation on horse racing in general visit the finest horse chat site on the entire worldwide web, www.UpInClass.com! Good luck to all and may they all come back safe!
(#1) EXCESSION 30-1 JOCKEY – SHELDON RUSSELL
Off since a fast closing 2nd to a good one in NADAL this colt by UNION RAGS nearly exploded the tote board in the Grade II Rebel Stakes contested over a sloppy Oaklawn Park main track last March 14th. One of 3 being saddled by trainer Steve Asmussen, he has done his best work over wet tracks and he has but the maiden victory on the resume to show for it. The long layoff is cause for concern regarding a colt who to this point appears to be a cut below the best in the division. He may need a race as well as his favorite track conditions before we get to see his best.
(#2) MR. BIG NEWS 12-1 JOCKEY – GABRIEL SAEZ
This Kentucky bred by GIANT’S CAUSEWAY was a surprising 3rd last out in the Kentucky Derby at 46-1 odds. He has an ascending speed figure pattern spanning all 8 starts and he could close for a share if the early pace is hot as he makes his 3rd start following a 3 month layoff. Look for him late, if at all!
(#3) ART COLLECTOR 5-2 JOCKEY – BRIAN HERNANDEZ
This BERNARDINI colt suffered a minor hoof injury a few days before the Kentucky Derby causing the connections to remove him from consideration. The timing was brutal and as the veritable “horse for the course” at Churchill he may have been the one to beat! The 2nd choice on the morning line Saturday, he seeks his 5th victory in a row this year. Versatile style-wise, he should be forwardly placed throughout and he deserves respect.
(#4) SWISS SKYDIVER 6-1 JOCKEY – ROBBY ALBARADO
This filly by DAREDEVIL has already turned into a “rags to riches" story having sold at auction for 35K enroute to banking nearly 1.2 million so far! The Grade I Alabama winner traveling slightly further has good speed but doesn’t need the lead to win. Albarado hops aboard for the first time but since she has won 5 times beneath 4 different jockeys the lack of familiarity should not matter. The last time she challenged the colts was 3 back in the BlueGrass Stakes and as the public choice in the wagering she finished 2nd to ART COLLECTOR! In a wide open race she could gain a major share if given a perfect trip.
(#5) THOUSAND WORDS 6-1 JOCKEY – FLORENT GEROUX
This Grade II winner by PIONEEROF THE NILE ships East as 1 of 2 being saddled by top Triple Crown race trainer, Bob Baffert. “Blinkers” will go on a colt who has worked well with them in the A.M. but sports mixed results when employing them on race day. He won the first 2 times he wore them but then suffered his only 2 “off the board” finishes the next 2 times they were used. Baffert has an intriguing stat in play as he has never lost the Preakness after winning the Kentucky Derby! He’ll get 2 shots on Saturday with this colt and the Kentucky Derby victor, AUTHENTIC! A “stalker” by nature, he should enjoy a good trip just off the speeds and is one of several who could take all!
(#6) JESUS’ TEAM 30-1 JOCKEY – JEVIAN TOLEDO
Local rider Jevian Toledo is the beneficiary of the covid related travel restrictions in play as he gets a chance to ride this TAPITURE colt for the first time! A 16% winner on the year he is off to a slow start during the current Pimlico meet and this Grade II placed Kentucky bred doesn’t figure to add to his win column on Saturday. Drawn midpack he should maintain a stalking posture but he needs to take a step forward to contend for the top spots!
(#7) NY TRAFFIC 15-1 JOCKEY – HORACIO KARAMANOS
Another beneficiary of the travel related quarantine rules is Maryland based Horacio Karamanos. Like Toledo, he will get to gauge the talent level of his Preakness mount for the first time when they load the gate. This NY bred split the field in finishing 8th last out in the Kentucky Derby following a ride that could best be described as a “bob and weave” type trip! Owning a good tracking gear he was in position in Louisville to finish higher but a pair of meandering moves beneath Paco Lopez took their toll as he tired late. 2 back he ran out of race track when his late surge just missed catching AUTHENTIC on the wire in the Grade I Haskell Stakes. A sensational A.M. move on 09/27 suggests he is feeling his oats and a rebound run consistent with his pre-Derby form seems very possible. He is intriguing at a price.
(#8) MAX PLAYER 15-1 JOCKEY – PACO LOPEZ
This Kentucky bred by HONOR CODE passed several tiring horses in the stretch at Louisville winding up a respectable 5th. Previously he was 3rd in both Grade I events, the Travers and the Belmont Stakes! A late runner by nature, he will be at the mercy of the pace scenario. As the jockey “musical chairs” continues, Lopez lands here this time and he will likely drop back and make 1 run into what he hopes is an honest enough pace to facilitate his late kick. He is worth a look especially underneath in exotics!
(#9) AUTHENTIC 9-5 JOCKEY – JOHN VELAZQUEZ
The late defections reducing the Kentucky Derby field to 15 certainly helped this speedball control the pace in the Kentucky Derby 4 weeks ago. Johnny V. was masterful in setting honest, yet controlled fractions as the son of INTO MISCHIEF was able to go wire to wire. It was the 6th Kentucky Derby win for trainer Bob Baffert and as previously mentioned he has never lost a Preakness following a win in Louisville! There is other speed drawn inside of him today and rider strategy will be on display shortly after they open the gates. Having never run a bad race in 6 lifetime starts and with 2 “bullets” in the holster following his last, he is the deserving favorite and the horse to beat!
(#10) PNEUMATIC 20-1 JOCKEY – JOE BRAVO
The least experienced runner signed on is this son of UNCLE MO who will be making his 6th lifetime start on Saturday. He has held his own against good company and he comes off his best speed figure yet. He certainly has more upside potential than some in here and if he has another forward move on tap he could make it interesting. He is yet another with a shot in a real scramble!
(#11) LIVEYOURBEASTLIFE 30-1 JOCKEY – TREVOR MCCARTHY
Trevor McCarthy becomes the 8th different jockey to ride this son of GHOSTZAPPER, an outsider on the morning line and literally given the post draw! He exits a 2nd place finish in the Grade II Jim Dandy at Saratoga, a race that produced his highest speed figure to date. As a May foal the connections likely had no initial designs on running in a Triple Crown series race so at least the covid delays helped them get here. McCarthy has been on fire on the local circuit but anything more than a minor slice for this colt would have to be considered a surprise.
1st – (#7) NY TRAFFIC 15-1 JOCKEY – HORACIO KARAMANOS
With speed drawn inside and out, Karamanos should be able to find a spot saving ground before they enter the first turn. This colt is most effective when able to stalk moderate fractions and then make a late move. There is not a ton of speed signed on and this race should come down to the right trip. He is better than he showed in the Derby and I could see Horacio creating a perfect “stalk and pounce” type journey enroute to the “Winners’ Circle” around an oval that he is extremely familiar with!
2nd – (#5) THOUSAND WORDS 6-1 JOCKEY – FLORENT GEROUX
This Florida bred is a January foal that originally cost $1,000,000.00! The winner of 4 of 7 lifetime starts, he has worked well since his last especially when the connections have used the “hood”! He draws inside his stablemate but outside the other prime speeds signed on. Geroux has never ridden him but is a solid journeyman rider and should be a good fit. He may prove best of the Baffert pair.
3rd – (#9) AUTHENTIC 9-5 JOCKEY – JOHN VELAZQUEZ
Depending on the strategy employed by Robby Albarado on the filly, AUTHENTIC may or may not get to the top before the first turn. He is most effective controlling the pace and the lone blemish on his resume is when he didn’t get the lead in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby. If he clears he could be in front a long ways and seems a must use in all of the slots!
4th – (#3) ART COLLECTOR 5-2 JOCKEY – BRIAN HERNANDEZ
He represents the speed closest to the rail although he has demonstrated that he does not need the lead to win! He has crossed the finish line 1st in his last 5 starts and he could clearly better this rating!