2018 Preakness Stakes (G1):
Preakness weekend is upon us and upon the tight turning Pimlico Race Course, over in B-more or Baltimore, Maryland.
Stakes racing at its finest as a pure and quite deliberate… dash for the cash goes. As this one is basically the 40 yard dash in T&F terms. This one is all about the speed, the very amphetamine of horse racing. Cue: Jessie Owens, Carl Lewis, and Usain Bolt… in a 3-way dance; as this one is velocity. Speed counts, speed kills here, “ready, set, sprint!” As this is easily the shortest leg of the Triple Crown triune series. That all being said… who will get that sprint? Who really does have Black Eyed Susan type speed? Read on, to find… out!
- Although I do see speed here -as we typically Preakness do- I’m not entirely sure I see historically signature Preakness speed here. And although I’m not want to call this 2018 Stakes Preakness slow, I am willing to call this a 4th gear Preakness field.
- We do however see the expected smaller Preakness field, as there are only eight horses or one gate worth of racers here. (Hence: the truncation of Post penalties in the spreadsheet, which some may argue I could have eliminated all together).
- Ergo, only Justify could possibly or slightly be considered to have post-drawn poorly in the seventh hole or the penultimate wide slot. Although drawing the seven post in an ocho field is six one and half a dozen of the other…
- The one real race day story here could be one of two things…
- Trainer Lucas D. Wayne posts two horses or 25% of the 2018 Preakness field— and therefore you do have to wonder if Lucas might just use -which is to say: “send” which is tacitly code for: “expend” Sporting Chance early on and have him run interference for Bravazo vis-à-vis running the no.8 horse hard, late?
- Only other race day scene I can see is the weather itself… As there is a quantifiable chance of precipitation here. And as any gridiron T&F type team will tell you, that slows a velocity squad down to size more often than not. And in this 2018 Preakness case, that might bring Justify back to within striking distance of a solid though not entire warp-speed capable Preakness pack.
IF we were all totally sure that weather.God was gonna pick a pretty well downright pretty racing day, I’d pretty well have to pick Justify here. It is tough, to the point of nearly umpossible, to pick a more alpha thoroughbred talent in a sleek, streamlined and pretty dang compact field of eight.
However, should the ~5pm forecast be calling for rain at just past six, or if we have a slow, clumpy, heavy looking already significantly waterlogged track on our hands… Good Magic’s odds do not diminish, and two or possibly even three other ponies beyond that begin to enter the credible Win, Place, Show scramble.
As Quip, Sorting Chance, Tenfold and Bravazo all rate as quality mudders -in descending order; and likewise post position descending order- for this wet run.
Nonetheless, I still have to favor Justify here, although I’d really favor Justify on a clean and truly well kept track.
Beyond a true deluge and therefore a sloppy course, I just can not in good conscience justify an upsetting pick early on Saturday evening. Justify is indeed the top kick horse here, presuming his heel is 100% K.Derby healed up. And there are no reports that suggest anything else…
As methinks Justify does not get severely tested until he must by definition extend himself at the always grueling 1 & ½ mile marathoner Belmont Stakes in three weeks time.
In the meantime, and until proven otherwise, I’ma gonna ride with him…
Preakness Show=Justify (11u), Preakness Place=Justify (4u).