The 149th Preakness

On Saturday they will run the second jewel of the triple crown, the 149th Preakness at Pimlico Racetrack. Although likely favorite Muth was scratched after spiking a fever we still have a competitive race with the Derby winner, a few new shooters and the Pat Day Mile winner.

 

Mugatu goes from the rail and looks to be over his head with this bunch. He would be a major surprise.

 

Uncle Heavy gets a jockey switch that just jumps out at you going from Mycheal Sanchez to Irad Ortiz. He has handled a wet track in the past, a scenario he may face again on Saturday and his race off a lay-off in the Wood Memorial was not as bad as it looks. He looks like a price horse who can get into the back slots of the gimmicks.

 

Catching Freedom will get plenty of attention due to his good race in the Derby and Brad Cox and Flavien Prat. Pace wise he looks up against it to me but I expect him to be running at the end. If I am wrong about the speed not coming back to them on Saturday he is a serious player.

 

Mystik Dan should be the favorite with the scratch of Muth and off his win the Derby. Historically Derby horses have an edge in The Preakness, but stats mean zero on any given Saturday. He is coming back quick off a hard race and win I attribute to his trip and the trip of a few others. I see a regression from him here.

 

Seize the Grey is pretty honest for a Wayne Lukas trained horse of late. They tend to be in and outers. I think he is a cut below the top ones in here.

 

The other Lukas is Just Steel. He flopped in the Derby but has a few decent races on his resume. I think he is also a cut below a few of these.

 

Tuscan Gold can easily wind up to be the best horse in here as the year progresses. I thought his race in the Louisiana Derby was huge when he was thrown to the wolves, albeit strategically by Chad Brown and came again in that long New Orleans stretch. He is bred to love the off track if that is what we get, and I think we see a huge race from him Saturday.

 

Imagination is the other Baffert who is now the only Baffert with the scratch of Muth. He looks like the main speed and is no slouch. He is also a fighter who has never run a bad race. Frankie will look to rise to the occasion and get his first Triple Crown race win and he does have the horse under him to get that done if he can shake loose and hold off Tuscan Gold and Catching Freedom.

 

I think Tuscan Gold will get it done and get Chad Brown his third Preakness. He is deadly when he skips the Derby and points here a la Cloud Computing and Early Voting. Not bad for a turf trainer with a hall of fame resume on dirt. That said Bob and Frankie on the lead with a horse who will fight is never a piece of cake to reel in. Tuscan Gold could be good enough to do it.

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