Thursday, May 15, 2014

Down to the Wire: Preakness Stakes




5/17/2014: Pimlico Race 12: Preakness Stakes: #8 Social Inclusion & #1 Dynamic Impact
I know I usually only pick one horse for these races, but I'm trying to cover my bases, and yet still snag a price here, so hear me out. This year's Preakness drew a field of ten, with only three entrants having run in the Kentucky Derby (California Chrome, General A Rod, & Ride on Curlin). On paper, California Chrome is clearly the one to beat, but at short odds, coming off only two weeks rest, and having drawn a less than ideal post, I couldn't play him on top. In a race that appears likely to be fast early, Social Inclusion appears to be the "speed of the speed," which will only be emphasized by his post position. Although certainly aided by a speed favoring track and a less than top form Honor Code, Social Inclusion's allowance victory at Gulfstream was impressive visually and the speed figures backed that up. He, himself, also proved himself in the Wood Memorial when he finished third, only a nose out of second, despite breaking a step slow, rushing into a healthy pace, and having a wide trip throughout. The form of the Wood also held up particularly well in the Kentucky Derby, as Wicked Strong and Samraat finished fourth and fifth respectively. Social Inclusion won't be able to afford breaking slowly here and if he gets away from the gate fine, expect him to be your leader and he'll carry them as far as he can take them. Off class and form, he certainly appears capable of wiring them. While he did suffer from a bruised foot that caused him to miss a work, he's since gotten back on the tab and considering how much racing he's done recently, he'll surely be fit, regardless. Horse to Watch Dynamic Impact is who I'm including in case Social Inclusion is unable to stay the distance. Him drawing the rail is not helpful by any means, but he can sit off the pace. His win in the Illinois Derby was legit both visually and from a speed figures standpoint. He appears to be a horse who's getting good at the right time. He will have to find a bit more speed here to get the win, but if a pace meltdown occurs, he would definitely benefit at what will likely be a very nice price. 
Suggested Play:  Exacta -- 1,8 / 1,3.8,9,10  and #1 Dynamic Impact to win/place & #8 Social Inclusion to win


Weekend Quick Picks:
5/16/2014: Pimlico Race 10: Black-Eyed Susan Stakes: #9 Fortune Pearl
The Graham Motion-trained Fortune Pearl makes her stakes debut here, but she appears to fit right in with this group. Last time out, she was thirteen lengths back at the 1/2 and yet, she closed into a slow pace to win by two and one quarter lengths over eight and a half furlongs in a local NW1 allowance optional claimer. Expected rain only helps her chances, as she has A.P Indy and Mr. Prospector on the top of her pedigree to go along with her dam having won an off the turf race over a sloppy track at Calder. 
*Other to consider: #8 Sloane Square & #6 Arethusa

5/16/2014: Pimlico Race 12: Pimlico Special S.: #3 Moreno
Moreno made his season debut in the Charles Town Classic S., which was his first start off of an over five month layoff. That race was about as wild and crazy as they come, but I thought he ran well to re-rally and get up for third late. He figures to improve in his second start off the break, not to mention his chances would be enhanced even further should the track come up wet (as is expected). His maiden win was a romp over a sealed muddy track at Belmont, he's inbred to Mr. Prospector, and most importantly in my eyes, he has the In Reality via Relaunch line on the top of his pedigree, which is my go-to sloppy track pedigree angle.  
*Other to consider: #2 Cat Burglar & #6 Revolutionary 
Suggested Play: Pimlico Special-Dixie-Preakness Pick-3: 2,3,6 / 2,4 / 1,8

5/17/2014: Pimlico Race 9: Gallorette H. : #10 Watsdachances (if on turf)
Runner-up to Flotilla in the 2012 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, Watsdachances has really come into her own and become one of the more consistent turf runners at this distance. This will be her first start of the year, but she has won coming off a layoff before and recent work reports on her are quite good, not to mention this is a slight step down from her typical class level. 



**Last week: Horse to Watch Tonalist won the G2 Peter Pan S.

Horses to Watch Running this Week:
-- Hootenanny (5/16/2014, Pimlico Race 7: Rollicking S.)
-- Cat Burglar (5/16/2014, Pimlico Race 12: G3 Pimlico Special S.)
-- Green Mask (5/17/2014, Belmont Race 5: Paradise Creek S.)
-- La Madrina (5/17/2014, Belmont Race 6: Allowance)
-- Dynamic Impact (5/17/2014, Pimlico Race 12: G1 Preakness S.)
-- Fashion Fund (5/18/2014, Belmont Race 2: Allowance)
-- Sweet Acclaim (5/18/2014, Belmont Race 6: Wait A While S.)



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