As we said in an earlier piece, handicapping this race should easier than the Derby!
So we’ll take a crack at this 136th running of the GI $1 million, going that odd 1 3/16 mile Preakness Stakes!
Today we’d like to take different approach to handicapping is this year’s Preakness with something we call “Reverse Handicapping” and it goes like this!
When faced with such a large field of 14, like this year’s Preakness it’s best to start your way through a field like this, from the bottom up thus “reverse handicapping”!
So we will start with all the 30/1 shots first in Isn’t He Perfect, Concealed Identity and Norman Asbjornson !
Isn’t He Perfect simply isn’t. He has run 5th, twice in the last two Big Apple g/s for 3yo’s and is here only because Nehro was an early scratch! We won’t be using him on Saturday!
Norman Asbjornson couldn’t get past Stay Thirsty in the Gotham Stakes and couldn’t get past our favorite ailing “Uncle” in the “Wood” either! No, No, No don’t do it with this one!
Concealed Identity‘s win in the Tesio Stakes got his name on the 3yo map, but is just way out of his league here in, class, distance and company! A big NO for him!
At 20/1 are the troika of Mr. Commons, Flashpoint and King Congie.
Mr. Commons is another lightly raced 3yo who finished 3rd behind Midnight Interlude and Comma To The Top in the Santa Anita Derby last month. Both the above finished 16th and last in the Derby 2 weeks ago, doesn’t bode well for this west coast shipper! Hope he has a round trip ticket home!
King Congie is coming out of the turf and poly world with no dirt to speak of. He almost won that weird GI Blue Grass Stakes last month before he was nipped by 2 Derby starters in Twinspired and Brilliant Speed! No, the King will not be crowned here on Saturday with the 2nd jewel of the Triple Crown but might be better on the 3yo turf circuit! So maybe a super for the Spirit of Congie!
Flashpoint is the winner of the GII Swale Stake and finished 4th in the Fla Derby last month, where he was supposed to be the early speed but rated his way instead right out of contention that day. We don’t see how going a full 16th more is going to help this speedy guy. Supers only and only if you got the feeling!
At 15/1 is another 3yo trio in Astrology, Midnight Interlude and Sway Away.
Astrology has been a big time G/S runner most of his short career and was all the buzz as a 2yo. So far in 2011, his got a pair of seconds in the GIII Sunland Derby losing to Derby runner Twice the Appeal and to Adios Charlie in the GIII Jerome Stakes over a sloppy Big “A“! He had some good works for this show and with a good performance might hit the board but that’s just a might, so supers first and then maybe an exotic thought!
Midnight Interlude winner of another strange 3yo outcome in the Santa Anita Derby who finished 16th in the Derby behind an injured Archarcharch who had to be vanned off the Churchill stretch to ultimately be retired! He was a lightweight then and at best is a middleweight here on Saturday. Supers maybe but maybe not as he will do better than 16th this time!
Sway Away too was to light-the-way in the Ark. Derby with early speed, but like Flashpoint took the rating route and did make a nice move on the far turn that day to vie but couldn’t hold it together for the full 1 1/8 and held 4th! Don’t see how an extra 16th helps him either here. Super-size him and pray!
At 12/1 are Dance City and Shackleford!
Dance City has a short racing resume with a good 3rd in that same Ark. Derby as his top performance. Would like to see more seasoning for him as he feels just a cut below right now. Wouldn’t want to have to face him in a few months, so tri’s and supers for him here!
Shackleford is a big, strong horse who lead both the Fla and Ky Derby’s. He can flat run with the big boys just need to close the deal, all exotics for him!
At 6/1 is Mucho Macho Man who wouldn’t surprise us at all if he won here Saturday. He has the best workouts of this whole bunch and only needs a small improvement on that Derby 3rd to vie for the win on Saturday. All exotics for him too!
At 9/2 is Dialed In who was supposed to come running with that wild man fire of his in the derby stretch and didn’t. Perhaps there were 5.5 million reasons why he didn’t but he has to fire on Saturday or dial him out of the 3yo picture for a while! Super’s and Tri’s maybe but don’t solo him anywhere!
At 2/1 is the morning line favorite to take the second jewel of the 2011 Triple Crown season in Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom!
This is the easy part of “Reverse Handicapping“, a Kentucky Derby winner with a 103 beyer, winning at a longer distance of a 1 1/4 mile then will be run on Saturday here in the Preakness Stakes at 1 3/16th!
Winning 2 week ago by rating in mid-pack, against soft early factions, getting clear running room off the far turn, to come roaring down the center of the Churchill stretch like 2f quarter horse race.
Although it has been a very strange 3yo season, we don’t see how he doesn’t vie at the end again here Saturday. Gate #11 is no worst that gate #16 was in the Derby two weeks ago, he is training well and is “sound as the pound” right now! The risk here as we see it is to not put his into all your exotics!
Our other concern about Animal Kingdom is those soft early factions he got in the Derby. They are going to test him early was hotter factions this time to see if they can wear him out on the front end!
Remember, he also had something of the element of surprise in the Derby too, but not this Saturday!
So our picks are Animal Kingdom, Mucho Macho Man, Shackleford and Dialed In with Dance City and Astrology in supers and if you are feeling bold back-end of multiple tri’s!
So that’s “Reverse-Handicapping” in its full glory where you make the case for tossing instead of making a case for keeping horses in such a large field!
Of course, anyone who has been following the 3yo season so far knows it been hazardous to your racing wallet to follow too much common wisdom this year, as we have been Shot-Gunning every big 3yo dust-up since the “Uncle Mo” debacle and very successfully, we might add!
While shot-gunning will work here on Saturday that 2/1 on Animal Kingdom will make it a probable non-winning strategy dollars and cents-wise, so box those exotic’s all as this year’s 136th running of the Preakness Stakes should be a good one!
So you’ve got it all, PP’s, workouts, side bar stories covering the Preakness from every angle and replays of past Preakness to guide you. You even have an up-to-date forecast every day for Pimlico.
So Good Luck out there and have a good wagering day on Saturday!