It’s Preakness Day and most of the attention is over at Pimlico, but Belmont has a great betting card. As for the Preakness, I don’t believe there is any insight to be had. American Pharaoh will go off odds-on, and it is hard to argue he shouldn’t be based on his Derby performance. The only real question is whether Dortmund’s bout of colic was enough to keep him from running his best race. If you can buy that, then the race looks like it is between those two. Firing Line? Is there a reason to believe he will run better and turn the tables on AP? I’m not sure why. The cutback in distance has to benefit AP and in an eight horse field the inside post should be irrelevant. Even if AP doesn’t break on top, he should be able to establish a good tracking positon. The question is, is there a way to bet the race to make money? Perhaps a targeted superfecta is the way to go. I’d play it
Dortmund, AP/Dort, AP/ Firing Line, Divining Rod, Danzig Moon/Firing Line, Divining Rod, Danzig Moon.
I’d gamble a saver on
Dort, AP/Dort, AP/ FL, DR, DM/all
And finally, I’d play the better value super
Dortmund/AP/FL, DR, DM/FL, DR, DM
But I guarantee any bets I make are action only. It’s not a great betting race based on my handicapping.
Race 1 10-6-7
Media Kid has the best combination of speed and finish and makes a drop in price. Favors the BEL surface. Arc Above goes first time for Contessa and should improve in his second start of the year. Holy Invader beat a few of these last out and looks for two in a row.
Race 2 4-5-2
Matuszak makes a precipitous drop in his 2015 debut and if the best Matuszak shows up he’s the main threat. Harpoon takes the fire sale drop for Pletcher and he looks like he could use the relief. Well thought of at one time, but is in a more likely spot today. Kowboy Boots is another that goes into an easier spot today. Competitive off his best fig.
Race 3 6-1-3-5
Gotachancetodance had a strange loss last out when leading comfortably in the stretch. If she can stay on the track the entire trip she’s got a big shot. Lady Anita is making her seventh start but has the best last race number. Arana takes the blinkers off and drops into the MCL ranks looking for a win. The Ghost Bride puts the shades on and could pick up some pieces in the stretch.
Race 4 5-2-3
Jubilant Vision drops into the claiming ranks and last time she was at this level she ran a good one. Familyofroses has had success at BEL and at the distance. Just Got Out puts the blinkers on for new trainer Jeremiah Englehart who is 26% with new stable arrivals.
Race 5 7-3-2-10
Memories of Peter finished last year on an up note and has been working well for the 2015 debut. Brother O’Connell comes out in his 2015 debut for Clement and gets Lasix for this trip. Talledega has done his best running at Belmont and at the 12-1 ML is worth a look. Bugle Blues had a troubled start last out but showed great closing ability. Should have no problem with the distance.
Race 6 4-1
Room for Me gets the nod off the best two last race figures. La Verdad loves the BEL surface and hasn’t run a bad race on a fast track.
Race 7 12-3-9
Kabang has the best last out figure but will have to get a strategic ride from Saez out of the 12. Elmazeed is a first-timer for McLaughlin who is 17% with that move. Strong workouts say ready. Street Moxie is newly gelded and puts the blinkers on. First race at KEE was a good effort and with focus he may be dangerous today.
Race 8 4-2-3-1
Dreaming as Always goes first time with winners and has consistent figures. Should be in good condition and with slight improvement he’s in the photo. Race and Shine has had some trouble at the NW1X level but seemed to jump up some on the turf. Gets a chance here. Detail looked good on the turf first time with winners and with Chad Brown in his corner should be competitive. Moonlit Sonnet is another trying to get past the NW1X but has a
Race 9 8-6-9-5
Cease has been a useful horse, although lately he hasn’t been able to find the winner’s circle. He is just one of the horses in here that has the figures to win. Matrooh won at first asking off a year and a half layoff and he came back to run competitively at this level. Never discount a Chad Brown trainee. Anchor Down ran very well in his 2015 debut and no doubt Pletcher will have him wound up. Street Lord is 2 for 2 at BEL and can’t be completely eliminated.
Race 10 3-6-8
Sunset Glow is a Grade 1 winner. Has the best numbers and should improve second off the layoff. Lady Shipman has tons of speed, but the concern is being compromised by the equivalent speed of Sunset Glow. Still, she looks like she could be a good one. Isabella Sings would not relax last out; she could pick up the pieces if she runs a more relaxed race.
Race 11 4-5-3
Curious Cal is competitive off his best. Brass Pear puts the blinkers on and should be the one to catch. Round puts the blinkers on for Mott. He likes the BEL surface and his last race was his best. That race puts him right there.
Race 12 11-3-5
Winter Wish has one good turf race and that was over the BEL surface where she was beaten by Distorted Beauty. Her 2015 debut was useful and with some improvement she could take this field to the wire. Little Mary Ellen drops in price for this one and she is tied for the best turf number in the field. Weekend Hottie drops in price and puts the blinkers on for Barclay Tagg. Ran a good one last time and is another with a good enough turf number to win.