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Friday, May 14, 2010

Preakness 135: Twist and Shout

Well, looks like the drama over who I'm going to pick is over. I've been struggling all week with this group and haven't had much time to dive into the past performances to determine who I like until tonight. I'm going with the upset for a number of reasons. Mainly if you look back at the past 10 years, we're due for an upset (so #1 law of averages). Here is a chart that depicts the last 10 years' Preakness payouts for a $2 win bet, a $2 exacta, a $2 trifecta, a $1 superfecta and the $1 Pick Four ending with the Preakness. The pattern that is interesting is that we really haven't had too many bombs in the past 10 years who shocked the masses, but there has been some exotic crashers based on the exacta and trifecta payouts such as Macho Again (2008), Sweetnorthernsaint (2006), Scrappy T (2005), Midway Road (2003) and Magic Weisner (2002)

Secondly, I think that the Derby run over the sloppy Churchill strip last week favored only two or three horses who really had clean trips. This isn't the best indicator of form when analyzing at the race.

Lastly, I spent some time looking at pedigree. Over the last few years (especially the Belmont) when you look back after the race, the handicapping clue is usually hidden deep in the pedigree somewhere. I'm betting on this angle for Le Preak 135.

So here are my thoughts:

1 - Yawanna Twist (30-1 ML) Sounds like a reach, right. The lightly raced son of Yonaguska has placed twice in graded stakes (G3 - Gotham and G3 - Illinois Derby). I had a pretty good hunch in the Derby with Super Saver based on pedigree and I think this one could surprise us all and I'll be weaving him in and out of the top three spots. Wouldn't it be apropos for Edgar Prado to win his first Preakness four years after the Barbaro debacle? I saw him win his first Derby at my inaugural Derby, so could lightning strike twice in my inaugural Preakness? Yawanna's damsire Oliver's Twist was 2nd by a head in the 1995 Preakness, beating Derby winner Thunder Gulch and Tejano Run. Here's a look at his damsire's 1995 placing - a tremendous stretch run....

Yawanna dance?

2 - Super Saver (5-2 ML favorite) I'm not giving up on my boy, and in fact will be rooting for him to keep the Triple Crown hopes alive. He certainly wasn't taxed two weeks ago in the Derby having a dream trip, so I think he'll be fresh and ready to roll in Baltimore.

3 - Pleasant Prince (20-1 ML). If you toss his last two (muddy track in the Derby trial and poor synthetic effort at KEE) he was progressing nicely with increasing Beyers. Ice Box's performance flatters his Floriday Derby placing by a nose and he could be one of the ones that blows up the exotic numbers.

4 - Jackson Bend (12-1). Throw out his Derby and remove Eskendereya from his races and he's won a G1 and G2 and has progressing speed numbers. He seems to hit the board wherever he goes and I'm not going to let him beat me Saturday.

Who I've given up on:

Lookin at Lucky (3-1). Physically the last three races have had to take a toll on this horse. New rider and all. Lucky #7? I'm taking a stand against. If he beats me, he beats me. There's no doubt the colt has tremendous talent, but he must be tired.

Dublin (12-1). Really thought he was going to show up at Churchill, but he dudded in the stretch again. Gomez has the TC jinx. I'm staying away.

Caracortado (10-1). Cali buzz horse. Hasn't run since a compromised Santa Anita Derby trip. Not feeling it.

Who I'll dabble with in exotics:

Paddy O'Prado. Blew up my Derby tri even though I saw he was taking money, not again Paddy my boy.

Schoolyard Dreams. Best chance is hitting the board in third.

Well, Space Cadets, that's my take on Preakness 135, I'll be on the Clubhouse Turn taking in the card to complete my personal triple crown. So shake it up baby....and good luck to all!



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