The 129th Preakness
12th @ Pimlico
All carry 126
2. Borrego...Espinoza...We can expect a better performance here. Though I'm not really sure how much competition he was for Smarty in Arkansas as he was gaining on the winner who was basically wrapped up. Got very tired in the muck in Louisville, but bounced back with a nice work on Monday. A fast track would be a delight for him at this point. Candidate for the tri and super, but only on the bottom.
3. Little Maath Man...Migliore...Allegedly flipped his palate in the Wood, hence the no-show. Had run respectable up until that point, but I have a hard time believing he's fast enough here. May clunk up for 4th, but I doubt it.
4. The Cliff's Edge...Sellers...Foot problems this week as he lost two shoes in the Derby. It's possible he'll be scratched. Honestly, I don't like him as well as I did going into Louisville. Potential foot problems don't help his chances. You could make a case that he was due to bounce in Louisville anyway after that smashing run at Keeneland. The track had to have been a factor. He passed only those backing up faster than he did. Candidate for the tri, but only on the bottom, and I'm not real crazy about his chances for that.
5. Song Of The Sword...Chavez...Hasn't worked since the Derby where he finished 17 lengths out. Compromised by track? Or just not good enough? Whatever, the last place he should be now, is here.
6. Sir Shackleton...Bejarno...Zito placing him as a rabbit I would suspect, but he really doesn't have the speed to keep up with Lion Heart and if he can't get close enough to make his presence felt, he will have tried in vain. However, what happens if TCE scratches?
7. Smarty Jones...Elliott...You don't have to knock me in the head. I realize a special horse when I see him on the BIG stage. This guy should run exactly the same race he ran in Louisville. I expect he will. Only question is when will he move. I expect he'll have the lead by the time they hit the 1/8 pole. On to the Belmont, where it will be an entirely different issue.
8. Imperialism...Desormeaux...His effort on the slop should not have come as a surprise as he ran very well on the off-going earlier in his career in South Florida. He's had a long run with very little rest, plus a trip to the West Coast and back. Bottom of the exotics only.
9. Eddington...Bailey...Shut out of the Derby, he comes in fresh. But most likely he doesn't have what it takes to get to the top two. He looks likely to pair-up his last effort, and that's only good enough for the 3rd and 4th spots. Which is where he'll be on my tix.
10. Rock Hard Ten...Stevens...Here's the wise-guy horse. Everyone is expecting him to make a BIG showing, and as a result, I expect he'll be an underlay, not only in straight wagering, but exotics as well. He's put in two nice works at Churchill. But with no races last year, and only 3 races this year, I have to wonder if he has what it takes to tackle these at this time. Another likely destined for the bottom of the exotics, at best.
11. Water Cannon...Fogelsonger...The local horse gets attention every year, and this one will be no exception. However, he's nowhere near fast enough to compete here. Not even for the exotics.
Expect Smarty jones to win exactly the same way he did in Louisville. Good position early, sitting comfortably off the leader, and striking with an 1/8 to go. On to the Belmont.
Lion Heart has finished 2nd in every race he's ever run. Expect that trend to continue after setting the early pace here.
Borrego cut his teeth chasing Smarty. He'll appreciate the dry surface, if he gets one.
Rock Hard Ten probably isn't ready to win here, but I'd be hard-pressed to leave him out of exotics.
Eddington is lightly raced and ready for improvement. He's a candidate to get a piece.
1. Smarty Jones
2. Lion Heart
4. Rock Hard Ten
Best of luck everyone!
© 2004 bBra