The second jewel of the Triple Crown brings us to Baltimore, Merlin as the locals call it. That’s what it sounds like anyway, I don’t speak poor. Seriously, what a dump. I was there when California Chrome was the biggest horse on the planet and Pimlico couldn’t be bothered to turn off the Lorde concert that was going on in the infield for the race. It was, in a word, CHAOS. I saw some wild stuff going on in that infield. People puking all over themselves, people passed out in port-a-potties, people in amorous embraces in port-a-potties. I saw an overweight 20-something with no shirt on eating a pretzel with mustard running down his milky white belly. One of his friends thought it looked so tempting that he started dipping his own pretzel in the belly mustard. Just Google the Preakness infield and scroll through the horror. There are bikini contests, open bars, and port-a-potty runs, a truly vile scene.
|Par for the course|
The official drink of Preakness is the "Black Eyed Susan." That’s the perfect name as Pimlico is smack dead in the center of the ghetto. I imagine there are a lot of women running around there with black eyes. The pimps down in Merlin can’t let their hoes get out of line. You take your life in your hands trying to get to and from the venue. I’m not kidding when I say don’t go here unless you like betting the ponies while getting syphilis.
Let’s transition to the real stars of the day, the ponies. I gotta be honest; I’m a little disappointed in the lineup for the 141st running of the Preakness stakes. I feel as if they are just conceding this race to Nyquist. Clearly Nyquist is the best 3-year-old horse (I wish Songbird was in the Derby, not convinced she isn’t the best. Hopefully they face-off later this year, maybe the Travers or Breeders cup classic). There doesn’t seem to be any early speed in this race to press the pace and challenge Nyquist early. He’s already proven on several occasions that he can hold off Exaggerator who is a phenomenal closer. Who else in this race can challenge? My hope is that horse like Gun Runner and Brody’s Cause have skipped the Preakness to focus on the Belmont Stakes in three weeks. It’s not a bad strategy. You give your horse the extra time to recover and try to beat Nyquist at the longer distance. It just makes for a lackluster Preakness. Let’s get into the horses that are in the race.
Nyquist - Is and will be the favorite. Can his odds go lower than 3/5? I don’t see him losing this race to these horses. There will be little to no money returned on this investment.
Cherry Wine - Forced to sit out of the Kentucky Derby because of points. I don’t think he would have made a difference, plus he’s grey and gross.
Uncle Lino - One of four horses in this race sired by Uncle Mo. That’s almost 40% of this field. What are they feeding this Uncle Mo? Are they crushing up little blue pills in his oats? Anyway, Uncle Lino can and will press the pace but it won’t be anywhere close to where it needs to be to challenge Nyquist. He’s also a shipper from California. I’m not sure how he’ll be after not being in ideal conditions.
Awesome Speed – They must have named this horse before they saw him run.
Exaggerator – I’m a fan. I want to see him catch Nyquist down the stretch but at a shorter distance than the Kentucky Derby I don’t see it happening. I hope he does though; its like the only compelling story right now.
Lani – Grey and weird and Japanese and gross.
Collected – I’m really high on him in this spot. Javier Castellano will have this horse positioned nicely to compete down the stretch. He’s won 3 out of 4 starts since coming off the turf. His only loss in that stretch came in a race that favored closers because of a blistering pace. He’s improved in both starts after posting 90 Beyer speed figures but he’ll need to improve even more in this spot.
Laoban – Nope
Abiding Star - Intriguing. He’s stepping way up in class and I hate the jockey and trainer, so that’s three strikes.
Fellowship – Another deep closer with a chance to hit the board. WPS bet possibility.
Stradivari – Is coming way up in class but posted a 100 Beyer last time out. One of only three horses in the field with triple digit speeds, Nyquist and Exaggerator being the other two. Love the jokey/trainer combo and I don’t seem them placing him in here if they didn’t think he had the chance to not only improve but hit the board.
$5 PS on 7
$5 PS on 10
$5 PS on 11
$1 trifecta 3+5/3+5/7+10+11