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All Forums > WHATS ON YOUR MIND > SPORTS SHIT > Preakness
Preakness
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bagz
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 4:52 pm    Post subject: Preakness

Triple Crown bid taxing for Derby winner

There was no doubt that California Chrome, as a 5-2 odds favorite, was the people’s choice to win the Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs.

He did so for popular connections in jockey Victor Espinoza, trainer Art Sherman and owners Steve Coburn and Perry Martin.

Now the question being asked of every Derby winner: Is California Chrome good enough to win horse racing’s Triple Crown? The sport has not had a Triple Crown champion since Affirmed in 1978.

California Chrome is talented enough, but there are good reasons why 36 years have passed since Affirmed.

Winning the three legs of the Triple Crown in five weeks is incredibly taxing on the modern day thoroughbred. This after a grueling prep race campaign.

The Derby winner typically faces a full field of fresh horses in the Preakness and Belmont. The possibility that one of the contenders will run a career-best race — and spring an upset — is strong.

The task of running a winning race on three different dirt surfaces (Churchill, Pimlico, Belmont Park) is almost always overlooked. One can argue that dirt is dirt, but it’s not that simple.

The first obstacle for California Chrome is, of course, winning the Preakness on May 17. With what transpired Saturday at Churchill, he will be a short price to do so.

Also, the prospective Preakness field speaks volumes. Only one Derby foe, Ride On Curlin, is likely for Baltimore. The rest are new shooters.

The Preakness field usually consists of a third of the Derby horses. This tells me a few things — that either the Derby field was below par, that California Chrome was that good, or maybe a bit of both.

Regardless, the stronger challengers are normally the Derby horses and not the new shooters.

The Derby race shape was revealing, too. The past two Derby winners — I’ll Have Another and Orb — had great setups rallying into fast 45 and change first half miles. California Chrome was able to relax off a relatively slow 47 1/5 pace to win.

It showcased two positive angles. California Chrome has push-button speed to accelerate when asked by Espinoza. Also, the horse does not need the early lead to win, which makes him comfortable in any kind of pace scenario.

Credit Espinoza, who did something only cool hands in the saddle can get away with. California Chrome had a five-length lead at the eighth pole, yet won by less than two lengths.

Watch the replay. California Chrome did not tire late. Espinoza clearly eases up before the wire, saving as much horse as possible. No need to win by 10 lengths when two lengths will do.

Combine this with Sherman’s plan to not work his horse between the Derby and the Preakness. Just long gallops. He wants a fresh horse for the Preakness and as much gas left in the tank for the Belmont as he can conserve.

A Preakness win by California Chrome would set up an exciting rematch with his main Derby foes — Commanding Curve, Danza, Wicked Strong and Samraat — with the Triple Crown at stake in the Belmont.

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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 5:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Preakness

Horses Who Will Fare Better at Preakness Than Run for Roses

California Chrome is the king of horse racing, and it will stay that way until someone ends his Triple Crown chances. The next opportunity to do so is at the Preakness on May 17 at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

It is only natural to look to the Kentucky Derby field for potential challengers, but as Jay Privman of Daily Racing Form points out, that isn’t exactly a long list:

With that in mind, we can only go by the official Preakness website for the horses that will be in the race. The list is sure to expand by May 17, but a couple of contenders will fare better than they did at Churchill Downs.

Still, it is difficult to imagine anyone but California Chrome capturing the Preakness.

He is on an absolute roll (five straight wins in dominating fashion) and has the closing speed necessary to take home another Triple Crown title. Look for California Chrome to position himself in the middle of the pack early, much like what happened at the Derby, and then finish with a strong kick to win his second major competition.

Even if that happens, the following horses will do better than they did during the Run for the Roses.

Ride On Curlin

Ride On Curlin’s pedigree suggests there are big things in store, even if we haven’t seen them yet. He is the son of 2007 Preakness winner and two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, so there is a history of success in place.

Ride On Curlin has been on the brink of impressive victories. He placed in third at the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont Park, third in the Street Sense Stakes, third at the Southwest and Grade 2 Rebel at Oaklawn Park and second at the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby.

He finished in seventh place at the Derby, but jockey Calvin Borel didn’t get him in the best position and will be replaced for the Preakness. David Grening of Daily Racing Form filled in fans on the news:

Perhaps the new jockey will finally get that elusive win for Ride On Curlin.



Pablo Del Monte

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Pablo Del Monte has to do better than a scratch at the Preakness, right?

That is what happened at Churchill Downs, but his trainer Wesley Ward spoke about how he and his team are focused on the upcoming race now, via the Lexington Herald-Leader:

The way the race played out with soft fractions for a Derby and a slow final time, I really think I would have had a great chance to be at least second. I was speaking to my good friend Paul Shanahan and I told him just that. He said, 'Listen Wesley, nobody remembers who was second. If you really feel that way and the horse worked as good as he did, maybe we can win the Preakness and that will be forever.

The fact that Pablo Del Monte is fresh and rested will help him in the final stretch against California Chrome and company. Pablo Del Monte almost won the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland before losing his lead at the end. Look for a stronger performance this time around.

If nothing else, it will be better than his recent scratch at the Derby.

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 2:53 am    Post subject: Re: Preakness

This was interesting...

"Making the first start outside his native state, California Chrome became the first California-bred to win the Kentucky Derby since Decidedly in 1962. Only four California-bred horses have ever won the Preakness, and none since Snow Chief in 1986."

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 11:59 am    Post subject: Re: Preakness

I say California Chrome wins triple crown..is there any odds on that right now? I'd lay a nice chunk on that
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 6:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Preakness

www.brisnet.com/brisne...sibles.pdf

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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 5:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Preakness

California Chrome: From 300-1 Longshot to a Derby Winner

As California Chrome prepares for the second leg of the Triple Crown, Predicteform’s Dan Zucker takes a look at the colt’s journey from 300-to-1 Kentucky Derby longshot to Preakness favorite.

There’s a classic saying in horse racing: “If you didn’t go to the wedding, don’t go to the funeral.” In other words, if you didn’t cash a bet when the odds were in your favor, don’t make the bet when the odds are significantly lower.

It couldn’t be more apropos as California Chrome heads to the Preakness looking to win the second leg of the Triple Crown. Here’s how California Chrome’s odds to win the Derby have moved over the last nine months.

9/1/2013 Wynn Future Book Derby Odds: 300-1
11/30/13 Derby Future Pool 1 (mutuel field): 4-5
1/3/14 Wynn Future Book Derby Odds: 275-1
2/8/14 Derby Future Pool 2: 30-1
3/1/14 Derby Future Pool 3: 32-1
3/29/14 Derby Future Pool 4: 9-1
5/4/14 Kentucky Derby: 5-2

When John Avello, the race and sportsbook director of the Wynn Las Vegas, opened the Derby future wagering on Labor Day weekend, California Chrome was coming off a win in a two-year old stakes race at Del Mar. California Chrome was the first colt out of a dam (mother) who won only one race on the track, an $8,000 maiden win. His sire, Lucky Pulpit, ranked No. 16 (by money earned) in California in 2013 and Lucky Pulpit’s best offspring was Rousing Sermon, a hard-knocking California router (distance runner) who earned over $700,000 lifetime. Overall, California Chrome’s pedigree was considered modest and Avello set Chrome’s future book odds at 300-1.

In November 2013 when Derby Future pool #1 opened, Chrome wasn’t included as one of the 24 individual entries available and was lumped into the “field,” which happened to be the 4-5 favorite when the pari-mutual wagering on the bet closed. But after California Chrome won a stakes race at Hollywood Park in late December, in which he ripped off a 76.4/74.3 (final/4f Pace Figure according to Predicteform) –- which was also a Reversal Form Cycle Pattern in which his final Pace Figure was greater than his 4f Pace Figure), he began to take some action. At that point, the Wynn Las Vegas dropped Chrome’s Derby Future book odds to 275-1 and the Derby Future Pool #2 had him separated into an individual entry.

After a decisive Cal Cup victory by 6 lengths running a 73.9/67.7 (final/4f Pace Figure), which was a Soft Form Cycle Pattern — considered an easy win, well within himself), Chrome got bet down to 32-1 in the Derby Future Pool #3. The pari-mutuel Derby Future Pool actually closed an hour prior to his dominating win in the San Felipe Stakes, a race in which Chrome ran lights out, 77.6/80.7 (final/4f Pace Figure), which was another Form Cycle Pattern, this time a New Pace Top (fastest 4f Pace Figure with a final Pace Figure that was within his “norm”).

By the time the final Derby Future Pool #4 closed the weekend prior to the Santa Anita Derby, Chrome had been bet down to 9-1, a co-favorite with Cairo Prince. After posting a 78.2/72.2 (final/4f Pace Figure) on his way to a five-length win in the Santa Anita Derby, Chrome secured his Derby start as the logical 3-1 morning-line favorite.

And while Chrome didn’t get the respect in the Derby future pools, he went off as the odds-on favorite in his two graded stakes wins – San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby. For the players that backed Chrome in the Kentucky Derby, a $2 win bet returned $7.

Heading into the Preakness, California Chrome will stand tall in the starting gate as a monster, with odds of far less than even-money. For those who have backed Chrome prior, this is another chance to parlay on the “one who got you there.” For those who haven’t backed Chrome, you weren’t invited to the wedding so don’t go the funeral.

Here is a breakdown of California Chrome’s Pace Figures from Predicteform.



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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 6:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Preakness

New shooters in Preakness have strength in numbers

BALTIMORE – New shooters: That’s the term for horses jumping into the Preakness Stakes without running in the Kentucky Derby.

In recent years, the new shooters have had no shot.

Horses exiting the Derby swept the top five spots in the 2013 Preakness, ran 1-2-3 in 2012, and were 1-2-4-6 in 2011.

But it has not always been so, and by default, if nothing else, this year’s new shooters almost have to make some sort of Preakness impact. At a mere three, there are fewer Derby starters in this Preakness than in any since 2008, when only Big Brown and Gayego ran. Big Brown, dominant in the Derby, was widely perceived as vastly superior to his class, suppressing the desire of horsemen with beaten Derby runners to come back for more.

But had Big Brown’s Preakness turned into the disaster that befell him in the Belmont, where Big Brown was eased, many of those horsemen would have rued not taking their shot in Baltimore.

“My thoughts have always been that one horse should never scare you away,” said trainer Mark Casse, whose new Preakness shooter is the Illinois Derby winner Dynamic Impact. “If you can go through a race and say, ‘I can’t beat this one; I can’t beat this one; I can’t beat this one,’ you shouldn’t be there. But sometimes, you go through and say, ‘I can’t beat this one, but I think I can beat this one and this one.’ That’s why we’re going to give it a try.”

California Chrome is this year’s version of Big Brown – minus a fast Derby time and formidable Derby speed figure. California Chrome won the Derby by 1 3/4 lengths after spurting to a five-length lead at the stretch call. Earlier wins in the Santa Anita Derby and the San Felipe Stakes were even more convincing.

“I do believe California Chrome right now looks like he’s in a league of his own, but I think the rest of the gang look like they’re just horses,” Casse said.

Besides California Chrome, only Ride on Curlin, who was seventh in the Derby, and General a Rod, who was 11th, will contest the Preakness. Both horses suffered difficult Derby trips, but neither is obviously superior to the best new shooters.

Still, recent Preaknesses with minimal Derby participation were ruled by horses who had run in the Derby. In the seven Preaknesses the last 20 years with four or fewer Derby runners, a Derby horse won six times. Twice, Derby horses swept the trifecta, and three more times, they comprised the exacta.

The trend makes sense. The Derby, with its now-requisite full field, is for dreamers, and there’s less blind, irrational impulse to send any old 3-year-old into the Triple Crown’s second leg. Horsemen shine a cold light on horses who simply performed poorly in the Derby as opposed to those with real excuses.

“I think the horses coming out of the Derby have an edge coming back in two weeks. Those are really good horses to begin with, and they get that foundation under them,” said five-time Preakness winner Bob Baffert. All Baffert’s Preakness wins came with Derby runners. His new shooters finished fifth and eighth. This year, Baffert jumps in with Bayern.

::2014 PREAKNESS STAKES: Latest news, video, and more

New shooters rarely win, and their strike rate is even slighter considering the circumstances of the winners. Rachel Alexandra was the last new shooter to win, and she was a highly unconventional one, exiting an historic Kentucky Oaks romp as 50-1 shot Mine That Bird skimmed the rail to an improbable Derby victory. Bernardini won in 2006 when Derby hero Barbaro broke down, and Aloma’s Ruler won in 1982 after Derby winner Gato Del Sol’s connections passed on the Preakness.

That leaves only three somewhat conventional new-shooter winners since 1980, when Codex nipped Derby-winning filly Genuine Risk. Deputed Testamony won in 1983 when Derby winner Sunny’s Halo ran sixth, and Red Bullet beat Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000.

Second- and third-place finishes, of course, are more common: In the last 10 Preaknesses, 59 new shooters finished second or third seven times, while the 54 Derby runners finished second or third 13 times. This year’s group is good enough, with luck, to nail a high placing or two.

Social Inclusion
Trainer: Manny Azpurua
Top Beyer: 110
Stakes wins: None

Social Inclusion is the highest upside horse in the race and, on Beyer Speed Figures, the fastest: The 110 he earned whipping Honor Code at Gulfstream is higher than any figure on California Chrome’s résumé.

Social Inclusion would have run in the Derby had he qualified, but his third-place finish in the Wood Memorial, his first and only stakes try, didn’t earn him sufficient points to make the field. Social Inclusion didn’t even debut until Feb. 22, and a foot bruise forced him to scratch from a stakes race May 3 at Gulfstream Park, but he turned in a glowing workout Monday at Pimlico and appears to have left his minor injury back home in Florida.

Social Inclusion will at least affect the Preakness race shape, since he has led in all three of his starts, including a fast-paced debut sprint win. The last front-running new shooter to hit the board was First Dude, who set the pace and held second in the 2010 Preakness.

Dynamic Impact
Trainer: Mark Casse
Top Beyer: 102
Stakes wins: Illinois Derby

Casse hasn’t run a horse at Pimlico since 2001, and until mid-April, he couldn’t have expected Dynamic Impact to take him back. Dynamic Impact lost his first three starts at age 2 and his 3-year-old debut before winning an Oaklawn maiden route race March 1. He improved dramatically, beating Midnight Hawk by a nose April 19 in a legitimately swift edition of the Illinois Derby. It’s the classic profile of a new shooter with some real hope, a horse who didn’t get really get good until it was too late for Derby aspirations.

“I don’t really know why he improved,” Casse said. “Sometimes, horses just get better.”

It remains to be seen how much substance lies behind Dynamic Impact’s peak form, and it’s only his Illinois Derby performance suggesting he could contend Saturday.

“A lot of people are going to look at this horse and say he’s going to bounce,” Casse said. “If his last race wasn’t a fluke, I think he’s going to be right there. I’ll be going to Pimlico this week with some optimism.”

Bayern
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Top Beyer: 98
Stakes wins: None

“New shooters – that hasn’t worked for me so far,” said Baffert, who ran fifth with Senor Swinger in 2003 and eighth last year with Govenor Charlie in his two tries here with horses who didn’t contest the Derby.

Bayern was disqualified from first to second for interference in the April 26 Derby Trial, and the only time in four starts he has failed to cross the finish first was the Arkansas Derby, in which Bayern was third in his stakes debut. Baffert has tinkered with blinkers – they’re coming off again Saturday – and said Bayern still races greenly.

“When he gets the lead, he sort of shuts it off a little,” Baffert said.

Bayern is a front-runner, and on pedigree and style, he could turn out to be more a miler than a true route horse. But coming out of the one-mile Derby Trial isn’t a bad thing for a new shooter. Four of the last 10 such horses to hit the board here exited a one-turn mile.

“I just thought I’ll give him a chance here,” said Baffert. “I would never run this horse in the Belmont. This will be his big race to decide what I do with him the rest of the year.”

Pablo Del Monte
Trainer: Wesley Ward
Top Beyer: 91
Stakes wins: None

Pablo Del Monte could have run in the Derby. His trainer, Wesley Ward, talked about what a great opportunity it would be to start in the Derby. But when Hoppertunity was scratched after Derby entries were taken, allowing also-eligible Pablo Del Monte to draw into the race, his connections declined the spot.

Post 20 would have been tough for Pablo Del Monte in the Derby, but it’s fair to wonder if he’s a Triple Crown horse of any sort. He probably doesn’t want 1 1/4 miles and appears to prefer synthetics to dirt.

Ward has trod the new shooter path twice, most recently in 2011 with Flashpoint, who disputed the pace and faded to last of 14. Pablo Del Monte should stay the trip better than that but probably not well enough.

Kid Cruz
Trainer: Linda Rice
Top Beyer: 91
Stakes wins: Private Terms, Federico Tesio

Kid Cruz’s last two wins were like California Chrome’s Derby victory: visually striking and not very fast.

Claimed for $50,000, Kid Cruz finished second in an Aqueduct allowance race before twice shipping to Maryland to win stakes. In the Private Terms Stakes at Laurel, he fell more than 20 lengths behind a tepid pace and rallied to win by four. His tactics were less dramatic but equally effective when he won the Tesio Stakes at Pimlico last month, but both performances earned Beyer figures in the low 90s, well short of the winning Preakness par.

“I’ve looked at that. I’m a big statistical person,” said Rice. “There are always horses that only do as much as they have to. California Chrome, whether it was a slow Derby or not, you have to respect him. Kid Cruz, his last two races have been visibly very impressive, but as far as the figures, he’s not run fast yet. I am much happier to have a closer in a 10- or 11-horse field than a 20-horse field like the Derby, and it also looks like there should be an honest pace. We’re going to find out if he can run a fast figure now.”

Ria Antonia
Trainer: Tom Amoss
Top Beyer: 85
Stakes wins: BC Juvenile Fillies (via disqualification)

The list of contemporary Preakness runners exiting the Kentucky Oaks is about to grow to two: Rachel Alexandra and this filly. Suffice it to say – this is no Rachel Alexandra.

In fact, Ria Antonia has not yet performed at nearly the same level as any of the four modern-era fillies to try the Preakness: Genuine Risk, Winning Colors, Excellent Meeting, and Rachel Alexandra. Barring sudden vast improvement, she’s the new shooter with the worst chance Saturday.

Ring Weekend
Trainer: Graham Motion
Top Beyer: 95
Stakes wins: Tampa Bay Derby

The Motion-trained new shooter Icabad Crane won the Tesio in 2008 and returned to rally for third at odds of 22-1 in Big Brown’s Preakness.

Ring Weekend’s connections had in mind a Derby start until the horse spiked a temperature a few days before entries. Ring Weekend had a two-race form peak earlier this year similar to Dynamic Impact’s, winning a Gulfstream maiden race before a smart front-running score in the Tampa Bay Derby. Motion blamed himself for Ring Weekend’s odds-on defeat in the April 5 Calder Derby, in which Ring Weekend was restrained behind a slow pace. Ring Weekend will be allowed to show his early speed again in the Preakness, but that could make him part of a demanding pace.

“It wasn’t even so much that he won at Tampa but the way he won. He galloped out so strong, and it was like a walk in the park,” Motion said. “That’s the race we have in the back of our mind when we think about running in the Preakness.”

It’s mental theater like that moving all these connections to take their chances Saturday – an image of their horses’ best races shooting down the Derby winner.

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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 6:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Preakness

A handy guide to betting the Preakness Stakes

The 139th Preakness Stakes is set for Saturday at Pimlico in Baltimore. Nine challengers are lined up to derail Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome’s quest for horse racing’s elusive Triple Crown. Before the starting gates open (and the betting windows close) for this 1 3/16-mile dash for a $1.5 million purse — post time is 6:18 p.m.; NBC will televise — here is a guide to the field.

Horses are listed by program number, in post position order.
1. Dynamic Impact (12-1)

Bay colt, by Tiznow (Cee’s Tizzy), out of Featherbed (Smart Strike)
Jockey: Miguel Mena
Trainer: Mark Casse

Current form: Stalked the pace and got his nose up just in time to defeat a less-than-stellar field in the Illinois Derby. Brings two-race winning streak to the gate and gets better with every start.

Worth a wager? Not quite. Could get a cozy spot on the rail but faces a significant upgrade in talent today. Mid pack.
2. General A Rod (15-1)

Dark Bay or Brown colt, by Roman Ruler (Fusaichi Pegasus), out of Dynamite Eyes (Dynaformer)
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Trainer: Mike Maker

Current form: Things did not go the General’s way in Kentucky. Failed to show his early jump and spent the rest of the Derby battling traffic. Board hitter in both the Florida Derby and Fountain of Youth this spring.

Worth a wager? Better trip from inside post but can’t be recommended only two weeks after Derby flop. Fair to say he won’t be wearing the Black Eyed Susans.
3. California Chrome (3-5)

Chestnut colt, by Lucky Pulpit (Pulpit), out of Love the Chase (Not for Love)
Jockey: Victor Espinoza
Trainer: Art Sherman

Current form: Can he get the distance? Will he travel well? How will he deal with the noisy crowd? The enormous field? Answered every question with a resounding YES. Dropped Samraat, and others, like a bad habit and built comfortable lead mid stretch in Derby. Racing’s biggest star has won five in a row and looks to set grab jewel No. 2. Has the sport as a whole backing him.

Worth a wager? Your hands are tied. Have to use him, even at this price. No bad bounce expected. Hype machine ready to hum.
4. Ring Weekend (20-1)

Chestnut gelding, by Tapit (Pulpit), out of Free the Magic (Cryptoclearance)
Jockey: Alan Garcia
Trainer: H. Graham Motion

Current form: Was riding high after easily taking the Tampa Bay Derby gate to wire. Raced as the prohibitive favorite in the Calder Derby but was soundly defeated moving longer.

Worth a wager? No, not off his latest. Will be as popular at the betting windows as Donald Sterling at a Clippers family picnic.
5. Bayern (10-1)
Modal Trigger

BayernPhoto: AP

Dark Bay or Brown colt, by Offlee Wild (Wild Again), out of Alittlebitearly (Thunder Gulch)
Jockey: Rosie Napravnik
Trainer: Bob Baffert

Current form: Proved very game as he battled every step of the way to win the Derby Trial only to be DQ’d for contact late. Ran third to Danza in the Arkansas Derby two races back.

Worth a wager? I like him. Especially with Pimlico’s tight turns. He’s a fighter with exceptional speed and he’ll be hard to put away when they turn for home. Can hit the board.
6. Ria Antonia (30-1)

Bay filly, by Rockport Harbor (Unbridled’s Song), out of Beer Baroness (Mr. Greeley)
Jockey: Calvin Borel
Trainer: Tom Amoss

Current form: Filly taking on the big boys here after wide trip left her nowhere in the Kentucky Oaks. Only victory of note came in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile fillies last year. And that was via DQ.

Worth a wager? C’mon. Sorry, but she shouldn’t be here. This is not Rachel Alexandra and she may be over-matched.
7. Kid Cruz (20-1)

Bay colt, by Lemon Drop Kid (Kingmambo), out of Layreebelle (Tale of the Cat)
Jockey: Julian Pimentel
Trainer: Linda Rice

Current form: Has home-field advantage as he’s the only horse with a W over the oval. Stretch runner has back-to-back victories after winning the Federico Tesio stake at Pimlico last month.

Worth a wager? He’ll be moving late but level of competition suggests he’ll catch only half the field. No touchdown salsa today. Mid pack.
8. Social Inclusion (5-1)

Bay colt, by Pioneerof the Nile (Empire Maker), out of Saint Bernadette (Saint Ballado)
Jockey: Luis Contreras
Trainer: Manny Azpurua

Current form: I believe only two horses can win this race, and he’s one of them. Won opening pair by a country mile earlier this spring defeating highly regarded Honor Code in the process. Drew bad post and ran hard to get lead in the Wood Memorial before wilting late to Wicked Strong.

Worth a wager? Never made it to the Derby but can make things uncomfortable for “Chrome” today. He’s my win bet and can’t see him finishing worse than second.
9. Pablo Del Monte (20-1)

Chestnut colt, by Giant’s Causeway (Storm Cat), out of One Hot Wish (Bring the Heat)
Jockey: Jeffrey Sanchez
Trainer: Wesley Ward

Current form: Enters off back-to-back thirds in the Blue Grass and Hutcheson. Flashed long-forgotten speed over the Keeneland synthetics at 1 1/8 miles before grudgingly giving way late.

Worth a wager? Improving race to race and may be ready to fire a bullet. But not here. May be better this summer.
10. Ride On Curlin (10-1)

Bay colt, by Curlin (Smart Strike), out of Magical Ride (Smart Strike)
Jockey: Joel Rosario
Trainer: William Gowan

Current form: Broke from the far outside on Derby day and spotted field some heavy real estate. Finished full of run when he got clear. Solid all spring including runner-up to Danza in Arkansas Derby.

Worth a wager? Yes. Exotics. Son of Curlin seems to enjoy going long and may fill out your superfecta. Note: Only colt proven over sloppy surface.

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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 6:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Preakness

California Chrome jockey Espinoza should ignore Preakness field

Two weeks ago, I thought Kentucky Derby favorite California Chrome was vulnerable because of a projected fast early pace. Well, that fast pace never materialized.

Instead, the first half-mile was a tepid 47 1/5. Jockey Victor Espinoza had California Chrome sitting calmly in third and pounced on tiring leaders turning for home. They spurted out to a five-length lead and coasted home to victory.

The final Derby time, 2:03 3/5, was slow. But the key for me was the way California Chrome toyed with the field. He proved again he has the tactical speed necessary to make his own trip.

He was so much the best that only two other Derby horses — General a Rod and Ride On Curlin — have accepted a rematch in Baltimore. Many others will freshen up until the Belmont Stakes on June 7. Expect a big Belmont field, including Commanding Curve, Danza, Wicked Strong, Samraat and Tonalist.

California Chrome (3-5) will be an overwhelming favorite, according to Pimlico morning line maker Keith Feustle.

I’ll project again that the Preakness early pace will be fast. Certainly faster than in the Derby. Pure speed types such as Social Inclusion (5-1), Bayern (10-1) and Pablo Del Monte (20-1) must rush up because they need the lead to succeed.

General a Rod (15-1), Ring Weekend (20-1) and even California Chrome could inherit the early lead if, by some miracle, no one sends like in the Derby.

I think the best horse, California Chrome, will win the Preakness and set up a Triple Crown try in the Belmont. If I were Espinoza, I would practically ignore the others horses and ride his own race.

If California Chrome grinds out his own fractions to the top of the stretch and stays in the clear, his late kick should get the job done. Espinoza has five wins in five rides on the colt, so he knows everything about him.

My next choice is General a Rod. He has an opportunity to redeem himself by saving ground and stalking the early leaders. He lost all chance in the Derby after a poor start. But Joel Rosario wisely protected him late. Javier Castellano, who rode General a Rod in the Fountain of Youth, replaces Rosario.

My third choice is Ride On Curlin (10-1), another excuse horse coming out of the Derby. He zigzagged all over the Churchill Downs track before finally rallying well but way too late.

Ride On Curlin gets a new rider in Rosario, who likes to take horses back and make one late run. His riding style is perfectly suited to this colt’s running style.

My final pick is Social Inclusion, who has one chance of winning: to be the speed of the speed. Once the gate opens, jockey Luis Contreras should go to the front and try to bottom out the field. His Gulfstream Park track record win March 12 shows he is more than capable of a freakish race.

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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 12:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Preakness

GO CALI CHROME!!!
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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 5:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Preakness

Preakness favorite’s role weighs on California Chrome



BALTIMORE — California Chrome has run away from the competition in five consecutive victories, winning by an average of more than five lengths.

The Kentucky Derby winner has had it his way ever since Victor Espinoza climbed aboard in December when the streak began.

Whether they do again today in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness at Pimlico depends on a good trip, the tactics used by the chestnut colt’s nine rivals and a little luck. California Chrome is the 3-5 favorite against nine rivals.

“When you run a 3-5 shot, you’ve got a lot more pressure on you knowing you’re going to be the favorite, but I think we can handle it,” trainer Art Sherman said.

California Chrome galloped two miles in the rain Friday. A small blister in the colt’s throat that caused him to cough a day earlier was blown out of proportion, according to Alan Sherman, Art’s son and assistant trainer.

“California Chrome is fine. His throat is fine. He had a little tickle,” he said. “He is not scratching from the Preakness.”

The colt had a similar blister before his Derby win. He was being treated with a glycerin throat wash.

If the chestnut colt with four white feet can repeat his Derby success in the $1.5 million Preakness, he’ll set himself up for a Triple Crown try in three weeks in the Belmont Stakes.

It’s been 36 years since Affirmed swept the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont to become horse racing’s 11th Triple Crown winner.

“The Triple Crown means so much, but I’m old school,” Art Sherman said. “Let’s just go one race at a time.”

California Chrome extended his winning streak to five with a thrilling victory in the Derby two weeks ago, when Espinoza kept him no worse than third in the 19-horse fray before accelerating in the stretch to win by 1¾ lengths.

In the Preakness, California Chrome will break from the No. 3 post, a spot that has seen 11 winners but none since Prairie Bayou in 1993.

“If he runs his race, and he’s come back good from the Kentucky Derby, he should be tough in there,” Espinoza said.

Social Inclusion is the 5-1 second choice and is one of seven horses coming in fresh, having skipped the Kentucky Derby. Only two Derby horses — Ride On Curlin (seventh) and General a Rod (11th) — have returned to challenge California Chrome in the Preakness.

“You need a good trip, a good setup and to have everything go your way,” said Mike Maker, who trains General a Rod. “Obviously, California Chrome is head and shoulders above everybody so far. He’s proved it, and every race, he’s continued to do so.”

Other rival trainers aren’t conceding the race to California Chrome, either.

Billy Gowan oversees Ride On Curlin, who has started just as many races in his young career (10) as the Derby winner. He’ll have a new jockey in Joel Rosario, who replaces Calvin Borel.

“I’ve got a whole lot of respect for California Chrome,” Gowan said, “but I’d like to try him one time at the top of the stretch and see how we are.”

That’s the point in the race at which Espinoza has turned California Chrome loose during their winning streak. In the Preakness, the speed horses will break from the gate on the outside of California Chrome. Rivals such as Social Inclusion and Ride On Curlin could try to box in the Derby winner in an attempt to put pressure on him early.

“But he’s not chicken-hearted, by no means,” Art Sherman said. “My biggest concern is the first 70 yards leaving the gate. I don’t want him to get impeded behind horses with no place to go. All you can do is hope for a good trip.”

Art Sherman calls California Chrome a “push-button horse,” meaning Espinoza can pretty much position the colt anywhere he wants in the race.

Still, six of the past eight Derby winners did not win the Preakness.

There’s a posse of contenders that would love to extend that history.

One of them is Social Inclusion, who will be making just the fourth start of his career and first since finishing third in the Wood Memorial more than a month ago. He’s trained by 85-year-old Manny Azpurua, who would become the oldest winning trainer in the 139-year history of the Preakness.

PREAKNESS STAKES

The field for today’s 139th Preakness Stakes, with post position, horse’s name, jockey’s name and odds. Post time is 3:18 p.m.

Post Horse Jockey Odds

1. Dynamic Impact/ Miguel Menna/ 12-1

2. General a Rod/ Javier Castellano/ 15-1

3. California Chrome/ Victor Espinoza/ 3-5

4. Ring Weekend/ Alan Garcia/ 20-1

5. Bayern/ Rosie Napravnik/ 10-1

6. Ria Antonia/ Calvin Borel/ 30-1

7. Kid Cruz/ Julian Pimentel/ 20-1

8. Social Inclusion/ Luis Contreras/ 5-1

9. Pablo Del Monte/ Jeffrey Sanchez/ 20-1

10. Ride On Curlin/ Joel Rosario/ 10-1

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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 6:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Preakness

California Chrome Won't Dominate the 2014 Preakness Stakes

2014 Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome has been simply unstoppable of late, emerging victorious in his last five races in decisive fashion.

That won't be the case at the Preakness Stakes.

Now, this isn't to say California Chrome will not win his upcoming race at Pimlico; after all, he's a heavy favorite with 3-5 odds. But, due to the strength of some other contenders, we may not see the same type of dominant win we've become accustomed to.

It all starts with Social Inclusion.

This horse is one of the fastest set to take the track on Saturday. Back in March, he was phenomenal at Gulfstream Park, defeating big favorite Honor Code by 10 lengths while setting a new 1 1/16-mile track record of 1:40.97.

Here's a look at Social Inclusion's sparkling performance:

[youtube]fgjuj4enp40[/youtube]

Not only did Social Inclusion get a great break out of the gate, he kept up a fantastic pace and had plenty of gas left in the tank to come away with a dominant victory.

Upon arriving at Pimlico, Sanchez reflected on what he saw at this year's Kentucky Derby and addressed the speed of his horse during an interview with Jennie Rees of USA Today:

Probably everybody thinks there's going to be a lot of speed and then they try to stalk. But it wasn't a good decision. We'll have a lot of speed here, I'm sure. I'm really sure. We'll take the lead, or at least be 1-2-3. No farther back than that. It wouldn't make any sense. This is a horse with speed, and you have to use it.

The way Social Inclusion has looked this year, plenty of speed will be a certainty.

Bayern is another horse figuring to be well in the mix on Saturday.

He may not have the speed of Social Inclusion, but he has plenty of endurance and is a great closer. Earlier this year, Bayern torched the field at Santa Anita, proving he was in a league of his own:

[youtube]ylCuE-T9ge0[/youtube]

Trainer Bob Baffert decided not to run Bayern in the Kentucky Derby due to a short turnaround after running him in Arkansas just one week prior, according to an interview with Don Markus and Aaron Dodson of The Baltimore Sun.

Now, after some much-needed rest, Bayern appears poised to make a big splash at the Preakness.

Marty McGee of the Daily Racing Form tweeted some blazing numbers posted by Bayern during workouts:

Marty McGee

#Preakness-bound Bayern breezes 5 f. in 1:02.60, out 1:15.20, over fast track this a.m.; in co. w Drill. Leaves here Wed. #ChurchillDowns

Of course, California Chrome has the most momentum of any horse in the field; however, after a short two-week turnaround from the Kentucky Derby, he'll have a difficult time pulling ahead of these horses in a big way.

There's a great chance California Chrome will go on to win the 2014 Preakness Stakes, but he certainly has his work cut out for him.

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