The Preakness Chess Match appears to have begun. The big guns have done everything but formally confirmed that the star of their barn will run in the 134th Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 16th. The connections for Friesan Fire, Pioneerof The Nile and Rachel Alexandra all expressed plans to ship to Pimlico early in the week stating they will make a decision only after their horse works out on the track either Monday or Tuesday. Post Position Draw is set for Wednesday afternoon at Old Hilltop.
Here’s how the race is shaping up…
Confirmed: Mine That Bird (1st Derby; Woolley / M. Smith) – arriving Tuesday evening (7pm)
Musket Man (3rd Derby; Ryan / Coa) – will not arrive until day or two before race
Papa Clem (4th Derby; Stutte / Bejarano) – arriving Saturday; work Mon or Tues.
General Quarters (10th Derby; McCarthy / Leparoux) – arriving Tuesday evening (7pm)
Flying Private (19th Derby; Lukas / TBA) – arriving Wednesday
Hull (1st Derby Trial; Romans / Miguel Mena) – arriving Wednesday
Big Drama (2nd Swale Stakes DQ’d 1st; Fawkes / J. Velazquez) –arrived ; works Mon.
Take The Points (4th Santa Anita Derby; Pletcher / TBA) – arrival possibly Tuesday
Terrain (4th Blue Grass; Stall / Prado) – arriving Wednesday
Likely: Rachel Alexandra (1st Kentucky Oaks; Asmussen / Borel)
Friesan Fire (18th Derby; Jones / Saez) – arriving Monday; works on Tuesday A.M.
Pioneerof The Nile (2nd Derby; Baffert / Gomez)
Potential: Tone It Down (3rd Tesio Stakes; Wm. Komlo / TBA) – decision on Sat.
Conservative (2nd Lexington Stakes; Shug McGaughey / no rider) – decision on Sat.
Recapping Pimlico Spring Meet, Day 12 (Friday, May 8th), track was fast but no turf races…
Best Bet True To A Point (# 3; 4th race; 8-5) broke a bit tardy which compromised her chances at winning, but managed to run a decent race, just missing the runner-up position and was no match for the winner.
Longshot Grant Me Sunshine (# 5; 5th race off the turf; 8-1) was scratched when races were moved from the turf course to the main track.
SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $55 on Street Magician (# 5; 8th race off the turf; 3-5) won this race but unfortunately, due to the number of scratches, it left a four (4) horse field with no SHOW betting. Therefore, the parlay was forced to take the day off.
For the Pimlico Spring Meet, Day 13 (Saturday, May 9th), based on a fast track but still no turf races…
Best Bet: Her Shadow (# 3; 2nd race; 8-5)
Drops off of a third place finish and should be the lone speed. If she can handle the quick turn around (last race was 9 days ago), she’s a winner against this group.
Longshot: Majestic Melody (# 3; 1st race; 8-1)
She’s usually pretty consistent and has hit the board in 19 of 34 lifetime races, but her last was a disaster. Trusting that trainer Howard Wolfendale can right her ship, she could surprise at a price.
SHOW Parlay available bankroll: $120.10 ($120.10 bankroll – $0 wager due to no SHOW bets + $0 return)
SHOW Parlay Play of the Day: $55 on Too Salty For Me (# 6; 4th race; 8-1) has done well at Pimlico finishing in the money in 4 of 5 lifetime starts. Add the fact he consistently hits the board at this level ($5k) and he’s a deep closer in a field of 7 full of early speed makes him a smart pick for the SHOW parlay at generous odds of 8-1.
Let’s hope Lucky Day 13 will bring back a fast track and sunny skies even if turf races are still a no go… it’s a good move to keep the turf course in great shape for the turf races on Black Eyed Susan (Friday) and Preakness Day (Saturday). Enjoy the exciting chase scenes thoroughbred horse racing has to offer. Good Luck!