Over the past few mornings while hanging around the Pimlico Stakes Barn, one would easily get the impression that the 12 colts and geldings facing super filly Rachel Alexandra, are running for second purse money in the 134th Preakness on Saturday. Papa Clem’s trainer Gary Stute compared her presence on the track and the way she moves to the great Spectacular Bid. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said, “If you get 2-1 on her Saturday… take it to the bank”. While David Fawkes eagerly entered Big Drama shortly after Mine That Bird upset the Derby field knowing Hal Wiggins (Rachel Alexandra’s owner until 7 days ago) would never run her in the Preakness. Now he’s a little less confident in his colts chances.
So why even run the race if it’s a foregone conclusion that the filly is the best of the 13 going postward on Saturday at approximately 6:18pm? Well the grizzled horse racing veterans will tell ya there are no sure things. We all found that out last June at Belmont when Big Brown failed in his bid to be the first Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978.
On Wednesday afternoon the Post Positions were drawn and resident Pimlico handicapper Frank Carulli set the Morning Line. For comparison purposes, my predicted Morning Line as posted in Wednesday morning’s blog is also listed.
PP Horse Trainer/Jockey Track M/L GQ’s M/L
1 Big Drama Fawkes / J. Velazquez 10-1 15-1
2 Mine That Bird Woolley / M. Smith 6-1 12-1
3 Musket Man Ryan / E. Coa 8-1 9-2
4 Luv Gov Lukas / J. Theriot 50-1 50-1
5 Friesan Fire Jones / G. Saez 6-1 5-1
6 Terrain Stall, Jr. / J. Rose 30-1 20-1
7 Papa Clem Stute / R. Bejarano 12-1 8-1
8 General Quarters McCarthy / J. Leparoux 20-1 15-1
9 Pioneerof The Nile Baffert / G. Gomez 5-1 5-2
10 Flying Private Lukas / A. Garcia 50-1 35-1
11 Take The Points Pletcher / E. Prado 30-1 25-1
12 Tone It Down Komlo / K. Desormeaux 50-1 50-1
13 Rachel Alexandra Asmussen / Borel 8-5 2-1
Recapping Pimlico Spring Meet, Day 13 (Saturday, May 9th), track was fast but no turf races…
Best Bet Her Shadow (# 3; 2nd race; 1-1) ran stiff and out of the money.
Longshot Majestic Melody (# 3; 1st race; 6-1) ran back to his typical form… not winning but rallied for third.
SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $55 on Too Salty For Me (# 6; 4th race; 6-1) took down the parlay with a dull effort, failing to rally for even a small piece of the purse.
For the Pimlico Spring Meet, Day 15 (Thursday, May 14th), based on a fast track and firm turf…
Best Bet: Citi Dispute (# 8; 1st race; 7-2) in her career debut ran into a buzzsaw named Gator Prowl who broke the track record for 4½ furlongs. Barring none of the five first time starters in this race runs anything like Gator Prowl did, Citi Dispute should have it all her way.
Longshot: Good Girls Dont (# 7; 2nd race; 10-1) is one race removed from a nice runner-up finish at this same level ($8k maidens), she stepped up in class and tried going long, showing early foot but faded after a half. That pattern bodes well as she’s back trying the shorter distance in hopes of graduating.
SHOW Parlay available bankroll: $65.10 ($120.10 bankroll – $55 wager + $0 return)
SHOW Parlay Play of the Day: $20 on Berengaria (# 6; 4th race; 8-1) has done well at this claiming level ($5k) winning 5 of 7 while finishing in the money in all 3 career starts going today’s distance (5½ furlongs). If she SHOWs it should return a nice payoff in order to start a new parlay.
Let’s hope Day 15 will be a beautiful one for enjoying the exciting chase scenes thoroughbred horse racing has to offer. Good Luck!