Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Round 2: Baltimore

The draw is done, morning line odds are set and the horses are busy eating hay in their stalls at Pimlico by now. Which means it's almost time for the 136th running of the Preakness Stakes. For only the second time since 1992, there will be a full field that goes to the post come Saturday night. It is sure to be an exciting run for the Woodlawn Vase as 13 horses go stride for stride and attempt to knock off Animal Kingdom from his short two week reign as King of the three year olds.

It's anyone's race as this is considered one of the weaker/uncertain classes of three year old's compared to years past. Although, this may make the race that more exciting as there are a handful of horses that I can see taking the Preakness this year. With five horses coming out of the Derby and nine newcomers trying to show that they belong, grab your popcorn or crab cakes as they are known for in Maryland and get ready for round two in Baltimore.

2011 Preakness Stakes Picks:

Animal Kingdom: 2-1 ML favorite as he should be. Won the Derby convincingly, was pulling away from the field and looked like he could have gone longer if needed to.

Dialed In: Derby favorite disappointed two weeks ago. He is a closer, comes from dead last and 19 horses were just entirely too many to round up that day. We find out if he is a contender or a pretender in the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Mucho Macho Man: The owners of this guy are going to have to seriously start thinking of changing his name to "Mucho Money Man." That's all this horse has done as he has finished in the money 7 out of 8 of his lifetime starts. Enough said.

Shackleford: Almost took the Derby wire to wire. Did not start to fade until the last 1/16 of a mile and guess what, the Preakness is just a 1/16 of a mile shorter than the Derby. Does not have history on his side as Rachel Alexandra is the only horse in the last ten years to win this race wire to wire.

Animal Kingdom: Been back and forth on this as I could see any of the above four horses taking this race. He only gets better each race he has run. It's tough to get off this horse as I had him pegged as my dark horse in the Derby.

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