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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

2012 Preakness Preview

1. I'll Have Another 5-2 (Flower Alley-Arch's Gal Edith, by Arch) Doug O'Neill – Everyone wants a Triple Crown winner. It's been 34 long years since Affirmed won a spirited battle with Alydar to become the 11th horse to complete the feat. Little did anyone know at the time that a third of a century later we would still be waiting for the 12th. So can I'll Have Another get it done? Yes. Maybe. It will not be easy, but he has a chance. As good as he has been this year, the thing I like best about him is his freshness, and he absolutely seems to be thriving at the perfect time for trainer, Doug O'Neill. His ability to find the perfect position early will be put to an extreme test by the talented speed of Bodemeister. It will be up to the Derby winner and Creative Cause to go after him at the right time if they want to defeat him. I like I'll Have Another as much as the other two, and I want to see a Triple Crown winner as much as everyone else.
 
 
2. Creative Cause 6-1 (Giant's Causeway-Dream of Summer, by Siberian Summer) Mike Harrington – So the Kentucky Derby was the first time he finished out of the money, but you know what? Creative Cause actually ran a big race. He was in traffic early, before being forced out wide at a key juncture of the race. All told he ran farther than anyone in the field, and still only lost by three lengths. I tend to think the Santa Anita Derby finish, where he was nose-to-nose with I'll Have Another, was more of a true result than his unlucky fifth place finish at Churchill Downs. Like the top one, he has enough tactical speed to remain in touch of the speedy favorite, before uncorking his consistent ability to finish well. At 6-1 or so, Creative Cause offers value, especially if the Derby winner goes after Bodemeister early. 
 
 
3. Bodemeister 9-5 (Empire Maker-Untouched Talent, by Storm Cat) Bob Baffert – What can you say about his back-to-back performances in the Arkansas and Kentucky Derbies. They were simply marvelous. With no Hansen or Trinniberg in the Preakness to force him into overly fast fractions, the Preakness may be Bodemeister's race to lose. His fate may come down to the tactics used by his two most serious competitors. If either the Derby winner or Creative Cause decide to go after Bodemeister early, it could create a similar six furlong split seen in Louisville, setting things up nicely for the one who lays behind early. Or maybe Bodemeister is simply too fast and will not be caught. As the favorite, I am willing to try to beat him. 
 
 
4. Went the Day Well 6-1 (Proud Citizen -Tiz Maies Day, by Tiznow) Graham Motion - There are a few things I know for sure about this Team Valor charge ... he is a stunning horse who is still improving, and he ran a big race in the Kentucky Derby. So why don't I include him with the big three? I just have a feeling that the race setup in Louisville was more suited to him than what will happen at Pimlico. Having said that, if Bodemeister's hand is forced early and often on Saturday, this one certainly becomes the main threat to be charging down the lane.
 
 
5. Daddy Nose Best 15-1 (Scat Daddy-Follow Your Bliss, by Thunder Gulch) Steve Amussen - He drew raves for two weeks at Churchill Downs as the horse that was getting over the racing surface brilliantly. The big question going is was did he have the class to compete with the best. Unfortunately, we may have found the answer, as he struggled home in the middle of the pack. If you can forgive the Derby by assuming he didn't fire because of the size of the field, then you will get solid odds on a horse who might be the best of the longshots.
 
 
6. Teeth of the Dog 20-1 (Bluegrass Cat-Deputy Reality, by Deputy Minister) Michael Matz –  A well bred son of Bluegrass Cat, Teeth of the Dog has made steady progress in each of his three starts since running a well beaten third in his December debut. In his latest, he ran a solid third in the Wood Memorial at odds of more than 50-1. The improvement makes me believe that this is a horse with a future, but keep in mind, in the Wood he was really no match for the top two. That form was the opposite of flattered when those two, Gemologist and Alpha, came back to finish far back in the Kentucky Derby. My favorite of the new shooters, but this year, that is not saying much.
 
 
[Find out all the latest info on the Middle Jewel on the HRN Preakness page]
 
 
7. Brimstone Island {SCRATCHED} (Tiznow-Broad Sound, by Broad Brush) William Campbell - I love the breeding of this one, with talent and distance on both sides of his pedigree. He also has demonstrated improvement when running in two-turn races. Having said that, his form to date, breaking his maiden in claiming races, and going 0 for 4 in much weaker stakes races than the Preakness, leaving me to make a huge jump in the imagination to believe he can make a big dent in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.
 
 
8. Zetterholm 20-1 (Silver Train-Holy Wish, by Lord at War) Richard Dutrow – Here's a nice New York-bred colt with a strong closing kick. I was impressed by his last while taking a stake at Aqueduct going away at the finish to win his third straight. The problem of course, was that race was at a flat mile against statebreds, while this is the Preakness. If the pace is fast enough, maybe he makes a run, but more likely he just finds thing a little too tough on Saturday.
 
 
9. Optimizer 20-1 (English Channel-Indy Pick, by A.P. Indy) D. Wayne Lukas – Usually when a Hall of Fame trainer continually says good things about a horse, I listen, but in this case, I am having trouble hearing what the trainer is saying. My big hope for the Kentucky Derby 11th place finisher, Optimizer, is that D. Wayne does not burn him out in all these races over his head before he can really get going as a very talented turf horse.  
 
 
10. Cozzetti 30-1 (Cozzene- Lemon Drop Cello, by Lemon Drop Kid) Dale Romans – Another horse that I think will ultimately be best on turf, (although he has not shown it yet) seems overmatched on Saturday. His Tampa Bay and Arkansas Derbies were nothing more than OK, and clearly he is a distant second string to the resting Dullahan in the Romans barn. I have great respect for Romans, but this one would seem to be only a place holder until Dullahan returns in the Belmont.

 
11. Pretension 30-1 (Bluegrass Cat-Main Streetin', by Street Cry) Christopher Grove – He actually beat Brimstone Island over this Pimlico main track last time, and despite their respective rankings on their list, there is probably not too much between the pair. However, of the two, I think the former is the one who has much more room to move up at the 1 3/16 mile distance of the Preakness.
 

12. Tiger Walk 30-1 (Tale of the Cat-Majestic Trail, by Kris S.) Ignacio Correas IV  – On the positive side, he has hit the board in each of last three starts, all in graded stake competition. The bad news is that he was not a real threat to win any of those starts in the Withers, Gotham, or Wood Memorial. Things should only get worse against the best of his generation on Saturday.

  
13. Guyana Star Dweej  {SCRATCHED}  (Eddington-Special Feeling, by Pine Bluff)  Doodnauth Shivmangal  – Well, I gave Trinniberg zero chance to win this year's Derby, so I might as well go out on a limb and say this one has just as much chance to win the Preakness.

 

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Older Comments about 2012 Preakness Preview...

We have the Belmont at a mile and one half. It will take a pretty special horse to navigate, and win the Belmont. I will wait to see the new shooters, before I make my selection.
I'm leaning toward Creative Cause, with all that trouble & the wide trip, he was right there at the wire. Plus, he'll easily be triple the odds of Bodemeister/I'll Have Another. With all the love Went the Day Well is getting, he may drift up to 10-1.
I am leery of Bodemeister as he is making his 3rd start in 5 weeks and he was a tired horse the last part of the derby. Thoro- Graph has him finishing up the last half in 52 and change. I know he looks good and all that but they can fool you and you realize you made a mistake at about the 1/8th pole. He may be the exception to the rule and if he is he will not look back but I am betting against it.
IHA reminds me of Mine That Bird---a good horse with a talented jockey. That's why I'm not willing to crown IHA as the second coming of Secretariat the way some other folks in Horse Racing Nation have already. IHA will have to win the Triple to convince me. I can see Bodemeister romping home in the Preakness.
speed is the ticket at baltimore, always has been
Personally I hope everyone tries to beat him and I can get 9/5 but that won't happen 7/5 tops.
Where exactly is the pressure going to come from that is going to stop Bodemeister from getting all the time he needs to get a breather as he did in the Arkansas Derby?
Depending on the post draw,an anything inside will be the key,it will be Bodenmeister winning as the early speed will allow him to pull away and the followers will try to get around the tighter turns. Bode ,meanwhile ,will pull away.Im taking Bode in a super with DKBest,Cr Case,Went Day Well, and Ill hve A. and throw in Optimezer and Cazetti in with that bunch for third and fourth.I won last year as Shackleford held on.Anyhow,play your gut,rol the dice ,and lady luck.
Saturday!
when is this race anyway?
Love bodemeister
I wonder if Bode bounces after two huge efforts? I'll take one of the two Calif horses here.
bode will lead hole race then as you all know ill have another will set the pase and the red horse will be one step closer to the triple crown thats just the way it works speed is not the game here enderance always rules bodie will wear out
ill have another will set behind bode and then take over at the end speed does not hold up

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
  
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also serves on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives in Suburban Chicago with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra, where he is a professional golf instructor when he is not following the horses.