Race of the Week 2017

Equinometry 101

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Equinometry 101

Potential Preakness Pilferers

General a Rod GPD 615 X 415
Photo: Coglianese Photos/Lauren King

California Chrome will be the odds on favorite in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday after a dominating win in the Kentucky Derby.  It was a visually impressive performance but not a very fast performance.

If you believe that time doesn't matter than there's no reason to bet against California Chrome.  I believe time matters and while I'll still use California Chrome in the Pick 5, the only bet on the Preakness wagering menu offering player friendly takeout rates, I'll also be looking at the rest of the field to find some alternatives in case he misfires or isn't fast enough.

The most likely upsetters in most people's minds are new shooters Bayern and Social Inclusion, two horses I labeled as vulnerable favorites in their recent races.  Bayern was sent off as the favorite in the Arkansas Derby after a blowout win in an allowance race in which he set an average and uncontested pace.  In the Arkansas Derby he was forced to run faster early and was pressured and he faded late.  Social Inclusion had an identical pattern entering the Wood Memorial and had the same outcome.  Adding the speedy Pablo Del Monte to the mix ensures an honest pace in the Preakness and neither Bayern or Social Inclusion has run fast early and fast late.

Ride On Curlin will likely take some money after a troubled trip in the Kentucky Derby.  Swithing to Joel Rosario will only hurt his price.  He will need to run the race of his life to win the Preakness and at short odds I'm not willing to pay to find out if he can do it.

My search for a long shot upsetter starts with Kentucky Derby also ran General A Rod.  He was farther off the pace than usual and endured a rough trip but still finished in midpack.  In the Preakness he figures to sit in the garden spot behind the three aforementioned pace setters.  He also has a speed figure pattern that points to a rebound to a new top, which could be good enough to win the Preakness at a big price.

The new shooter to the Triple Crown that I like most is Dynamic Impact.  In his most recent start he won the Illinois Derby earning a competitive speed figure.  He earned a lifetime best speed figure when stretched out to nine furlongs in that race and based on his breeding should only get better as the races get longer.  If he moves forward again he is capable of beating California Chrome on his best day.

The final long shot that I think has a chance to take home the Black Eyed Susan's is local horse Kid Cruz.  He isn't fast enough but he has two things in his favor.  First he has a win over the track and second he will benefit more than any other horse if the pace collapses.  Kid Cruz will likely be last early and will make one big run in the stretch.  If all the pieces fall into place he could be the first local winner of the Preakness since Deputed Testamony in 1983.

If California Chrome reverts back to his San Felipe or Santa Anita Derby performances he will be tough to beat.  If he regresses again or runs to the same speed figure he did in the Kentucky Derby he will be a highly vulnerable odds on favorite.  While I'll be rooting for him to win the Preakness, I'll also be betting against him.


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Older Comments about Potential Preakness Pilferers...

He totally dominated that group to the point that the rest of the top 3yos are taking a pass. No horse was going to move before him in the KD for fear of getting in a speed duel with him so they waited, and when he moved they couldn't. This is one the most tactical, and mature 3yos to ever run, ever! Judging any race by the final time alone is folly at best. Espinoza geared him down at the 1/16 pole as he had it won at that point. Sure it's a horse race and it's great to beat the heavy favorite, but it's exremely unlikely. Only two other horses are returning from the KD and one lost by 8 and the other by 11 lengths. Forget the time, where are those beaten lengths coming from? The rest have never gone that distance, but then again they only have to run the extra length of a football field farther than ever before. Naturally they can't just give the triple crown away, but I don't see how they can stop him short of something extraordinary. I'll put a couple saver triples in, but outside of that I consider this an exacta bet. Natually I'll play a super and use the All button for fourth. To many pictures of the jock's standing up and an 80/1 shot goes by for 4th.
if horse beats cal chrome it will be social inclusion if he doesn't get overwhelmed like he did in the wood memorial
"too slow". The horse ran 8.5f in 1:40.59 earlier this year!! Speed bias or no speed bias, competition or no competition, that's VERY impressive for a 3yo, let alone any horse. And this is coming from a major Chrome doubter before the Derby.
What if this year’s Preakness plays out a bit like last year’s? For instance, like last year, there looks to be a good amount of speed out of the gate. So what if, like last year, the speedsters don’t go all out to avoid a speed duel? A stalker would then seem a logical choice, much like Chrome did in the K Derby, showing that he can adapt to different pace scenarios. I read that closers have won only two of the last 11 runnings of the Preakness. Starting with 2013 and going backwards, the Preakness winners have been: early speed, stalker, ES, stalker, ES, stalker. The last closers to win were in 2007 and 2005. In those years, on average, closers and stalkers fill the place and show spots. Sure, that’s all past history, but maybe the averages paint a useful portrait of how the track plays, and it sure seems like Chrome has the advantage, with closers hitting the board.
Don't get me wrong, I can see Chrome is a nice horse and he is well trained, He is going to get a one two punch at Pimlico in the Preakness, he will have to outfoot Social, after he puts him away he will need to have something left to fend off the others. Pimlico is NOT the surface of Santa Anita or Churchill, the surface plays kinder to mid runners, its not a surface Victor has traveled often, Chrome I don't think can be rated that well yet. It will be a new experience for him.I look for somebody to come out of the clouds on him and beat him on the end.
Didn't make a lick of sense...
Preakness and on THAT track is a completely different challenge. Always a chance for an upset from a speed minded interloper
Doesn't matter a lick of sense now doesn't it? California Chrome's win was so dominant that only two horses (7th and farther back) have decided to try him again. Balls, walls, whatevever. Biut I calls them as I sees them and unless California Chrome fallls that's how the Preakness will run. If my prediction galls you then feel free to write your thoughts on the walls - but that is all's I have to say.
So your balls to the wall Derby forecast included breaking the Derby record 'pulled up'?
Went very carefully over the 'figs' of the rest of the field. Look for California Chrome to be at 1-5 or 2-5 at the very least. Can't remember the last time just two Derby horses and 7th and farther back only returned to face the champion. Like I mentioned earlier this is just a paid workout for CC to keep him fit for the Belmontt and the Triple Crown. The rest of the field is chump change. On paper a slaughter ready to happen but look for the jockey Victor Espinoza to 'pull up' the champ and conserve energy.
The Derby Beyer is a joke!! CC has not even been tested so good luck beating him.
Hoping for 15-1 on a Chrome-GAR exacta.
I am I on General A Rod....love that he has a top Jockey. GO General
I think you have lost your mind! Chrome will win by 5!!!
I hope everyone TRIES to beat him, so maybe I can get even money on him.... his B- race is in another league from any of these! Its the Belmont that'll be time to bet against... ; )
Going for big balloons. Bayern.. Dynamic Impact and Social boxed
The only way he wins by 5 is if Espinoza is too dumb to turn him off before he hits the wire. You don't get extra brownie points for winning big.

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About The Blog

 Lenny Moon is the founder of Equinometry.com where he shares his thoughts on handicapping and betting horses and handicapping contests and WagerLogged.com a site designed to take the hassle out of one of the most important parts of being a profitable horseplayer: record keeping. You can also occasionally find him in the grandstand of Laurel Park and more often in a handicapping contest on Derby Wars.  He can also be found on Twitter @Equinometry.

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