2011 Preakness – Early Preview

2011 Preakness – Early Preview
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Preakness 2011

1. Animal Kingdom (Leroidesanimaux-Dalicia, by Acatenango)   3-1
I may still be on a high from the Derby, but clearly this powerful chestnut ran a big enough race in Louisville to garner top spot on my early Preakness selections. His patented strong move on the turn should make him a real threat at Pimlico.

2. Mucho Macho Man (Macho Uno-Ponche de Leona, by Ponche)   9-2
The big youngster from the Kathy Ritvo barn may not have actually be three-years-old yet, but he proved his heart and talent through his strong finish in the Derby. A few more strides and he is second in Louisville; any improvement in Baltimore makes him a big contender.

3. Dialed In (Mineshaft-Miss Doolittle, by Storm Cat)   5-1
Failed as the Kentucky Derby favorite, but was plagued by a slower than expected pace. Still his methodical rally was only good enough to finish eighth. A faster pace will help, but he needs to be more involved earlier if he has any chance at Baltimore.

4. Mr. Commons (Artie Schiller-Joustabout, by Apalachee)   15-1
My favorite of the new shooters, Mr. Commons continues to progress under the patient tutelage of master trainer John Shirreffs. His Santa Anita Derby was not exactly flattered in Louisville, but he may be ready now to be the right horse at the right time in Baltimore.

5. Shackelford (Forestry-Oatsee, by Unbridled)   6-1
I’ll admit I was not overly excited about this colt’s chances of handling the 10 furlongs of the derby. Despite being passed by three horses late, he showed me a lot by fighting on gamely from the inside, just as he had done in the Florida Derby.

6. Sway Away (Afleet Alex-Seattle Shimmer, by Seattle Slew)  15-1
One of the more interesting horses in the field, this son of a Preakness winner has flashed the ability to make up gobs of ground quickly. He briefly looked like he was going to power home in the Arkansas Derby, before weakening. If he can handle the distance, he will be a threat.

7. Astrology (A.P. Indy-Quiet Eclipse, by Quiet American)  10-1
He has done nothing wrong in his two starts of 2011, but at the same time, I wonder how much he did right in those two starts. The well bred Assmusen runner needs to step things up, but that is certainly not out of the question in his 3rd start of the year.

[14 Choices for the Preakness 2011 ... who will Sherwin Root choose for his $200 wager? Congratulations to Root for winning the $200 bet by winning the ZATT Kentucky Derby Contest!]

8. Concealed Identity (Smarty Jones-Richetta, by Polish Numbers)  25-1
Why not Concealed Identity? The son of Smarty Jones did not look like much this winter at Laurel Park, but since he has arrived at Pimlico he has looked like a new horse. In this spring of upsets, who’s to say that the local horse can’t pull off a shocker.

9. Dance City (City Zip-Ballet Colony, by Pleasant Colony)  20-1
I can find a lot to like in this son of City Zip. What he lacks in experience he makes up for in improvement. In his last two, he showed great courage to win a good allowance and then hold 3rd in a strong Arkansas Derby. Not sure if he can win it, but I love the Pleasant Colony bottom side which should help him handle the added distance.

10. Flashpoint (Pomeroy-Two Punch Lil, by Two Punch)  12-1
The talent is there, anyone who saw the Hutcheson knows that, but can he really handle the Preakness distance? The Florida Derby did nothing to make me think that he can outrun his sprinty breeding, but I will fear the talented horse just a bit.

11. King Congie (Badge of Silver-Wise Ending, by End Sweep)  30-1
Consistent stakes winner continues to run nothing but strong races all spring, and Albertrani knows how to win the Preakness, but his dirt form is not stellar, and the competition will get a whole lot stronger on May 21.

12. Norman Asbjornson (Real Quiet-Merryland Missy, by Citidancer)  30-1
Hard knocking colt has run consistently run well since trying two-turns, so the distance of the Preakness shouldn’t bother him, but … the fact that he could not get closer to a laboring Uncle Mo in the Wood Memorial leads me to believe he will be running for the middle of the pack at best.

13. Prime Cut (Bernstein-Life Happened, by Stravinsky)  25-1
Nothing particularly wrong with his last few races, but he did not quite show enough to be too excited about his chances in the Preakness. I also worry that 1 3/16 miles will be a little bit out of his comfort zone.

14. Saratoga Red (Eddington-Sigh of Relief, by Siphon)  50-1

Another Lukas runner with seemingly no shot in a big race … This seems to be happening way too often of late. I will look for him to be bringing up the rear as the horses hit the wire.

Meet Brian Zipse

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to HRN, 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. His racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing webcast HorseCenter, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves on the Board of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars and is a Vox Populi committee member. He is a voter for racing's Hall of Fame, as well as a weekly NTRA poll voter. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

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