The Preakness Stakes pace scenario got a little spicier on Saturday when trainer Tim Yakteen said Armagnac would compete in the middle jewel of U.S. Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown. A gate-to-wire winner last Sunday in an allowance race, Armagnac adds front-end speed to the complexion of the 1 3/16-mile classic.
Whether that front-end speed presence is necessary probably depends on who you liked in the race. If you're an Early Voting fan, then it's not great news other than maybe it helps your price.
But in a race with Kentucky Derby runner-up Epicenter and Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath, Early Voting always was comfortably the third choice. Now he's a less likely winner while still taking the same amount of money. As Daily Racing Form national correspondent Jay Privman would say, "That's a bad exacta."
Still, there might be some opportunity based on my fair odds (see below). I think Early Voting is the second-most likely winner, but he will be the third choice.
I am looking forward to post positions and morning-line odds on Monday afternoon. The race will be run Saturday at Pimlico.
|Epicenter||Steve Asmussen||Joel Rosario||3-1||25.0%|
|Early Voting||Chad Brown||José Ortiz||4-1||20.0%|
|Secret Oath||D. Wayne Lukas||Luis Sáez||6-1||14.3%|
|Armagnac||Tim Yakteen||Irad Ortiz Jr.||12-1||7.7%|
|Creative Minister||Kenny McPeek||Brian Hernandez Jr.||12-1||7.7%|
|Simplification||Antonio Sano||John Velázquez||12-1||7.7%|
|Skippylongstocking||Saffie Joseph Jr.||Júnior Alvarado||12-1||7.7%|
|Happy Jack||Doug O'Neill||Rafael Bejarano||28-1||3.5%|
|Shake Em Loose||Rodolfo Sánchez-Salomón||Charlie Márquez||29-1||3.3%|
|Un Ojo||Ricky Courville||Ramón Vázquez||31-1||3.1%|
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