Preakness Day at Pimlico – Graded Stakes Preview for Saturday, May 20th, 2017

Pimlico Hosts The Second Jewel of the Triple Crown!

Pim R13 (post 6:48 Eastern) The Preakness Stakes (Grade 1), 9.5 furlongs Selections:

1st – #4 Always Dreaming (4/5)   2nd – #1 Multiplier (30/1)

3rd – #5 Classic Empire (3/1)   4th – #3 Hence (20/1)  

5th – Conquest Mo Money (15/1)   6th – Cloud Computing (12/1)

ALWAYS DREAMING got the trip in the 2017 Kentucky Derby, but he MADE his trip.  After an awkward step out of the gate, he quickly righted himself and chased State of Honor through a half mile in a legitimate 46.2.  We know the rest – Always Dreaming won easily, and State of Honor lost by “only” 46 lengths.  The very tough speed horse Battle of Midway chased the Derby fractions as well, and only got beaten by eight lengths.  If you try to run with with Always Dreaming, you are probably going to lose.  With Conquest Mo Money being the only obvious speed in the field and drawing wide, the 2017 Preakness Stakes seems to be Always Dreaming’s to win with reasonable racing luck.

MULTIPLIER could be the new ‘Rodney Dangerfield’ of horse racing, as he just won the Illinois Derby is near stakes record time when the track was dead, and he is getting no respect.  There are some pedigree experts that say he is bred to get 5 furlongs, but horses are individuals before pedigree and Multiplier a very athletic horse with an incredible stride when he gets going.  Don’t take my word for it, watch the video of Illinois Derby (Hawthorne April 22nd, Race 5) and I challenge you to tell me he does not belong in this race.

CLASSIC EMPIRE and HENCE were unable to show their best on Derby Day with all the interference at the start of the Derby.  Classic Empire was noble, but I think tactically he is at a disadvantage to Always Dreaming in the 2017 Preakness with the lack of early speed in the field.  I also question coming back in two weeks after it was obvious he took a physical beating.  Hence is probably better than he showed Derby Day and to some extent that makes him dangerous.

CONQUEST MO MONEY and CLOUD COMPUTING are the other potential speed horses in the race, and it is unclear if either one will try to take on Absolute Dreaming early.  I think Cloud Computing will be sent early because he drew inside, and if so Conquest Mo Money may be able to stalk the leaders and get first run on Classic Empire.


The Dixie is a Great Grade 2 Turf race

Pim R12 (post 5:39 Eastern) The Dixie Stakes (Grade 2, turf), 8.5 furlongs Selections:

1st – #10 Ring Weekend (4/1)   2nd – #4 Projected (3/1)

3rd – #9 Conquest Typhoon (15/1)

RING WEEKEND received two very passive rides from Raphael Bejarano at Santa Anita, and I am glad that Graham Motion made a jock switch to John Velazquez, who for my money is one of the top 3 turf riders in the country.  It also appears that there is enough early speed in this field to set up Ring Weekend’s late run.  PROJECTED looks like the European flavor of the month.  He might be good enough to win this race but he doesn’t appear to be a “Breeders’ Cup” quality Euro.  CONQUEST TYPHOON is 8 for 17 in hitting the exacta on the turf, and he appears to be going the right way after a sharp win at Belmont 16 days ago.  He seems well spotted to get a piece of the purse.


The Gallorette is a Turf Race For the Gals Only

Pim R10 (post 4:07 Eastern) The Gallorette Stakes (Grade 3, turf), 8.5 furlongs Selections:

1st – #2 Zipessa (9/2)   2nd – #6 On Leave (2/1)  

3rd – #3 Danilovna (6/1)   4th – Elysea’s World (5/2)

ZIPESSA is a horse that has significant distance limitations, but if the track is good or firm she should dominate these at 8.5 furlongs.  ON LEAVE is a super-talented animal, but this spring her trainer has brought many talented horses over for their 2017 debuts and I have not seen one win yet.  I will use her in the exacta.  DANILOVA looks really dangerous for Graham Motion and I don’t think it would be a huge upset if she won, with the form of Zipessa and On Leave being somewhat uncertain.  ELYSEA’S WORLD has had the misfortune to run into 2017 turf super mare Dickinson twice, running second both times at 9 furlongs.  Not sure if she can beat these at the shorter 8.5 furlong distance, but I think she’s a must use in the pick 4.


The Maryland Sprint is Surprisingly for Sprinters!

Pim R9 (post 3:27 Eastern) Maryland Sprint Stakes (Grade 3), 6.0 furlongs Selections:

1st – #4 A. P. Indian (8/5)   2nd – #5 Whitmore (9/5)   3rd – #2 Classy Class (10/1)

A. P. INDIAN had a great comeback at Keeneland, his late pace was excellent, and I think he will appreciate the shorter 6 furlongs distance.  WHITMORE has never lost sprinting at six furlongs (5 for 5) and this could be the race of the weekend.  CLASSY CLASS is a very reliable early speed horse that may be able to hang on for the trifecta.

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