We are here in Baltimore at Pimlico Racecourse for the second jewel of the URC Triple Crown the Preakness Stakes. Crabcakes and Black Eyed Susan’s are on the menu in the luxury suites as the sounds of Enter Sandman coming from the box of URC head Metallinut conflict with the traditional playing of Maryland My Maryland. A field of 13 is lined up to contest the 3 year old Classic as Kentucky Derby winner Yamaha from the Nepenthe stable looks to continue his quest for Triple Crown glory. Lets take a look at the field as they will line up in the gate.
1. Yamaha(Empire Maker)
Jockey: GD Mate
Lining up in the one hole is our Kentucky Derby winner Yamaha. He attended the pace last out in the Derby taking the lead at the top of the stretch and scoring decisively by nearly 2 lengths earning a 100 speed figure. Before that he ran well hanging around to finish 4th in a open stake earning a 99 rating. Horse has won 3 of 7 lifetime and will be making his 3rd consecutive start over 9f. Coming back on 2 weeks rest will be the question mark but he is trending in the right direction and has proven to like the distance
2. Fiona Holiday(Exaggerator)
Jockey: D. Givens
Another horse likely to add to the early fractions coming off a 2nd place effort while battling for the lead. He earned a 95 speed figure for that effort. Two starts back he ran last of 14 beaten 15 lengths in his only start at 9 furlongs while never getting into his front running trip. He is also 3 of 7 lifetime and has a 3rd place finish in open stakes company going a flat mile losing by just 3/4 of a length. He is out of a Preakness winner, but it is still yet to be seen whether he really wants to go this far, will have to get soft fractions and a front end trip to factor
3. Four Star A.P(Game A.P)
Jockey. K. Ledwith
The URC Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Champion will be making his 4th start of the year here today. He is coming off a 7th place finish beaten 10 lengths in a 8.5f open stakes race where he did earn a career best 96 speed figure. He has raced at today’s distance of 9.5f finishing 3rd of 4 beaten 14 lengths 2 back and earning an 82 speed rating. If he can step up slightly off that 96 speed figure he could be a factor here. His best have come from well off the pace and there seems to be some speed in this race.
4. While We Wait(Majesticperfection)
Jockey: W. Kewmwa
This horse has never been off the board in 6 lifetime starts with 3 of those races being wins including a last out allowance score at 8.25F earning a 101 speed figure. All 3 of his wins have been wire to wire so this is another horse that will add to the early pace. This horse is out of a Gr.1 Breeder’s Bowl Distaff winning mare but this will be the first time he tries 9f or more and will be just his second start around 2 turns. Numbers have improved in every single race and his last out 101 puts him right in the mix here. Certainly a long shot worth a serious look if things don’t get too hot up front
Pineapple King(Distorted Humor)
Jockey: L. Radzinski
Regally Bred horse by Distorted Humor out of a Gr.3 winning daughter of Awesome Again. Talent is there for this one as he has never went off at double digit odds until today. Only a first out maiden score at a flat mile in an off the pace effort. Ran 11th in the URC Breeder’s Cup Juvenile. Has since been knocking heads in 2L Allowance races finishing 3rd with a 98 speed rating last out at 8.5. Has to step up here but will get pace to run at.
Here is our tepid 4-1 favorite, son of Uncle Mo who is coming off a front end score in the Otto Causes Dirt Route Stakes going 9f and earning a 103 figure in the same race Yamaha ran 4th in before coming back to win the URC Kentucky Derby. This is another horse who likes to run near the front end and also another horse who has improving speed figures in every race. Lightly races having won 2 of 4, his other win was a first out maiden score in the URC Whose Your Daddy competition. A lot to like about this horse, in with a big shot.
7. Deckon Thar(Arrogate)
Owner: War Emblem
Jockey: M. Zeus
This son of Arrogate is coming into this race off of back to back allowance races at the Preakness distance of 9.5f. He was a last out winner posting a 103 speed rating in an off the pace effort and just missed by 1/2 length 2 back posting a 93. Was 3rd as a 2 year old in the GRS Breeder’s Juvy(Am I allowed to mention them?, this is a URC race after all. I would ask my lawyer but he is 12 beers deep in the infield doing the running of the urinals in front of 20,000 drunk college kids right now..anyway..) This horse has only been out of the money once in his 7 race career and that was in his career debut going 5.5f. He is proven at the distance and has the off the pace running style that may be advantageous in this running. Very dangerous
8. Franklin Hills(Distorted Humor)
Jockey: I. Poindexter
Another horse who will be making start number 8 in the Preakness. Distorted Humor progeny was available to us all for 125k two back where he was claimed off a winning effort going 8.5 in a maiden race, he earned an 88 speed rating for that effort. In his first start for his new barn he won again going 8.5 earning a 97 speed rating in a 2L allowance race. This horse will have to continue to climb the class ladder in a big way and his speed figures will have to do the same. His breeding suggests that is possible as the distance increases.
Our longest shot on the board will be making his 2 turn debut here in the Preakness. Has 1 win in 5 starts which was two back in a local restricted maiden race going 7.5 f where he beat a field of 10 after a stalking trip earning a 96 speed rating. Came back to finish 4th going 5f after running evenly earning an 85 rating. Horse has a lot to prove in this one and his odds reflect that. He is out of Lentenor, the brother of the fallen hero Barbaro, a win here would be a feel good story.
Our Co-Second Choice was a fast closing 4th beaten 2 lengths as the 9/2 favorite in the Kentucky Derby. Prior to that he just missed by a neck in an open stake going 7f while earning a career best 101 speed figure. Will have speed to run at again today and has showed class winning his career debut in the URC Sons of A.P Indy contest and following that up 2 races later with a win in an open stakes race going 7.5f in his 3 year old debut. With a clean trip this horse is certainly a contender
Jockey:S L. Ledwith
A maiden in the Preakness. This horse makes just his second start here in the Preakness coming off a 5th place finish in a field of 6 just 13 days ago earning an 85 speed rating in that effort. Giant’s Causeway x Pulpit x Nureyev, regally bred but this task may prove to be too much too soon for this horse.
12. Waltham Cross(Bodemeister)
Jockey: R. Bottom
As to not create any conflict of interest I have to come clean that I am the owner of this horse and upon looking at the name of my jockey I am hoping “R. Bottom” does not stand for Rock Bottom, anyone have the number for the jockey’s agent for the sim version of Mike Smith instead? I digress. This horse is a head away from coming into this race on a 3 race win streak. His last two have been at 9f against older in hot race allowances posting an 89 and 94 speed figure respectively. Won a 8.25 open allowance from off the pace 3 back posting a career high 95 speed rating. Off the board in his only 2 stakes tried including a 7th beaten 5 lengths in the URC Breeder’s Cup Juvenile. I have been pointing him to this race since then and believe he is in with a shot with his versatile running style.
13. Based On Facts(Quality Road)
This horse has shown great ability in just 3 starts and is 1/2 length away from being undefeated. Broke his maiden going 7f in February earning an 86 speed figure. Came back in a 2l allowance at the same distance finishing second and earning a 96. Last out won at 9f at the same level in his first start around 2 turns posting a 100 in the process. Numbers are trending up and fit here. The far outside post, lack of seasoning, and jump in class are all question marks but this horse has answered nearly every challenge thrown at him. Could be a real player.