This year’s Kentucky Derby was all about Street Sense.
He received a 110 speed rating—one point lower than Barbaro's in last year’s Derby—and received the perfect trip on the rail with Calvin Borel. It was a classic ride.
This Saturday we’ll have a chance to witness a repeat performance, as the top three Derby finishers meet again in Baltimore’s Pimlico to run in the 132nd Preakness Stakes.
The catch, though, is that the Preakness is the shortest of the three Triple Crown Races, making it a very different race than the Derby.
The facts to keep in mind: Speed horses run very well over the Pimlico track. In 131 runnings, the favorite has won 68 times. And, not incidentally, Derby winners are 9-19 there over the last twenty years.
With that, let's take a look at the field for this year’s Preakness:
Street Sense (#8) – Has had good workouts after the Derby. Will have to get into the race sooner than he did at the Derby performance. He’s the one to beat.
Curlin (#4) - Will run a better race in the Preakness. Will be in it from the start. Had a half-mile workout on Monday. Expect a strong performance.
Hard Spun (#7) – Ran his heart out in the Derby and finished second. Will try and take this on the front end again. Has the all time winningest rider in Maryland history, Marino Pino, in the saddle. He is another colt that came out of the Derby in good shape.
Circular Quay (#3) – Finished sixth in the Derby after an eight-week layoff. Will need a sizzling pace to close, but will be coming at the end. Has Johnny Velasquez in the saddle.
King Of Roxy (#5) – Finished a well-beaten eighth in the Breeders Cup Juvenile last year. Has Garrett Gomez in the irons.
Xchanger (#2) – Won the Federico Tesio Stakes in last over the track. Lost to Curlin in the Rebel Stakes. Has one of the top Maryland trainers, Mark Shuman, in his corner.
C P West (#9)- Good to see Nick Zito back in the Preakness. He won it in 1996 with Louis Quatorze. This young colt ran a good second in the Withers in April at Belmont Park.
Flying First Class (#6) – Mr. Lukas is back to looking for his sixth winner. This colt won the Derby Trail in his last start. Has been beaten by Curlin twice.
Mint Slewlep (#1) – Has only one win.
I'm making a Superfecta bet this time. I’ll take 4-7-8 with 4-7-8 with 4-7-8 with 1-2-3-5-6-9. This bet for one dollar will cost $36.00. I'm also taking 4-7-8 in a one-dollar exacta box and triple box. The whole thing will cost $48.00.
If you boxed my Triple Pick in the Derby for two dollars you would have made a $428 profit on a $12 investment.
Safe trips to all riders and horses.
Hope to see you at the windows.
Jerome Keel, who works part-time at the track, has been writing tip-sheets for in-house consumption for several years. Last year, he correctly predicted the exacta in the Kentucky Derby and the triple in the Belmont Stakes.