Everyone i’m david aragona – and this is the time form us preview of the 146th preakness takes which will take place this saturday at pimlico, as is the tradition. This race is taking place two weeks after the kentucky derby and what are two weeks it’s been as we’ve had a lot of news come out since medina spirit crossed the wire first at churchill, downs on the first saturday in may, obviously that news broke about in Test deposit before that banned substance, beta methyzone bob baffert, has offered up some excuses for why that was the case. I think at this point in time we still don’t have the full story, not sure we’re, ever gon na get the full story of what happened. What is clear is that medina spirits, kentucky derby win, is definitely in serious jeopardy. He will not be disqualified from that race if he is indeed disqualified for a number of weeks or months after this preakness is run, but nevertheless in horse racing the race will take place and the show must go on so let’s. Take a look at this 10 horse field for the preakness stakes at pimlico on saturday, and medina spirit is in the starting gate for this one he’s listed at nine to five on the morning line. Bob baffert actually has two runners in this race, as he also has the second choice on the morning line. The number 10 concert tour who’s, listed at five to two also single digits on the morning line is the number five midnight bourbon who finished.
Sixth, in the kentucky derby, not too many horses coming out of the kentucky derby to run in this preakness, so we do have plenty of those so called new shooters in the people before the contender let’s. Take a look at the time form u.s pace projector. For this race and unsurprisingly, the two bob baffert runners are shown out towards the front end. Those are the number three medina spirit and the number 10 concert tour. Both of these horses have very similar running styles, but dina spirits done his best work on the front end, as has concert tour, so something’s gon na have to give on the front end. The pace. Projector is not predicting a fast pace or any kind of characterization. Favoring a particular running style, but the jockeys on these two horses are both very experienced, john velasquez on medina spirit and mike smith, on a concert tour. So they’re gon na have to jockey for position in the early going, and i would imagine that, given that medina spirits drawn inside velasquez will have to be as aggressive as he was in the kentucky derby, but we’ll see what concert tour does if these two go At it on the front end, and maybe that sets it up for a closer depends on how likely you think that is let’s move on to the contenders in this race, and i think we do have to begin the conversation with that kentucky derby, winner bettina across The wire first in the kentucky derby look.
He ran really well that day he put in a gutsy performance. He set a legitimate pace on the front end sure some of the other speeds didn’t apply as much pressure as they arguably could have a horse. That was likely to be in front rock. Your world didn’t get out of the gate, but those things do happen in the kentucky derby and it all worked out for medina spirit. He still had every right to give it up in the stretch and he just refused to let anybody past it. There were three horses breathing down his neck for the entirety of the four and a quarter mile of that race and he just fended them off really gamely, as they came to the wire now he’s got to do it again in two weeks and uh. Obviously we have that news about him testing positive for that substance, that therapeutic medication that is not allowed at any threshold in kentucky he tested positive for 21 picograms per milliliter of his blood sample, so make of that what you will personally from a handicapping standpoint. I think you kind of have to put aside the emotions if you’re really invested in wagering on this race and just look at it and it’s unlikely that that positive test. Whatever the reason was for whether it was the ointment or whether there was some injection. Who knows it probably didn’t have that much of an effect on medina spirits performance, because this horse had run similarly well in most of his prior starts.
Arguably, he did improve in the derby a little bit but it’s not like. He was some huge surprise in that race and obviously i’m saying that as somebody who picked him at 12 1 in that spot uh, but there were definitely things to like about medina spirit. The real question is: what are we going to get from him coming back in two weeks? After all, this controversy has surfaced. Well, if you look at bob baffert’s record, he has an excellent history of getting the derby winners to run well in the preakness he’s. Had six prior kentucky derby winners before medina spirit and the only one that didn’t win, the preakness was authentic. Who was competing in that unusual triple crown last year in 2020, when the pandemic caused the preakness to be the last race in the sequence. So if you don’t count that bob baffert’s five for five with his preakness winners, winning a traditional which is derby winners, i should say winning a traditional preakness in that triple crown two weeks later, so we’ll see what we get from the dina spirit here. My big problem is he’s gon na be the favorite this time. I liked him last time at a price, so i don’t see the value in taking him at a much shorter price in this race. Moving on to the number 10 concert: tour, the other bob baffert runner, uh – i’m – not sure what to make of his presence in this race.
Bob baffert keeps saying that the owners want to run. I don’t think he said at any point that he really wants to run this horse in the preakness as like. He thinks that this is a true mile 316 horse. Personally, i have my doubts that concert. Tour wants to go this far and not a lot of those doubts are based in his performance in the arkansas derby last time. Let’S, take a look at that third place finish and personally i didn’t like this effort that much i thought he got a pretty good trip, stalking, caddo river, who is another horse that probably doesn’t want to go the mile, an eighth distance and looked like concert was Going to take over at the top of the stretch and race on to victory – and you can see in the final eighth mile here – he just kind of ties up under draw rosario he’s asking him for his best and super stock runs right over the top of Them he can’t even hold on for second, as he allows con cattle river to come back on his inside and nip him for the runner up spot, barely holding on for third gear over a horse. That’S inferior and we saw what superstar came back to do with the kentucky derby, not that much, but i have questions about the overall quality of that arkansas derby and looking back at the race that got so much buzz around this horse, the rebel two back.
Well, the horses that finish behind him in that race have not really distinguished themselves, since both hozier came back to do uh poorly in the subsequent start. We haven’t seen too much running from those that were behind him in that rebel. So i have my doubts about concert. Tour never really got the impression he was a true classic distance horse. So if he’s going to be poorly placed and if they’re trying to apply some pressure to medina spirit merely going, i just think vegeta spirit’s likely to turn him away. And i don’t see concert tour being particularly effective in this race. And if he is as short of price, as he’s listed on the morning line five to two, i want no part of this horse. Let’S move on to some other horses, uh ones that are coming out of the kentucky derby. That finish, behind medina spirit and one of those is midnight bourbon. Who is the third horse that’s listed at single digits on the morning line? I just didn’t think he got the right trip in the kentucky derby uh mike smith, was on him for the first time in that race, and i don’t know what the game plan was with the connections beforehand. I imagine it was not the trip that mike smith executed on this horse uh, but he broke a little bit. Awkwardly was bumped a bit at the start, but mike smith just showed. No aggression thereafter allowed him to settle towards the back of the pack that’s.
Not this horse’s running style. If you look at his prior races from the fairgrounds he’s, always up involved in the pace in the early part of his races, he is a kind of a fighter kind of like medina spirit. He likes to be there. The entire race prominently routed – he just was never in the mix in the kentucky derby and when they came to the top of the stretch it was like mike smith was showing no urgency to get this horse involved in the race, and he finally started to ask Him once they got into the lane, but he just had too much ground to make up. He actually was closing a little bit at the end, but just couldn’t get involved. So i just feel like the kentucky derby, we didn’t get to see the true version of midnight bourbon there, but he’s proven they can handle the distance. He did so in the louisiana derby. Two back and we saw in the kentucky derby how strong that louisiana derby turned out to be with hot rod, charlie coming back to finish third mandolin. It was off the board in louisiana derby, improved a great deal in the kentucky derby to be second, and even though bezos came out of the third place finish in that race to be a very good fifth in the kentucky derby. So i think we’ve got some validation that the fairgrounds form was really strong this winter, but now midnight bourbon is getting a rider switch to irad ortiz and i imagine a big part of that switch has to do with steve ashton wanting this horse to be much More involved in the early portions of this race and given the fact there’s not a whole lot of speed signed on, i think he’s going to get that trip that the pace projector indicated just in behind those two bob baffert runners likely to get first run on Them – and i just think midnight bourbon makes a lot of sense in this race.
Sure he’s got probably got to run a career best speed figure to beat medina spirit, but i think that’s possible for him to do so so midnight bourbon just seems like a very sensible selection in this preakness stakes. Moving on to another horse, that’s coming out of the kentucky derby, that is the number two keep me in mind now this horse didn’t finish that far behind midnight bourbon in seventh place, whereas that runner was sixth about a half length behind him, but still while this Horse was closing at the end from 19th place. I didn’t think he did that much running. He did have a little bit of trouble at the start, but remember, keep me in mind is a deep closer, so he always figured to be at the back of the pack of the kentucky derby and he was running on at the end. But even though medina spirit wired, the field, the derby was a race that featured not as paste you do see. One of those red color coded pace figures in the time form usps and keep me in mind, was picking up pieces, but i never thought he was a real threat and he figures to get a similar trip in this preakness, but it’s, not a race. That features nearly as much pace as the kentucky derby did so he’d have to improve, and personally i was not a fan of his form coming into the derby. So i wanted to look elsewhere in this race for horses to use underneath uh.
Now some of the new shooters that are coming in that did not compete in the kentucky derby uh two of them are from the chad brown stable, and one of those is the number four crowded trade. Now. This is a horse that some people might say has a very similar profile to chad, brown’s preakness winner from 2017 cloud computing, because just like crowded trade cloud computing was second in the gotham. Third in the wood memorial skip the kentucky derby. The point for the preakness we’ll see if crowded trade turns out to be that same kind of horse. Let’S, take a look at his runner up finish in the gotham tube back when he lost by just a nose to waybird, and this was the best race that crowded trade has run up. Until this point he got a pretty good trip. He wasn’t away all that alertly, but he got into the race on the back stretch. Basically looked like he was going to take it over in mid stretch here, but weber who battles back on the inside is just able to nip him at the finish. This was going a one turn mile and crowded trade from here did stretch out to the two turns in the wood memorial last time. I thought he ran fine in the wood memorial, but some negative things that i saw from him were once again. He broke slowly and that’s been a theme with this horse. He’S broken slowly and all three career starts, and i don’t think he can do that again.
In the preakness and be successful, and also he made a menacing move at the top of the stretch like he was going to have a real say on the ocular that race and he just kind of hung in the late stages. Perhaps that was the fact that it was his first two turn start might have just had some inexperience to overcome potentially he’s able to take a step forward here on the preakness. He does have a pedigree that suggests. Mild 316 is not supposed to be a big problem, because his dam was able to go route distances on the dirt i’m, just a little skeptical that he’s going to be good enough, but of the two chad brown brothers. I do think he’s the one with the most upside, the other chad brown trained. Entrant in this race is the number nine risk taking and he was actually the favorite in the wood memorial last time. The race for a crowded trade was third. He could only manage to finish seventh, though, in that race just put in a poor effort that day, but risk taking had run much better in his prior start in the grade three weathers back in february. Let’S. Take a look at that race where he won by nearly four lengths, and this was a visually impressive score uh. He had broken his maiden just prior to this with blinkers on for the first time and he improved coming out of that race to run the best race of his career in this withers.
He put eric, cancel who’s riding him this day in the game early in the race made a good move to take over, at the top of the stretch and he’s, going to finish the off this race going the mile in 8th distance like a horse who’s going To relish extra ground – and he does get a bit of extra ground here in this preakness takes. The problem is what happened in the wood memorial last time, and also do you want horses out of the wood memorial in general, because we didn’t see too many horses coming from the wood be successful in the kentucky derby and it was just a really slow race Risk taking is reportedly training well coming into this race that’s. Why chad, brown elected a scratch out of last week’s peter pan at belmont, to instead target this more ambitious spot, but risk taking is just the kind of horse that does travel really well. In his workouts travels really well early in his races, the question for him is: when push comes to shove, does he have that extra oomph to carry him past some better horses in a more ambitious test, i’m, not sure that he does, and i think crowded trade Is the horse with more upside from the chad brown stable? A couple other horses that you might want to consider is one number one of those is the uh six rombauer he’s coming out of a third place finish in the bluegrass stakes, behind essential quality? Who was the favorite in the kentucky derby but checked in fourth in that race? I personally never been the biggest fan of ron bauer.
I thought he got a very good trip against a weaker field when he collected that grade one placing as a two year old of the american pharaoh. He ran fine and the breeders kept juvenile. Personally, i was not thrilled with his effort when he won the el camino real derby. I thought that was the weaker field and while he did finish third in the bluegrass last time, he got a perfect trip in that race, stalking, saving ground on the rail the entire way he was running out at the end and he’s the kind of horse that Does figure to appreciate the mile 3 16 distance? I just haven’t seen enough room to suggest that he’s ready to take the kind of step forward that he would need to be successful in this preakness stakes, one more horse that could be a bomb in this race that i find somewhat interesting is the number seven France go de ena. This is the shipper from japan actually coming over from the united arab emirates, that’s, where he had the prep for this race in the uae derby. Last time he was only managed to finish. Sixth in that race actually bet down to favorite. I think in the american markets, uh juwa rosario wrote him that day and he’s going to stay aboard here now, while he only managed to finish sixth behind the impressive winner of that race rebels romance franco de ina did not get the right trip in that uae.
Derby, he broke slowly was way behind the field. Early tried to advance in traffic on the inside on the back stretch of that race and that’s, always a tough trip at maydam, where the kickback can be really detrimental to horses that are trying to close inside of runners. He actually was traveling really well coming around the far turn and looked like he might be in the midst of running a big race before it kind of had to alter course and lose momentum at the top of the stretch and ultimately shut down from there and Couldn’T finish off the race, but this is a horse that was highly regarded coming into that start. Coming from japan, he had won a couple of races going the mile night distance, albeit against weaker company as a two year old at hampshire, race course in japan. So i’m not sure what kind of quality he possesses coming into this preakness, but he’s going to be a big price. He has one of the best riders in the country and joel rosario aboard and i’m just not thrilled with any of the new shooters in this race and he’s likely to be a bigger price than all of them, so i’m not advocating to bet him to win In this race, by any means but he’s, one that i would use some on some exotic tickets underneath so let’s throw up my top picks for this preakness stakes, as i kind of alluded to when i was going through the main contenders, i am picking the number Five midnight bourbon, who i just think, is a horse that makes a lot of sense in this preakness didn’t get the right trip or ride in the kentucky derby, i think he’s likely to rebound, and we saw that louisiana form from the fairgrounds.
This winter has been really strong again. I’Ve got nothing against medina’s spirit from a handicapping perspective. I think he’s the most likely winner of this race, and he does make a lot of sense figures to work out. Another good trip, just after getting 12 1 on him. Last time i don’t need to bet him as a favorite in this preakness, so i put him second i’d use crowded trade underneath as a distant backup. The number seven friends go to iana to inject some value underneath but it’s midnight bourbon.