Thursday, May 19, 2016

141st Running of the Preakness Stakes- Analysis and Selections

The 141ST Running of the Preakness Stakes
Pimlico Racecourse
Post Time: 6:45 PM ET
TV: NBC 5:00 -7:30 PM ET
May 21ST 2016

The 141st Preakness Stakes on Saturday is the second step in Nyquist’s quest to become the second consecutive Triple Crown champion. In the Kentucky Derby Nyquist was tremendous. He was part of a hot early pace and was able to hold off Exaggerator to win under jockey Mario Gutierrez. The Preakness this year features a field of eleven; three of them are coming out of the Kentucky Derby, and they are joined by eight new faces to the Triple Crown.

The top contenders in the race will be Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, Derby runner up and Santa Anita Derby winner Exaggerator, and the lightly raced but talented Stradivari.

Unlike the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness is loaded with speed; Uncle Lino, Nyquist, Awesome Speed, Collected Laoban, Abiding Star and Stradivari all posses early speed.

Nyquist is the best horse in the race and is going to be very hard to beat on Saturday. If he runs the same race he ran two weeks ago he will win. He is a 3-5 favorite for a reason: he is undefeated and certainly the most likely winner. While I expect Nyquist to win, I am stilling willing to take a bit of a shot against him.

The race really should set up well for Exaggerator. Not only should the pace benefit Exaggerator but also considerable rain is in the forecast, and this horse has excelled on sloppy tracks in the past. Exaggerator will have every chance to turn the tables on Nyquist Saturday and it will be interesting to see if he is capable. 

Stradivari is the unknown commodity in the Preakness. Stradivari comes into the race off of a dominating performance in an allowance race at Keeneland. The race was a MUCH easier field than the field that he will line up against Saturday, but he was extremely impressive. Stradivari will only be making his fourth lifetime start in the Preakness, and gives away a lot of experience to his rivals, but Stradiavri has a lot of upside.  Stradivari could possibly still be improving and I love that about him.

There are a few closers in the race who could benefit from a hot pace including Cherry Wine, Lani, and Fellowship. All three of these horses winning the race would be shocking, but they could all finish in the top four.

Below is the field for the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes. My pace analysis and selections are below. Good luck!

#1 Cherry Wine Trainer: Dale Romans Jockey: Corey Lanerie Odds: 20-1

#2 Uncle Lino Trainer: Gary Sherlock Jockey: Fernando Perez Odds: 20-1

#3 Nyquist Trainer: Doug O’Neil Jockey: Mario Gutierrez Odds: 3-5

#4 Awesome Speed Trainer: Alan Goldberg Jockey: Jevian Toledo Odds: 30-1

#5 Exaggerator Trainer: Keith Desormeaux Jockey: Kent Desormeaux Odds: 3-1

#6 Lani Trainer: Mikio Matsunaga Jockey: Yutaka Take Odds: 30-1

#7 Collected Trainer: Bob Baffert Jockey: Javier Castellano Odds: 10-1

#8 Laoban Trainer: Eric Guillot Jockey: Florent Geroux Odds: 30-1

#9 Abiding Star Trainer: Edward Allard Jockey: JD Acosta Odds: 30-1

#10 Fellowship Trainer: Mark Casse Jockey: Jose Lezcano 30-1

#11 Stradivari Trainer: Todd Pletcher Jockey: John Velasquez 8-1

Early Speed
#2 Uncle Lino
#8 Laoban
#9 Abiding Star

#3 Nyquist
#4 Awesome Speed
#7 Collected

Mid Pack
#11 Stradivari
#10 Fellowship

#1 Cherry Wine
#5 Exaggerator
#6 Lani

1.  #11 Stradivari (8-1)
2. #5 Exaggerator (3-1)
3. #3 Nyquist (3-5)
4. #6 Lani (30-1)

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