So much for the Curse of Apollo!
Justify broke one of the longest droughts in sports by winning the Kentucky Derby after not running as a two year old. This was last done in 1882 by Apollo.
Streaks are meant to be broken.
My picks tanked on Derby Day. I admit that I really gave Justify no chance. Looking at his Brisnet speed ratings he did underperform (running a 102 after running a 114 in the Santa Anita Derby). This lends itself to the "law of averages" which I believe in more than the "bounce theory".
Two weeks later it is time for redemption. The Preakness is the second leg of the road to the Triple Crown and has some of its own interesting facts.
My pace analysis will be posted at US Racing, but as usual, my more detailed analysis is going to be posted here.
The smaller field favors the horse with the largest pace advantage on this field. So here is my 2018 Preakness analysis.
7 Justify (1-2) - The race sets up perfectly for him in this spot. He has a 4/5 of a second advantage on pace and while not likely to set the pace, he figures to stay close most of the way and outlast the weak front runners. Jockey Mike Smith may only have one win in 16 tries here with his lone winners coming back in 1993 on Prairie Bayou, but he has a horse that should improve off his Derby effort. Bob Baffert has won a third of the 18 times he has sent a horse to post in the Preakness, winning last in 2015 with American Pharoah.
2 Lone Sailor (15-1) - The weak early speed that is anticipated will also allow a strong closer to make strides late. The pace will be a bit slower than the Derby and will allow a late run for him to get a minor share here.
5 Good Magic (3-1) - I'll admit that I also underestimated this colt in the Derby. Honestly, I haven't given any horse that prepped in the Blue Grass any credit in years! Chad Brown won this race last year with a huge effort from Cloud Computing, yet I still feel that this one will be chasing Justify late and quite possibly on the downswing after his Derby effort.
1 Quip (12-1) - I like this colt. I wanted him to run in the Derby, but felt that the pace would be too fast for him there. It will be too fast for him here also even though he can press the pace. I think there will be great things for this colt in the future, but a modest showing here will land him in the top half of the field.
What do think I will play?
With Justify at 1-2, there is no real value to play him to win unless he floats up to 1-1. I suspect he will go off close to the morning line odds unless some major negative development unfolds in the next few days...
Exacta - 7 / 1, 2, 5
Small Trifecta - 7 / 1, 2, 5 / 1, 2, 5
Small Superfecta - 7 / 1, 2, 5 / 1, 2, 5 / 1, 2, 5, 8 (on the fence about including 6 Tenfold on the bottom here as well)
Remember to check for scratches and changes and make your changes accordingly!