A mile and a half. The distance I often make my son’s U12 travel soccer team run after practice. The distance it is to walk from my in-law's house, if you go the long way. The distance ten three year-olds will run in about two and a half minutes to see who captures the final Triple Crown race of 2019.
I tried to beat Justify last year. I failed. Two years ago, a nice Tapit colt made me some money as Tapwrit was first to the wire. Most, if not all, of these horses will never see this distance, or anything close to it, again. No wonder it is called the true ‘Test of a Champion’!
Rather than get into great detail on the pace of this race, you can see my pace analysis video exclusively at US Racing which should be posted by Friday evening.
So let’s get down to business!
Above you can see my figures and assessment for the field.
10 Tacitus (9-5) – My Kentucky Derby selection who ran into some trouble yet again on the first Saturday of May. William Mott won this race in 2010 with Drosselmeyer and Jose Ortiz won this race aboard another Tapit colt, Tapwrit, in 2017. This horse is bred to go long and I think the outside post may help as the early speed inside of him will allow him to settle into a good trip early.
9 War of Will (2-1) – It was a tough call between him and Tacitus. I feel it could very well be a toss up between these two with the only potential for value being the bottom of your exotics. Toss his Kentucky Derby performance and you are left with the odd blemish of the Louisiana Derby. Otherwise he has been a solid performer, but not lights out. His pedigree suggests that distance is not an issue, but you could argue the strength of the Preakness field last out. There is a possibility that he just gets loose early and doesn’t look back.
6 Spinoff (15-1) – My runner-up selection in the Kentucky Derby also has the pedigree to run all day by way of his sire Hard Spun. Since you can toss a sloppy, controversial Kentucky Derby where he started from the far outside, he still hasn’t run a two-turn race without any troubles. I think he could open some eyes in this race.
5 Bourbon War (12-1) – The second Tapit colt in my top four selections (Intrepid Heart is the third horse in this field out of Tapit), is most likely for a spot underneath. I think the pace is too fast for him in this spot and the others are a notch above him, but he is likely the best of the rest.
Potential for Value: Medium-Low (could get chalky on the top of your tickets)
Confidence: Moderate (My most probable pace scenario is at a 50% likelihood)
So what am I toying with playing?
Win – 10
Small Exacta – 9,10 with 6,9,10
Small Trifecta – 9,10 with 6,9,10 with 4,5,6,9,10
Small Superfecta – 9,10 with 6,9,10 with 4,5,6,9,10 with 4,5,6,9,10
We'll see what the weather looks like and if there are any scratches or changes first.
So sit back and enjoy the race!