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Preakness Stakes New Shooters

Dance City and Sway Away Stand Out

5/21/11

The term used to describe Preakness horses that did not run in the Kentucky Derby is "New Shooters". There are several New Shooters running Saturday in the Preakness Stakes. Astrology, Concealed Identity, Dance City, Flash Point, Mr. Commons, King Congie, Norman Asbjornson and possibly Saratoga Red and Isn't He Perfect who are currently undecided. We will know for sure Wednesday.

With a few of the New Shooters, there's a big unknown factor. They have won or placed against questionable competition. It's very similar to a boxer who's management pads their fighters record against cream puffs. Sure, he's 20-0 heading into a title fight, but is he the real deal or not? Might be. Might not be. You really don't know until the bell rings.

But there are some New Shooters who have already gone up against the big boys in other stakes races and who were right there down the stretch. Let's take a quick look at a few of those contenders.

Two that stand out right off the bat are Dance City and Sway Away by virtue of their performances in the Arkansas Derby. They were beaten by Kentucky Derby horses Archarcharch and Nehro but both were there down the stretch and would have to be considered to hit the board in the Preakness. Judge for yourself by watching the Arkansas Derby.

Flashpoint is a New Shooter that might be outclassed. He was soundly beaten in the Florida Derby by Dialed In and Shackleford. You can view that race here.

The other New Shooters have either not raced against the big boys or were outclassed when they did. Mr. Commons was beaten by Midnight Interlude in Santa Anita.

It's only Tuesday, and we'll continue to pick this race apart. But it looks to us as though the Kentucky Derby horses will figure prominently in the Preakness. You can make a case for each and every Derby horse in the Preakness. Throw in Dance City and Sway Away and that gives us 8 horses to work with for the Preakness. Check back Friday for our official Preakness selections!

One last note. Kentucky Derby runner up Nehro will not run in the Preakness. "It's a very hard decision, but I want to err on the side of caution," Zayat said. "He couldn't look any better. His work on Monday was absolutely awesome. I'm just concerned about him having four hard races in eight weeks, even if, outwardly, he doesn't appear to be showing it.

Watch for Nehro to draw plenty of attention in the Belmont Stakes in 3 weeks.

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