The field is set and the post positions have been
drawn so let's handicap the 2008 Preakness Stakes
and make a few picks. Let me start off by saying
that this is the sorriest Preakness field I have
ever seen. Big Brown included, the race has only
four horses who have won a graded stakes race.
We'll take a look at each of the entrants entrant
with a little background and analysis. The Picks
will follow including a Superfecta.
#1 Macho Again- Trainer Dallas Stewart
and jockey Julien Leparoux hooked up to win the
Derby Trial with this one last time out. Prior to
that race he was 7th in the Lanes End. He looks to
be outclassed in this spot.
#2 Tres Barrachos- Set the pace last
out in the Arkansas Derby with Tyler Baze in the
irons for the first time. He ended up third in that
race. His front running style concerns me as I
expect Big Brown to take this race on the front end.
#3 Icabad Crane- Graham Motion is the
trainer on this one, and his jockey Jeremy Rose won
this race on Afleet Alex in 2005. Rose is back with
a vengeance, winning at 30% so far in 2008. The
horse is light on Beyers, but has 3 wins from 4
starts. His only lose came on the polytrack in the
Rushaway. He doesnít appear fast enough to win this
#4 Yankee Bravo- Here is another horse
who appears light on the Beyers. Patrick Gallagher
and Alex Solis are always a bonus, but he appears
outclassed. He made a nice closing move in the
Louisiana Derby, but the horse coming out of that
race havenít done much. I advise against using this
horse in your exotics.
#5 Behindatthebar- Todd Pletcher and
David Flores hook up to race this deep closer. He
was far back in the Lexington and closed up very
well for the win. He didnít show up in the El Camino
Real Derby, so I must question if he is merely a
synthetic runner. If the pace is hot, look for him
#6 Racecar Rhapsody- Jerry Carroll who
is the owner of this horse, also owns the Kentucky
Speedway. Albarado had him closing like a freight
train in the Lexington. This will be only the third
start of the year for Racecar Rhapsody. I think he
will relish the added distance in this race. Another
horse who should be rolling late, and may be able to
get a piece of the pie.
#7 Big Brown- Here we have the rock
star of the race. He has showed absolutely no
vulnerability, and has been one of the most
impressive horses I have seen in my short career. I
would be worried about him bouncing off of that
beautiful run in the Kentucky Derby, but this field
is so bad he should have no problems at all. Look
for Desormeaux to only use as much as he has to with
Big Brown, as the Belmont looms large in three
#8Kentucky Bear- My choice to make
the upset, if Big Brown somehow loses. The horse
hasnít done much wrong. He won his first race easily
at Gulfstream, and caught trouble in the Fountain of
Youth. After going 9 wide in the Bluegrass he
managed a third place finish. Hopefully Theriot will
have him closer to the pace this go around. I
believe Reade Baker when he says good things about
his horses, look out for Kentucky Bear.
#9 Stevil- I have to question Nick
Zito for putting this horse in this race. Judging by
his past performances he has little chance against
this group. Donít get me wrong, I wouldnít be
shocked if he stumbled in for 4th, but I certainly
donít see him doing much more than that. I have a
ton of respect for Nick Zito, but this horse should
probably be in NW2.
#10 Riley Tucker- This horse looked
very promising at 2, but hasnít lived up to his
potential yet. He ran a nice 3rd in the Lexington
last out, and if Bill Mott thinks he fits, thatís
good enough for me. He may be able to obtain a minor
placing, but is probably outclassed here.
#11 Giant Moon- Its hard to say how
this horse will run. He could go to the lead, or
stalk and that will play a role in how he finishes.
He ran a good 4th in the Wood, and the winner of
that race was 4th in the Kentucky Derby. Itís hard
for me to judge him, but I wonít be using him in my
#12 Gayego- Paul Loboís colt had a
tough trip from the 19 hole in the Kentucky Derby.
His stalking style should benefit him here, but he
wont get to Big Brown. I wouldnít at all be
surprised if he ran second or third. Mike Smith in
the irons is always a great thing. With the addition
of blinkers he is somewhat of a question mark. We
know he is good, but how much will the blinkers help
him to improve?
#13 Hey Byrn- This horse reminds of
the old Beatles song Hey Jude. He beat a terrible
field in the Holy Bull with relative ease. I like
his running style, but the outside post might cost
him the race. It wouldnít be unlikely for him to run
in, but Iím looking elsewhere.
Picks for Win, Place, Show
1st- Big Brown
3rd- Racecar Rhapsody
$1 Superfecta Big
Brown/ Kentucky Bear/ALL/Racecar Rhapsody
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