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PREAKNESS PICKS & ANALYSIS

May 17, 2008

By Ryan Patterson

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 one.

#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 late.

#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 weeks.

#8 Kentucky 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 exotics.


#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
2nd-Kentucky Bear
3rd- Racecar Rhapsody

Additional Picks:

$1 Superfecta Big Brown/ Kentucky Bear/ALL/Racecar Rhapsody

$20 Exacta Big Brown/ Kentucky Bear

$3 Trifecta Big Brown/ALL/Kentucky Bear

Have a look at our other Preakness articles :

Triple Crown Winners

Big Brown Favored to win the Preakness

Triple Crown Odds

Current Preakness Odds

Preankess Notable Winners

Preakness Upset Prediction

2008 Preakness Contenders

 

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