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Preakness Undercard

While Andrew Beyer is picking against Street Sense in the Preakness, I’m not bowled over by his reasoning in this case. I can see not wanting to go with chalk, but he’s working on the ‘perfect Derby trip’ scenario. I’m of the opinion there are horses who don’t quite deserve to be there who get lucky with a perfect trip (e.g. Giacomo) and those who are instrumental in making their ‘perfect’ trip happen — I believe Street Sense falls into this group since he has shown that he can do well in less-than-ideal circumstances as well. At least Calvin Borel isn’t concerned:

“It’s the same thing; just turn left. It’s a racetrack. There’s nothing different but the sharp turns. It’s like a bull ring.

But there’s a lot to enjoy on Saturday before the Preakness — here are my thoughts on the undercard:

Baltimore City Turf Sprint
Unbridled Sidney is my pick, based on my usual girls-against-the-boys bias. And hey, she can run.
Edit: OK, she decided to go yesterday instead (and very nicely too). So I’ll stick with Cherokee Spirit.

Hirsch Jacobs
This should be exciting. I’m backing Southwestern Heat (pictured; how can you not, if you’re a fan of his mother?) but I also see good runs in store from Hobbitontherocks and Street Magician. Like Mom Like Sons is great on Polytrack, but I don’t think this will be his day.

While I like Precious Kitten, Aunt Henny could start the day off well for Michael Matz; Grigorieva is not one to overlook either.

Maryland Breeders’ Cup Sprint
For no particularly good reason, I’m high on Celtic Innis at 10-1.

As the favorite for both sentimental and talent reasons, Chelokee looks likely to win here — but don’t expect to make any profit on it. In this instance, that’s fine.

Einstein has only had two weeks’ rest, but should still be tough (and I always like rooting for a horse trained by Helen Pitts); Cosmonaut and Silver Tree are the obvious choices if he’s coming up a little short.

William Donald Schaefer
Hesanoldsalt mixes it up with Sunriver and Flashy Bull; Sunriver has never quite lived up to his potential and I don’t see Saturday being the day (particularly if it rains) — but it could happen. Hesanoldsalt seems the way to go.

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