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2009 Preakness – On the Record

Looking over the Preakness undercard made me realize they start the show early down south – the Allaire DuPont goes off at 10.44! Depending on Amtrak and my luck with scalpers, I may or may not make it in time for the first few races. Here are a few undercard highlights:

Race 2 – Alliare DuPont
It’s hard to overlook the overwhelming favorites Sea Chanter and Skylighter.

Race 4 – William Donald Schaefer
I like Ready Set and think Real Merchant might have finally settled in after moving up from Chile.

Race 7 – Gallorette
All is Vanity has an impressive record in France and I like Tejida.

Race 8 – Hirsch Jacobs
Taqarub is back after disappointing on the Derby trail, but should be tough here.

Race 9 – Woodlawn
I hope to see John Servis pull an upset with his trainee Beacon Hill Road, but Affirmatif may be tricky to beat.

Race 10 – Maryland Sprint Handicap
It’s all Ah Day.

Race 11 – Dixie
This is always one of the best races on Preakness day (if you scratch the year Einstein was injured in it). This year features Wesley, Musketier, Proudinsky (on a quick turnaround after a disappointing last effort), Monba and Parading – how I will bet them remains to be seen.

And so, on to the big race –

Race 12 – Preakness Stakes

1 Big Drama
While I’m not normally a Sheets kind of girl, I think they are right to see a horse sitting on a big race; given his post and running style, I think he could be a real danger.

2 Mine That Bird
The little Derby winner is a big question mark; he seems better suited to a longer race, but it’s also possible he’s the real deal. I’m keeping an open mind.

3 Musket Man
He never seems to be worse than third – can I cash another show bet on him?

4 Luv Gov
Marylou Whitney must really hate Eliot Spitzer; that’s cool, but I don’t think I’ll bet on his namesake.

5 Friesan Fire
You can argue he’s almost a fresh horse since he didn’t really run in the Derby. You can also argue he got pretty beaten up in it. Whether he will be at his best Saturday is difficult to predict; I will likely wait to place any bets on him until I see him in person.

6 Terrain
He’s flying well under the radar, but could figure in exotics.

7 Papa Clem
Since slow works/fast races is apparently just how he rolls, you might feel confident. I like him a lot, but he also had a tough Derby – I’ll follow my Friesan Fire wagering plan with him.

8 General Quarters
I’ve been on the fence about him all week; he’s another one who might be more affected by the quick turnaround, given his troubled Derby trip.

9 Pioneerof the Nile
He proved he can run on dirt, although he’s still posting lowish Beyers (if that worries you). He may like the way this race sets up, though.

10 Flying Private
Didn’t like him in the Derby. Don’t like him here either, despite the services of Alan Garcia.

11 Take the Points
I’ll take a pass.

12 Tone It Down
At least he’s carrying on the tradition of having a local horse in the race.

13 Rachel Alexandra
If you believe the tighter turns myth, you’ll like her outside post; I like it for the reasons discussed yesterday. While it’s horse racing and anything can happen, she’s the class of the field and I hope for a decisive victory.

I’ll definitely be boxing Rachel Alexandra with Big Drama and may also include Papa Clem and Friesan Fire. Depending on how the odds go I may also box the Oaks and Derby winners (and most certainly will if my rain-bringing superpower kicks into overdrive). I’m undecided on Pioneerof the Nile at short odds – although I expect him to finish somewhere in the money.

I’ll be Twittering from my iPhone all day (despite this officially being known as ‘the Blackberry Preakness Stakes’), and hopefully I will manage to score a decent ticket, but if not I’ll be wandering aimlessly around Pimlico with a camera; you, lucky reader, can follow my adventures here.

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