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Preakness Ponderings

Can Calvin win back-to-back Preaknesses?

Can Calvin win back-to-back Preaknesses?

The Preakness draw will take place this evening at 5 pm, but post position is much less of an issue at Pimlico – especially as the field size has been decreased with the absence of Hurricane Ike, who is out with a leg injury.  A Little Warm was declared out earlier in the week, much to my chagrin, leaving Schoolyard Dreams and Caracortado as the most interesting new shooters.

With rather limited time this week, here are our thoughts on the Preakness field – with Kentucky Derby alumni first:

Super Saver
Derby winners like to win the Preakness – and even without rain, Super Saver should be well-placed to do so.  Jockey Calvin Borel has experience winning the Preakness with Rachel Alexandra, but it’s not always as easy for him to work his magic away from Churchill Downs.

Paddy O’Prado
Yes, he ran much better in the Derby than I expected – but I still think he’s more interesting on turf.

His seventh-place finish was respectable and his sire owned this race, but is he up to the challenge? D. Wayne Lukas has Northern Giant as well, if not.

Jackson Bend
Had a terrible trip in the Derby, and clearly wants a shorter distance; the question is whether he’s ready for the quick turnaround, given his effort last time out.

Lookin At Lucky
Holds the dubious honor of having perhaps the second-worst trip in the Derby after the very game Ice Box; his slump has clearly been luck-related rather than talent-related – will the change in jockey help?

New Shooters

He’ll probably need more speed to close on than he’s likely to see on Saturday – with Hurricane Ike out, that’s a less likely scenario.

I’m a fan of the California-based gelding; this distance should be perfect for him. He’s had bad luck in his two non-winning races and should be ready to go.

Pleasant Prince
His sole victory came in a MSW last year.  Granted, he hit the board in the Florida Derby and Derby Trial, so he seems to be improving, but I don’t see this as his spot.

Yawanna Twist
He only began his career in December, and he’s been close in G3 company; it’s a step up, but he could finishi n the money here.

Schoolyard Dreams
He was a long way back in the Wood Memorial, but he should be coming into this race in a better position – a definite danger.

Northern Giant
While he has an interesting pedigree and a bit of seasoning, he might be better off in a softer spot.

First Dude
I’m really done with this joke, which isn’t the horse’s fault, but I don’t see it happening for him.

Although the real world will continue to interfere with things racing-related here for a while, we’ll still be checking in via Twitter – so look for the latest updates there.  In the meantime, you have until Saturday to name Super Saver’s half-brother – and tune in tomorrow to Alex Brown’s show for more!

Official Superfecta Preakness Superfecta Prediction: Lookin At Lucky, Caracortado, Super Saver, Schoolyard Dreams

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