Dialed In Odds For Preakness Stakes Win With Analysis
by Trevor Whenham - 5/20/2011
Last race: Dialed In was badly beaten as the Kentucky Derby favorite last time out. As a deep closer he relies on a fast early pace to tire out the horses at the front and make them vulnerable to his late charge. The early fractions in the Derby were historically slow, though, so when he made his move he was trying to catch horses that had lots of gas left and he couldn’t do it. He passed some stragglers, but wound up a non-threatening eighth. It wasn’t a total disaster of a result, but given that he was the favorite and that he didn’t run into any traffic or serious problems it was a long way from impressive.
He became the favorite almost by default in this weak Derby class, and at 5/1 it was clear that he wasn’t an enthusiastic choice. The one positive you can say about the race is that he was moving forward at the end, so the distance wasn’t a concern.
Career highlights: He had won three times in four tries heading into the Derby, with the most prestigious score being in the Florida Derby. In that race he had to work very hard for the win because the unheralded Shackleford had no interest in giving up the lead he had held through the race. Dialed In will face Shackleford for the third straight race here.
Jockey: Julien Leparoux. I don’t know if Leparoux is a household name yet, but he should be. He’s a Frenchman who came to the States to ride only eight years ago, but in a short time he has shown that he is truly among the elite in the country. He rides primarily in Kentucky, and has dominated that circuit -- including seven wins on a single card in 2008. He doesn’t have a Triple Crown win yet, but he will have several before he’s done. He has ridden Dialed In in every start of his career.
Trainer: Nick Zito. He is a legend of the sport, with five Triple Crown wins, including the Preakness in 1996, to his credit. Early last decade it looked like his time had passed, but he has fought his way back up to the top again, and he’s obviously capable of winning this race. In recent years, though, he has done much better with off-the-radar Triple Crown horses than with favorites. His Belmont winners in 2004 and 2008 -- Birdstone and Da’ Tara -- were huge longshots, while he has had several horses that were highly-regarded but disappointed in that same time frame.
Pedigree: Like so many horses in Triple Crown races, Dialed In is bred regally. He’s a son of Mineshaft, the Horse of the Year in 2003. His two grandsire’s are as good as it gets - A.P. Indy and Storm Cat. Neither distance nor class is a concern with this horse based on his breeding.
Running style: If he’s not running last early in a race then there is something wrong. Dialed In is the prototypical deep closer, so he settles way off the pace and saves himself for one explosive move typically starting around the final turn. It’s a style that is obviously comfortable for him, but he is very reliant on a fast early pace -- in two of his races there was a slow opening half mile, and those are the two races in his career that he didn’t win. I don’t think it is likely, but it’s possible that Zito and Leparoux will look to keep him closer to the field early on if they suspect that there won’t be an early pace.
Preakness prognosis: I didn’t like this horse coming in the Derby, and I don’t like him any more now. I like a horse with versatility, and this guy is a one trick pony - though it’s a good trick when it works. I’m not at all confident that he’ll get a good pace in the Preakness, either, because horses are often hesitant to take the lead in this race since the lead is almost impossible to win form historically in the race. If it’s slow then he’s done. Even if it isn’t slow I’m not convinced that he has progressed enough to get passed Animal Kingdom or Mucho Macho Man. I’ll have him in my exotic bets, but likely not on top. At 9/2 on the morning line odds there is absolutely no value in the win.
Doc’s Sports will have Preakness Stakes Picks for the 2011 Run for the Black-Eyed Susans on Saturday, May21. Doc has been studying the Preakness Stakes field since the Derby and we expect to bring in some very nice profits as the Preakness odds will yield great value. Preakness picks are only $20 and if you don’t show a profit Belmont Stakes picks are free!
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