2013 Preakness Stakes Predictions: Mylute
by Trevor Whenham - 5/13/2013
Last race: Mylute was a respectable fifth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, grabbing the last of the prize money in the race. The connections would have hoped for more, obviously, but it was a solid race.
He sat at the back of the pack early on, beating only Java’s War through early fractions. He made a nice move starting just before the mile marker and looked strong. He didn’t encounter significant traffic, but he flattened out when more was needed and got passed by better horses — or at least horses that were better on the day.
Career highlights: You can’t knock him for a lack of experience. With 10 career races under his belt he’s a grizzled veteran among this group. The problem, though, is that he hasn’t exactly made a habit of winning.
He has just two wins, and both have come against questionable competition and not in stakes races. In stakes races he has a couple of close calls, with a hard-fought second to Revolutionary in the Louisiana Derby chief among them.
He’ll need to take a step forward at some point to be good enough to win a stakes race of any kind. He’s a horse that lacks a clear identity and a particularly impressive strength.
Jockey: Rosie Napravnik. Napravnik doesn’t need to be referred to as a female jockey. She is an elite jockey regardless of her gender. Julie Krone is the only woman to win a Triple Crown race — the 1993 Belmont. Before Napravnik is done, she will not only have matched that record but beat it convincingly.
She sits third in the country in wins and fifth in earnings this year, so she is at the top of her game right now. Though she has not been the regular rider for Mylute throughout his career, she was aboard for the last of his two wins, so she’s a decent match for the horse.
The biggest challenge for Napravnik right now, though, is that the public loves her. Her talent is eye-opening, and she is very personable — as proven by a “60 Minutes” feature the week before the Derby.
Public bettors have more faith in her than they probably should on this horse, and it robs the situation of whatever value there could be.
Trainer: Tom Amoss. Amoss is not a prominent national figure, though he has appeared as an analyst for ESPN and others over the years. In his native Louisiana, though, he is a dominant force.
He has won at least nine meet titles and currently sits in seventh in the country in wins this year. For reference, super trainer Todd Pletcher sits sixth. He wins just short of a third of his races, so he knows his game. He hasn’t had national contenders in large numbers, but doesn’t really seem interested in seeking them out, either.
Pedigree: There are questions here, but they aren’t fatal issues. His sire, Midnight Lute, is a two-time Breeders’ Cup winner. That’s impressive. Unfortunately, those wins are in the Sprint, so it is hardly applicable here. Midnight Lute is a son of Derby and Preakness winner Real Quiet, though, so there is at least a little hope of some stamina seeping through. Mylute’s damsire is Valid Expectations. He definitely produces milers more than route runners, but he can occasionally pass along a bit more stamina as well.
Running style: Your guess is as good as mine because this horse has yet to really establish his clear running preferences. He has won both races while stalking the early pace.
In the Louisiana Derby and the Kentucky Derby, though, he started well off the pace. He’s most likely to be in the middle of the pack early on, but Amoss and Napravnik could try something new if they feel there is an opportunity to exploit here.
There are obvious horses in this race — we know Goldencents will seek the lead, and Orb will trail, for example — and then there are question marks. Mylute is definitely the latter.
2013 Preakness Stakes Predictions for Mylute: I don’t see this horse winning this race. He would have to improve significantly, but he would also need at least two or three other horses to have a bad day. It’s not likely for that many horses to get in trouble in a race that looks like it will only have nine horses in it.
Despite my lack of overall optimism, this horse is more than good enough to get a piece of the action and needs to factor in exotics considerations.
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