2012 Triple Crown: Horses That Can Win the Preakness Stakes
by Robert Ferringo - 5/16/2012
Every trainer and owner that enters a mount at Pimlico thinks that it has a horse that can win the Preakness Stakes. But history has shown us that unless you are one of the cream of the crop rides in the Triple Crown’s shortest leg then your odds to win the Preakness are actually much longer than even the books are willing to admit.
The 137th running of the Preakness Stakes will be held at 6:15 p.m. on Saturday, May 19. The race will take place at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore and represents the second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown.
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The favorite has won the Preakness Stakes seven times in the last 11 years and has earned the cash in 10 of the last 20 races at Pimlico. That includes a stretch of five straight years when the favorite won the second leg of the Triple Crown starting with Point Given in 2001 and ending with Afleet Alex in 2005.
Also, on two other occasions in the last 11 years the horse with the second-best odds won the Preakness. And going back to 1992 the winner of this race has left the gate at 4-to-1 or better a whopping 15 times.
Only three times in the last 35 years has a horse at 10-to-1 or worse won the Preakness. That includes Shackleford’s upset victory last year at nearly 13-to-1 on a rain-soaked track.
Needless to say, I expect another strong showing by the top-tier horses this weekend, including the winning and placing horses from the Kentucky Derby, I’ll Have Another and Bodemeister. They figure to be the two favorites heading into this weekend’s run and, well, you know what that means.
There are 11 horses set to run in this Saturday’s Preakness. But here is a look at the select few horses that can win the Preakness Stakes:
I’ll Have Another – J. Paul Reddam’s colt is trying to become the eighth horse in the last 16 years to pull off a Derby-Preakness double, setting up a potential run for a Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes on June 9. This horse is peaking at the right time and has now won three straight races, including the Robert B. Lewis Stakes and Santa Anita Derby in California, as well as winning the Run for the Roses on May 5. His win in the Kentucky Derby was impressive for two reasons. First, the way this stalker rallied to best Bodemeister down the stretch was exceptional. Second, the horse won despite starting from the No. 19 post, which had never been done before. I’ll Have Another has beaten most of the horses in this field already and is a dominating horse. The only question will be if its style fits the distance against several other horses that show more early speed.
Bodemeister – Even though Bodemeister finished in second place at the Kentucky Derby this horse figures to be the closing favorite at Pimlico. Bodemeister put forth a breathtaking run at Churchill Downs and almost went wire-to-wire before being caught in the last five strides by I’ll Have Another. Bodemeister did not run as a two-year-old so we don’t have much to go on from this horse. But it has finished first or second in five career starts and looked great in the Derby. However, again, because it hasn’t run much we can’t be sure how it will bounce back from that draining run at Churchill Downs. And even though this horse will be favored it still only has two wins on its resume.
Creative Cause – This horse enters the second leg of the Triple Crown a bit under the radar. Creative Cause opened as an 8-to-1 horse in the Kentucky Derby and actually ran a decent race, finishing fifth in a crowded field. That was the first time in nine starts that Creative Cause didn’t finish in the money and he has four wins under his belt in his career. Also, this is one of the few horses in the country that has actually outrun Bodemeister, beating him at the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita on March 10. Creative Cause was also nosed out by I’ll Have Another in the Santa Anita Derby and has to be thrilled for a rematch.
Went the Day Well – A longshot at the Kentucky Derby, opening at 40-to-1 and going off at 27-to-1, this mount has some steam after it rallied late to finish fourth at Churchill Downs. Went the Day Well looks to be one of the three or four favorites at Pimlico. This horse has the same bloodline as 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom and hasn’t finished worse than fourth in its professional career. However, it is a turf horse and an English mount and I don’t think that its running style is suited well for Pimlico. This is one that I will be avoiding but is definitely among the best horses in the field.
Robert Ferringo is one of the top Triple Crown Horse Racing handicappers in the country. He has cashed a ticket in the Preakness Stakes in four of the last five years and he has had a winning ticket in six of the last seven Triple Crown races. Robert was a perfect 3-for-3 in the 2011 Triple Crown races and wants to get his first profit of this season on Saturday.
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