Quip Odds to Win the 2018 Preakness Stakes with Picks and Predictions
There is the potential for Quip to create some bittersweet feelings in the ownership group. Justify, the Kentucky Derby winner and heavy Preakness favorite, is owned by a group of four partner organizations. Quip, who had the points to make the Derby field but passed on that race while aiming for this one, is owned by three. Two of Quip's owners also own Justify, and the third used to own Justify's racing rights but sold them while retaining his breeding rights. So, in the unlikely event that Quip were to upset Justify, it would probably be the most muted celebration party ever.
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Last race: The last race the horse ran was the Arkansas Derby. He got out of the gate well and settled in behind pacesetter Magnum Moon, the colt who was undefeated at the time. And that is where he stayed throughout. He didn't challenge the leader as they enjoyed fairly lethargic early fractions. But when Magnum Moon pulled away with plenty left in the tank, Quip didn't have as much. He was never caught from behind, nor was he any match for the winner. He wound up second by four lengths, proving that he likes being on the pace but that even a slow pace is too much when he's up against a better horse. The bad news here, then, is that Justify runs much the same race style as Magnum Moon, and he's better than Magnum Moon. Tucking behind the leader and then outkicking him late is a good strategy in a lot of races, but when the likely pacesetter is a horse like Justify then it's not really the place you want to be.
Prior experience: Quip broke his maiden in his first try at Churchill Downs last September. He went back and forth with another horse throughout the six furlongs and had the most left to give at the end. A month later he appeared in an allowance at Keeneland, and it was a serious revelation. He set the pace from the start and ran away late to win by nearly seven lengths. Those two performances earned him a shot in a major stakes race in November, but the Kentucky Jockey Club was a disaster for the colt. He got off slow and was fifth early on. He just couldn't handle the positioning, and he gave up late, finishing seventh in a race that included four horses that ran in the Derby and two more other than Quip who are in consideration for the Preakness. He was freshened until March and then had the race of his career in the Tampa Bay Derby. He pressed the pace throughout, took over in the middle of the stretch, and pulled away to win by a length. It was a nice win, though you can't help but notice that he again was part of a very pedestrian pace - 49.2 seconds for a half mile is like a walk relative to what Justify did in the Derby at 45.8. Quip is going to see a pace unlike he has seen before in the Preakness in all likelihood. It's tough to imagine him handling that - especially if he doesn't get a perfect start.
Trainer: Rodolphe Brisset is new to training on his own - he has had less than 120 career starts, and his only graded stakes win came with this colt in the Tampa Bay Derby. He's not knew to being around top horses, though He spent a lot of time starting young horses before they went to their trainers. Among his recent clients was none other than Justify - another level of connection between this horse and the favorite.
Jockey: Florent Geroux. Geroux had a rough day in the Derby this year, finishing a frustrating 17th aboard Noble Indy. Geroux has yet to win a Triple Crown race, but it is just a matter of time. He has won four Breeders' Cup races - most notably last year's Classic with Gun Runner. He's an asset to this colt, and he knows him well since he has been aboard for every start.
Breeding: Quip's sire is Distorted Humor. On the track he was a talented runner, though he raced well at shorter distances than the Preakness - he set a seven-furlong track record at Keeneland in 1998 that still stands. As a sire, though, he has been excellent at producing serious stamina. He sired Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide and Belmont and Classic winner Drosselmeyer and is the grandsire of Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another. Quip's damsire, Indian Charlie, tied a stakes record in winning the 1998 Santa Anita Derby and was injured while finishing third in Kentucky and never ran again. He was a strong sire, siring four champions, and he was the grandsire of Derby winner Nyquist. The breeding is solid for this task.
Odds: Quip currently sits as the fifth choice to win the Preakness at Bovada at +1600. Justify is at -250, so Quip is clearly far from a favorite.
Can Quip Win the 2018 Preakness Stakes?: Not likely. He is going to have to try to beat Justify at his game, and that will be tough. Quip likes plodding fractions, but even the slowest half mile Justify has run would be uncomfortable for this colt. He could be a factor to get a piece of it, though.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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