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    09/07/2011 9:56 PM
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2010 Preakness Stakes Contenders

The second leg of the Triple Crown goes Saturday with the 135th running of the Preakness Stakes. Below we break down the field of horses, including Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver.

Aikenite (20-1): There is a reason this horse is sitting at 20-1. Hard to find any reason to pick this horse over the field considering he dropped seven races in a row against top of the line horses. If we had to pick a + for this longshot it would be the extra two weeks to train over anyone who just raced in the Kentucky Derby. But considering he was 6-1 in an 8 horse race already, can't justify any reason to include this horse in any type of wagers.

Schoolyard Dreams (15-1): As we seen in the Derby and in previous Triple Crown wins, JOCKEY, JOCKEY, JOCKEY. After six career starts, this horse has had SIX DIFFERENT people riding him. But, actually a big but, he did finish ahead of race favorite Super Saver when meeting head to head at the Tampa Bay Derby. If forced to add some horses to an exotic, worth a shot on a longshot payday.

Pleasant Prince (20-1): 0-6 in 2010 equals 20-1 or more. Not much to get excited about when looking at this horses history, which includes the 2nd place finish at the Florida Derby. Considering this race is the shortest of the Triple Crown, his "big place finish" was only due to a late rally. Even with the lackluster record, this horse did put up some nice Beyer numbers on dirt tracks and could be worth adding to some exotic wagers.

Northern Giant (30-1): Yet another pony with not very impressive credentials. It took racing horses on the way to the glue factory to get a notch in the win column. But, on the flip side when looking at horse racing you need to break down everything from conditions, outside factors on losses, trainers, etc. At 30-1 there are two things we could argue to consider this horse if you have some balls. 1) His trainer D. Wayne Lukas has won 5 times at the Preakness and 13 times overall in the Triple Crown. 2) Depending on the weather and track conditions, he has proven himself on sloppy conditions (as of now the conditions should be "fast").

Yawanna Twist (30-1): Had a nice start to his career going 2-0, but fell short (place both times) when having to race horses not meant to be rode by children at the county fair. Out of the horse at 20-1+, it is worth noting a time of 1:17.20 at Churchill Downs in a work out session and along with impressive Beyer numbers has never finished worse than second. Plus, don't forget Rick Dutrow who rode Big Brown to victory at the Preakness will be riding this horse on Saturday. Another horse worth a shot in some exotics.

Jackson Bend (12-1): Despite finishing 12th at the Derby, his previous nice races were either a win or place. Two things attributed to the embarrasing finish at the Kentucky Derby: 1) First time on sloppy conditions and 2) Running into traffic issues that he could never recover from. Even with the impressive record, it is important to note he has NEVER won a graded stakes race. Even though a superior horse to much of the field, we feel he should be a closer to 15-1.

Lookin at Lucky (3-1): Getting stuck in the pack for both the Kentucky Derby and Santa Anita Derby made him a non-factor, but could put a scare into favored Super Saver. Started off his career as an industry darling winning the Eclipse Award (presented annually to recognize horses whose achievements have earned them the title of Champion in their respective categories) and crossing the finish line first in 5 of 6 races. Despite this, we feel his style does not fit the track at Pimilco and unless he can get out early, does not have the right speed to rally late.

Super Saver (5-2): Can Super Saver become the first Triple Crown winner in 32 years? After winning the Kentucky Derby, people soon forget this was his first win in 2010, losing both starts in the new year (show and place). Despite the second and third place finish, Super Saver has never ran a "bad race" in his career. With a dominating performance on a sloppy track, if the conditions are "fast" on Saturday, coupled with the short turnaround time between races would be the only things we can find to not back Super Saver. With history on the side of the Derby winner, we have to give the nod to Super Saver if he can race his race.

Caracortado (10-1): Meaning "scarface" in Spanish, this horse will make his 1st start on conventional dirty since he started his career (5 straight wins). His style fits this race, but his Beyer numbers are well below most of the field. For him to be a factor he must use his "early speed" to get in front and control his postion considering his "late speed" will not hold up against the other horses.

Paddy O'Prado (9-2): Luck of the Irish at the Preakness? Made a nice run down the stretch at the Derby before falling short and finishing up in third. One simple question must be asked before you decide to back this horse- Was his Kentucky Derby showing for real or was it because of a sloppy track? Personally, I feel the track conditions at the Derby were more of a factor on his finish and not the horse itself, but we will see this Saturday if I am correct on this assumption.

First Dude (20-1): One of my favorite picks out of the  long shots. Why? His highest speed ratings are on similar conditions and he has proven in past races to rebound when running into traffic problems.The question mark will be can he compete with a field of higher rated horses? If the stars align, he could put a scare into the favorites and is a solid pick for exotics.

Dublin (10-1): After finishing 7th at the Kentucky Derby, he has yet to make his dad (2005 Preaknes winner Afleet Alex) proud in 2010 going 0-everything (2nd, 3rd, 3rd and 7th). Some important notes are the obvious sloppy conditions at the Derby and the jockey change for the Preakness to Garrett Gomez, who won the Eclipse Award in 2007 and 2008. In the end, his speed figures place him out of contention if that is how you plan to handicap this race. I expect him to keep pace most of the race, but falter down the stretch.

Looking for more information:

135th Preakness Stakes Post Time for 2010

2010 Preakness Stakes Post Positions
2010 Preakness Stakes Payouts and Results

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