Triple Crown

Preakness 2014: Early Rankings

With the Preakness only a few days away, lets rank each of the probables and see what each horse brings to the table.

  1. California Chrome (3: 3-5)
    1. The best horse in this field, there is no reason why this horse can’t win.  After a dominating performance in the Derby, California Chrome is facing no one better than anyone that he has faced two weeks ago.
  2. Bayern (10: 10-1)
    1. Although he has yet to win a graded stakes race (after his disqualification in the Derby Trial), he has the front running speed to get to the front and stay there.  Bayern does well when dueling and the distance shouldn’t be too much of a factor.  However, he hasn’t raced too often, leaving questions about his form.
  3. Pablo Del Monte (9: 20-1)
    1. After defecting from the Derby two weeks ago, Pablo Del Monte has been training up to the Preakness.  After coming out of the Blue Grass in great form, he has the front running speed to win the race.  My concern is how he likes the dirt.  He is an artificial runner who hasn’t performed all that well on dirt.  he also only has one start past a mile.  But even with the concerns, he should run well.
  4. Ring Weekend (4: 20-1)
    1. After defecting from the Derby contenders, he is one of the more distance ready horses in this field.  He is used to running past a mile and loves dirt.  He should have run last time out in the Calder Derby, the only thing holding him back was the thick dirt.  Wire-wire win in the Tampa Bay Derby only adds to his impressive form.  If he stalks the leaders, he could move up with California Chrome and duel him late, something no horse has been able to do as of late.
  5. Social Inclusion (8: 5-1)
    1. While most think that Social Inclusion is the best horse to beat California Chrome, I don’t like him as much.  His 106 Brisnet figure is a little inflated from a fast Gulfstream Park track and he couldn’t repeat in the Wood just makes it seem even more inflated.  With only three starts, he hasn’t proven himself yet.  While his running style helps, he has given way to stalkers and closers late last time out, making it iffy if he can hold up front.
  6. Dynamic Impact (1: 12-1)
    1. If Dynamic Impact was to win on Saturday, he would break a 77 year streak.  Coming from the Tiznow line, no direct sire-line descendant of Godolphin Arabian has won the Preakness since War Admiral.  But even with history alone, Dynamic Impact has a lot to prove.  Taking five tries to break his maiden, and then with only one graded start against no real company, he would need to really step up in class to win, and drawing the rail doesn’t do much to help.
  7. Ride On Curlin (10: 10-1)
    1. With a jockey change to Joel Rosario, Ride On Curlin should run better than he did in the Derby, but his off the pace running style does not favor well in the Preakness.  If he can get closer to the early speed then maybe, but the way he runs, it will be tough to finish at the front.
  8. Kid Cruz (7: 20-1)
    1. The odd ball in this field, the only reason he isn’t in the back of the pack is because he has a win over the Pimlico surface.  While an impressive win in the Federico Tesio, he comes off the pace, and is moving up in class.  His early speed is very poor, however his late speed is amazing, the best late speed in the field, even better than any early or late speed figure from California Chrome.  A live longshot.
  9. General A Rod (2: 15-1)
    1. Unimpressive as of late, just can’t see any way this horse could win.  Toss.
  10. Ria Antonia (6: 30-1)
    1. The lone filly is no where near the quality to win this race.  Barely able to win in filly company, how could Ria Antonia beat California Chrome, or any of the boys.  Toss.

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