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Thread: Betting guide for the 143rd Preakness Stakes

  1. #1 Betting guide for the 143rd Preakness Stakes 
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    Betting guide for the 143rd Preakness Stakes
    Chris Fallica
    ESPN INSIDER
    The second jewel of the Triple Crown is upon us, and while it certainly appears like Justify will be very difficult to beat, there are some different ways to approach betting the race. Here are some thoughts on the race, the field and how to bet it.Note: All odds courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, as of May 17.The field

    Post No. 1: Quip (Rodolphe Brisset/Florent Geroux) -- 18-1

    Quip's trainer has had a sneaky good year, and this is a very game horse. He won at Tampa off a long layoff, finally getting by a stubborn Flameaway, and then chased the then-undefeated Magnum Moon at Oaklawn and was still able to hold off the closers and hang on for second. He should be on or near the lead, has run very well over a route of ground in Graded Stakes races and has proven he can stay. The inside draw likely means he will be pace-committed, which could hinder his chances to hang on for a piece, despite how game he is. I will still be using Quip as a price play in my exotics, but I do move him down a notch now because of the pressure he will face being stuck on the inside.

    Post No. 2: Lone Sailor (Tom Amoss/Irad Ortiz Jr.) -- 25-1

    Lone Sailor gets a huge rider upgrade from the Kentucky Derby, where he didn't run too badly (finished eighth as the ninth betting choice). Despite a smaller field, there should still be a decent pace set up front, and he certainly won't find nearly as much traffic to navigate as he did in Louisville. That could be beneficial to his running style. Lone Sailor ran with blinkers in his first start of 2018, and since removing them he has responded with the three best races of his career. Between the rider switch, an overall improvement and the shorter field, I suspect he will run even better in his second start off a six-week layoff. I'll be using Lone Sailor prominently for second and third in my exotic plays.

    Post No. 3: Sporting Chance (D. Wayne Lukas/Luis Contreras) -- 25-1

    He didn't have the best of trips in the Pat Day Mile, and at times is his own worst enemy, ducking out in the stretch in both the Hopeful and Blue Grass, where he was soundly beaten by Good Magic (and then DQ'ed to fourth). He hasn't gotten better as a 3-year-old to win or even truly compete in a Triple Crown race. But you know D. Wayne Lukas is going to run them in the Triple Crown and has pulled some stunners before. Sporting Chance was on the lead as a 2-year-old, but has been a merry-go-round-type runner as a 3-year-old. If you're looking for a price to boost those exotics with Justify on top, you certainly don't want to completely toss him, especially in an eight-horse field, so maybe play him for third or fourth, at best.


    Post No. 4: Diamond King (John Servis/Javier Castellano) -- 20-1


    He will get play and probably be an underlay, as he is the "local" horse and has the presence of Javier Castellano. But his top Beyer Speed figure of 84 is seven points worse than anyone else's top figure. He'll be prominently placed on or near the lead and will be the likely target for Justify. It's a big step up in class from the fields he faced at Laurel and at Gulfstream, and it's hard to imagine seeing him hang on for anything better than fourth given the pressure Justify will likely put on him, either from being pressed or trying to chase him around the track.

    Post No. 5: Good Magic (Chad Brown/Jose Ortiz) -- 7-2

    The 2017 Breeders' Cup Juvenile champion ran a race good enough to win the Kentucky Derby in most years. Unfortunately for Chad Brown, he just happened to run into a total freak in Justify. Brown was undecided for a while on whether or not to run him back in two weeks, as he isn't known for running horses back on short rest. This will likely be the end of the Triple Crown for him, as barring any changes in plans he will not continue on to the Belmont Stakes.If Justify isn't 100 percent after a huge effort in the Derby, he's the most likely upsetter on paper, but that's a big if. Does one really want to take such a short price on a horse that appeared to have every chance to get by Justify in the stretch at Churchill Downs, but was rebuffed by a horse that was on the front end for fourth-fastest half-mile split in Derby history? If you're trying to beat Justify and he's your choice, that's fine. But I'll try to beat him for second and split the top two choices in the exotics.

    Post No. 6 Tenfold (Steve Asmussen/Ricardo Santana Jr.) -- 30-1


    He has the most upside among any of the Triple Crown newcomers, is very well bred and has a trainer who has won this race a couple of times. Tenfold couldn't quite get to Quip in his first stakes try at Oaklawn, but appears to be a versatile type, which should help his trip here and could be the difference in his effort to get past a horse like Quip this time and potentially into the exacta (and certainly the superfecta).

    Post No. 7: Justify (Bob Baffert/Mike Smith) -- 4-11J

    ustify is perfectly drawn outside here. Each of Baffert's previous four Derby winners went on to win the Preakness, and it looks like Justify will make it five-for-five. There's always a chance the Derby could have taken too much out of him, and there could be more to the foot injury than has been out there, but his last workout alleviated those concerns in my eyes. Will there be more company on the front end here? Yes, but that could mean he just sits and pounces as Mike Smith pleases. We know he loves an off track, and he'll probably get another one of those Saturday. His lowest Beyer of 101 would still be tops in this field. I'll play around underneath him, using price horses for second as a way to try and generate value. Unless something goes very wrong, Justify will head to the Belmont looking to give Baffert his second Triple Crown in four years.
    P

    ost No. 8: Bravazo (D. Wayne Lukas/Luis Saez) -- 25-1


    Can Lukas pull another stunner in the Preakness? In 2013, Oxbow went off as the 12th choice in the Derby at 25-1 and finished sixth. Two weeks later, he won the Preakness at odds of better than 15-1. Bravazo was sent off at 67-1 two weeks ago in the Derby as the 18th betting choice and finished sixth. Will lightning strike again? I don't think Bravazo can win, but he just might grind his way around and post a trifecta or superfecta finish. I will be using underneath, mostly for third and fourth.

    Potential ways to play the race


    Other betting nuggets


    • Think it's as easy as Justify over Good Magic for the exacta? Think again. The last time the favorite won and the second choice ran second in the Preakness was 1981 when favored Pleasant Colony won and second-choice Bold Ego ran second. There have been instances since then where the second choice won and the favorite ran second, like in 2012, when second-choice I'll Have Another beat favored Bodemeister.
    • The last time the Derby winner and runner-up ran in that exact order in the Preakness was 2012, when I'll Have Another won both the Derby and Preakness, and Bodemeister ran runner-up in both. Prior to that, the last time it happened was 1999, when Charismatic and Menifee ran 1-2 in both.
    • Justify is the seventh Kentucky Derby winner to take a perfect mark into the Preakness since 1932 when the Preakness has been continually run after the Derby. Four of the previous six won the Preakness, but just Seattle Slew in 1977 was able to finish off the Triple Crown.
    • Fifteen of the last 20 Preakness Stakes were won by one of the top two betting choices. The favorite has won nine of the last 16 Triple Crown races. Favorites had won just nine of the previous 31.
    • Look for prices in the exacta and trifecta. In the last five years, eight of the 15 horses to finish in the Preakness trifecta were at least 10-1, and four were at least 15-1.
    • None of the last four winners of a Kentucky Derby that was run on an "off" track went on to win the Preakness. All four of those Preakness Stakes were run on a fast track at Pimlico, which, given Saturday's forecast, likely will not be the case this weekend.
    • In 2016, Exaggerator became the first Derby runner-up to win the Preakness since Prairie Bayou in 1993. But history tells us that playing the Derby runner-up to win the Preakness isn't the wisest thing to do. Since 1962, only three Derby runners-up have won the Preakness: Summer Squall in 1990, Prairie Bayou in 1993 and Exaggerator in 2016. Good Magic will try to become the second Derby runner-up in three years to win the Preakness.
    • Baffert can win his 14th Triple Crown race with a win in the Preakness. That would tie him with Lukas for the most all-time among trainers. If Justify were to win the Triple Crown, it would give Baffert the most Triple Crown race wins by a trainer in history and a second Triple Crown.
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  2. #2  
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    The bear nailed it.
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