Giddy up! It’s time for the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course this Saturday! The anticipation of the Kentucky Derby winner trying to bring home the 2nd leg of the Triple Crown never gets old. This will be the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes and the 3-year-olds will be racing a distance of 1 3/16 miles to see who will be wearing the blanket of Black-Eyed Susans.
If you’ve been following my columns I’ve been on the Nyquist (#3) bandwagon previous to last year’s Breeders Cup…and I don’t plan on changing. On paper there is not a better 3-year-old in this race or perhaps in the world. He has won all eight of his starts including the Kentucky Derby at six different tracks, at six different distances, and can close late or lead from wire to wire. I cannot see him losing this race. He has beaten his nearest competitor Exaggerator four times.
There will be 10 other contenders fighting for the place and show pools in the race such as Exaggerator (#5), who finished second to Nyquist in the Derby but was closing fast. This will be the fifth time they are racing against each other. Stradivari (#11), trained by Todd Pletcher, who won his last two races by over 25 lengths…albeit, against weaker company. Pletcher remarkably has run only seven horses in the Preakness Stakes. The Bob Baffert trained horse Collected (#7) is an interesting horse who won the G3 Lexington Stakes in April and should be rested and ready to run. Abiding Star (#9), who after breaking his maiden after seven starts has gone on to win five in a row, but has no graded wins. Awesome Speed (#4) who finished 4th in the G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes. Cherry Wine (#1), trained by Dale Romans, who finished 3rd in the G1 Blue Grass Stakes. Fellowship (#10) has finished in the money in three of his last four starts, all graded races although he only has two wins in 12 starts. Lani (#6) the only other horse besides Nyquist and Exaggerator in the Preakness who also ran in the Kentucky Derby may also make a run now that he has been more acclimated in the U.S. after traveling half away around the world. Laoban (#8) is a five time starter who has never won…enough said. Uncle Lino (#2), who previously lost to Exaggerator twice will be running for the first time outside of California and should be nice and rested. Some pundits are calling this a weak Preakness field of horses. I totally disagree because when you have a super horse like Nyquist all the other horses look ordinary.
Now, with all that being said, here is how I will play the Preakness with my $50.00 bankroll. The smart bet would be to put it all on Nyquist to win but the gambler in me is looking for a slightly better payoff. This is what I will be playing: A $1.00 exacta with 3/ALL, $10.00. A $0.50 trifecta 3/5,7,11/ALL, $13.50. A $0.10 superfecta 3/5,7,11/ALL/ALL, $21.60. And for kicks I’ll play a $1.00 exacta 5,6,7,9,11/3 for $5.00. Total bets $50.10.
Chances are I’m not going win much money if these wagers come in but as long as Nyquist wins the race I’ll be a happy camper. Keep in mind…if it is an off track I like Nyquist’s chances of winning even better.