The 2nd leg of Horse Racing’s Triple Crown takes place in Baltimore, Maryland this coming Saturday. It’s a 6:48 (eastern time) post time for the 12 horses competing in this race and going into the race some of the chatter is more about who isn’t competing, rather than who is.
— TwinSpires.com (@TwinSpires) May 15, 2019
Both the horse who crossed the finish line first and the horse who won the Kentucky Derby 2 weeks ago (yes they are 2 different horses) will not be running the 9.5 furlong race at Pimlico Racetrack this Saturday. Country House, a 65-1 longshot, who won the Kentucky Derby is sidelined with an illness and Maximum Security, the winner prior to a disqualification, is also not running. Horses, especially 2 year olds, aren’t built to run races of this magnitude and intensity two weeks apart from eachother. That’s why the Grade 1 qualifying races leading up to the Kentucky Derby (Florida Derby, Louisiana, Derby, Arkansas Derby, Wood Memorial, etc…) are all spaced out 4-5 weeks apart from eachother to allow ample time for recovery and allow the horses to compete at the optimal level come race day thus, adding some justification to Maximum Security’s absence.
Saturday’s forecast in Baltimore currently shows 75-80 degrees and cloudy. Unlike in the Kentucky Derby where the track was sloppy, this would mean ideal track conditions come post time.
Now, with all that being said, let’s take a look at some of the thoroughbreds in the field this year and try to find us a winner!!
When I look at this race especially I like to look at the horses who did not run in the Kentucky Derby. Mainly because they will be coming in fresh compared to the horses who ran just two weeks ago.
- (2) Bourbon War has been getting some love at (12-1) and is a horse I like here at a good price. Bourbon War finished 4th at the Florida Derby behind Maximum Security (1st), Bodexpress 2nd (20-1 for the Preakness) and Code of Honor 3rd. He’s shown some promise with the best of the competition in a Grade 1 race. Lastly, he is being rode by Irad Ortiz Jr. who rode Improbable at the Kentucky Derby.
- Next we have (11) Laughing Fox at 20-1 and he might be worth a look as well. A 4th place finish at the Arkansas Derby (last Grade 1 race he ran) behind Omaha beach, Improbable & Country house and in that race he posted a Beyer speed of 98.
- Perhaps the most talked about horse in this field who did not run in the Derby two weeks ago is a horse named (7) Alwaysmining who is sitting at a very enticing price of 8-1. Alwaysmining has won 5 in a row (no grade 1 races though). This horse is getting the chatter he is getting leading up to the Preakness because this horses’ “home track” is Laurel Park, which is only 30 miles from Pimlico. In his last 3 races this horse has posted very impressive speed numbers of 99, 109, and 104.
- (13) Win Win Win (15-1). He has drawn the 13th and most outside post position for this race but has shown great numbers in his 2019 races. His most recent performance was a disappointing 9th place finish as the Kentucky Derby despite the late love he received from the gamblers prior to the race. In his prior two starts he finished 3rd at the Tampa Bay Derby and 2nd at the Bluegrass Stakes. He has only posted a Beyer speed figure UNDER 100 just once in his four races this year. (113-101-91-100).
- (5) Owendale (10-1) Won last start Lexington Stakes (grade 3 race)
- THE FAVORITES
- (4) Improbable (5-2). This is a horse that I talked a lot about coming into the Kentucky Derby as I thought he was the best horse in that race. Despite a bad start and getting stuck inside for a majority of the race, Improbable finished 4th at the Kentucky Derby. This is a horse again that I will be picking to win here. He is the only horse in the field to have posted Beyer speed figures above 106 in his last 3 races (109-108-107). He has the best trainer who knows how to win races in a short time frame so barring any major setbacks, he should be in prime shape for the Preakness. With the field cut from 20 to 12 and another favorable post position (4th), it might not be so improbable that he crosses the finish line first on Saturday.
- Lastly, (1) War of Will who currently sits at (4-1) finished 7th at the Kentucky Derby, 9th at the Louisiana Derby – has been tested compared to the rest of the field but hasn’t had a strong finish
These are the plays I know I will be making come Saturday afternoon with more possibly to come. Be sure to follow the Chalk on twitter to track all of our action.
I usually bet the Morning Line “Chalk” in an exacta or trifecta as a potential protection bet in case the race comes in exactly as the odds reflect. So I’ll take the top 2-3 favorites and put them in an Exacta or a Tri in that order. In this case it would be the 4 & 1 in an exacta. The 4-1-12 in a trifecta but that could always change come race day.
(12) Laughing Fox – Win/Place/Show
(4) Improbable – Win/Place/Show
(2) Bourbon War – Win/Place/Show
(7) Alwaysmining – Win/Place/Show
Exacta – (4) Improbable – (2) Bourbon War
Exacta Box – (4) Improbable & (7) Alwaysmining
Exacta Box – (4) Improabable & (12) Laughing Fox
Trifecta Box – (4) Improbable & (7) Alwaysmining & (2) Bourbon War
Superfecta Box – (4) Improbable & (7) Alwaysmining & (13) Win Win Win & (12) Laughing Fox
And my always favorite $5 Straight Superfecta – 4 – 2 – 7 – 12 (*crosses fingers for a HUGE payday*)
More picks to come on Saturday in the bottom races on the card. Stay tuned to the Chalk for all the action!!
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