Paddock To Post – The 2017 Preakness
By Jennifer Thibodeaux Bourque and Michael – Louis Ingram
LAFAYETTE, LA and PHILADELPHIA (BASN/basnnewsroom.com) With one Jewel in the Crown in tow, the eyes of the thoroughbred racing world turn to Maryland and Pimlico Race Course to see if Always Dreaming gets to wake up with a blanket of Black-eyed Susans in this the 142nd running of The Preakness Stakes.
As was mentioned in a previous column, the trip was the difference in the Derby. ‘Dreaming went virtually untouched; set up nicely, stalked and came off the rail just enough to pass a tiring hoss to charge home.
Our choice, Classic Empire, got a beat down right out of the gate, as McCracken and other hosses ping-pong him as the field of 20 sloshed through the mud. Give credit to jockey Flavian Prat for keeping ‘Empire together through a trip which would take the heart out of many a hoss!
‘Empire came back late to gain fourth, and looking at his trip, it was clear he had a lotta Hoss Power left. “It’s in the ears,” says Thibodeaux Bourque. “if his ears are flappin’, he’s got plenty in the tank; if they’re flattening out, he’s gassed.
“A perfect example of that in Triple Crown racing was the battle between Easy Goer and Sunday Silence in the 1989 Preakness. ‘Silence was a full out deep stretch, and Easy Goer was full of run – but jockey Pat Valenzuela willed him across that line ahead of Pat Day and Easy Goer.”
It seems there may some similar byplay between Always Dreaming and Classic Empire as both have emerged as the two hottest prices as we come to post…
So, history aside, the play’s the thing. Ms. Thibodeaux Bourque believes the Preakness menu will include “a long shot sandwich.”
Jenny: “There are four of five closers in this race ‘Dreaming and ‘Empire are right next to each other (PP’s 4 and 5). Conquest Mo Money (PP #10) has early speed, but I think he will be wary of a potential speed duel.
If they’re sittin’ 23/47 after a half, the closers will have to risk gettin’ a jump on sooner than they want. There’s gonna be a lotta cash on these two, so let’s wheel ’em front and back and see who sneaks in. If there’s one I think will bomb the tote board, it would be #8, Senior Investment.”
The PLAY: $1 trifecta wheel 4 with all with 5 = $8; $1 trifecta wheel 5 with all with 4 = $8
$1 trifecta wheel #4 #5 with #4 #5 with all = $16
$1 trifecta key #5 with numbers 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 = $20
Editor’s Note: I agree with Jenny that ‘Empire is the class of the field; and today he’ll get to prove it…
Good luck – and when you see your horse breaking free mid-stretch, stand up and scream at the top of your lungs:
WORK THAT NOBLE BEAST!