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Will Derby Winner ‘Have Another’ Win at Preakness?…Unlikely

Posted by: Princeton Group | Posted on: May 17th, 2012 | 0 Comments

The second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown, the 137th Preakness Stakes, will be run this Saturday, May 19, at Pimlico, and ten horses will try to deny Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another the opportunity to race for a Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes in three weeks.

While I’ll Have Another, trained by Triple Crown racing neophyte Doug O’Neill and ridden by Triple Crown dilettante Mario Gutierrez, won the Kentucky Derby, Bodemeister ran the far more impressive race in finishing second. Trained by master horseman Bob Baffert–a five-time Preakness winner–Bodemeister immediately  seized the lead at Churchill Downs, setting historically fast fractions at every turn, only to succumb in the stretch to I’ll Have Another’s closing run from off-the-pace.

The Preakness, however—which is one-sixteenth of a mile shorter than the Derby—sets up well for Bodemeister; with no other early speed in the race, Bodemeister could be loose on the lead, which might allow him to relax a bit and turn the tables on I’ll Have Another.

Went the Day Well, with blinkers on for the first time, ran an incredible race to finish fourth in the Derby; unlike I’ll Have Another’s dream trip, he experienced a brutal trip, forced to run from the back of the field. Despite those setbacks, he was absolutely flying in the stretch, looking noticeably more impressive than any of the horses near him. Trained by Graham Motion, who won last year’s Kentucky Derby with Animal Kingdom, and ridden by superb jockey John Velasquez, Went the Day Well may have a similar chance to win as I’ll Have Another and Bodemeister, but he’ll be a substantially better price than those two favorites.

Creative Cause, who finished fifth in the Derby after running farther than almost every other horse in the race, also wheels back in the Preakness for trainer Mike Harrington. Creative Cause, however, always seems to find trouble, and drifts out woefully in the stretch.

The “new shooters” in this year’s Preakness—horses who didn’t run under the famed Twin Spires two weeks ago—appear to be a hopeless group.

The weather forecast for Saturday’s race is beautiful, with warm temperatures and scant chance of rain. Because of that forecasts and other factors, many expect attendance to top last year’s mark of 107,398.

Post   Horse                       Trainer                  Jockey           ML Odds

1. Tiger Walk                          I. Corres                   K.Desormeaex    30-1

2. Teeth of the Dog               M. Matz                    J. Bravo                15-1

3. Pretension                         C. Grove                    J. Santiago          30-1

4. Zetterholm                        R. Dutrow Jr.           J. Alvarado          20-1

5. Went the Day Well          H.G. Motion             J. Velasquez         6-1

6. Creative Casue                 M. Harrington          J. Rosario             6-1

7. Bodemeister                     B. Baffert                   M. Smith               8-5

8. Daddy Nose Best             S. Asmussen             J. Leparoux         12-1

9. I’ll Have Another             D. O’Neill                  M. Gutierrez        5-2

10. Optimizer                        D. Lukas                    J. Court               30-1

11. Cozetti                              D. Romans                J. Lezcano           30-1

Will I’ll Have Another be running for the first Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978 when we turn our eyes to Belmont Park June 9? It seems unlikely. With Bodemeister alone on the lead, permitted to set more reasonable fractions than in the Derby, and the shorter distance of the Preakness, he’ll be adorned with the Black Susan’s post-race. With a better trip, Went the Day Well moves up to second place. And, without the perfect trip and beneficial pace set-up he enjoyed in Louisville two weeks ago, I’ll Have Another falls to third in the Preakness.

If you are interested in witnessing any of the Triple Crown excitement in person, Princeton Group can help. We have various packages available for the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes.