The first race is under our studded belts. The post positions are officially drawn. Las Vegas’ morning line is all but laminated since it is not Saturday morning yet. My crab-cake-sandwich-eating bowtie arrived in the mail.
Stakes have been raised in the name of Preakness!
Horse racing’s annually anticipated Triple Crown series continues with the second-stage Preakness Stakes on May 20, at swank host Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Two weeks ago, front-end contender Always Dreaming muddied the ensembles and spirits of his fellow Kentucky Derby challengers en route to victory; jockey John Velasquez and trainer Todd Pletcher seek to make him the 13th-ever stallion to capture the trifecta.
For many spectators whether on site or in home comfort, it’s another weekend afternoon to redress to those nines, vandalize weather panes with paint, and offer some girl named Susan an exquisite bourbon cocktail on the rocks to heal her eye bruise (it makes sense). For this one bettor among mane petters, however, it’s time to get serious.
Once again, odds are courtesy of OddsShark via Bleacher Report. On to the stabled Top 10 rankings…in a field of conveniently 10 horses:
10) Senior Investment (25/1)
Neither Trojan Horse nor Iron Patriot attire can shake this tied-for-worst probability to stun the grandstands. There are too many other feel-good stories and the colt’s track record against stouter competition validates his long odds.
9) Cloud Computing (20/1)
Withheld from Kentucky thanks to “lack of seasoning,” it’s difficult to imagine a mere two weeks of aging making much difference in his postponed grand entrance. While the extra rest and preparation ideally bodes well for Cloud Computing’s youth and speed-driven potential, a thunderous snow of a run is more likely.
8) Multiplier (20/1)
If nothing else, the bold pink certainly multiplies his chances. Perhaps it’s not enough to increase your demand for spare money clips. This is no longer Illinois, kids.
7) Hence (12/1)
Good looks deceived in concealing Hence’s 11th-place pedigree in the Derby crowd two weeks ago. His chestnut coat gallops to Maryland in misleading fashion for two reasons: the fact that more bay-colored horses (71) have reigned victorious at Pimlico than chestnuts (44); and how he’s showing up to the party branded an outfit repeater!
6) Term of Art (25/1)
Okay, with Term of Art checked off as the later entry of this race, the honor of sweater swindler is more deservedly his. Of course, we’re already well aware of how much I favor a dark [bay] horse.
5) Gunnevera (12/1)
Our darling Spanish foal returns to the fold coming off of a modest 7th-place Kentucky Derby finish. His pacing throughout practices is promising, while demonstrated poise reads encouragingly for a less populous sprint. Red, white and blue is simply thwarted in this case by the elite and/or advantageous.
4) Lookin at Lee (11/1)
If not for Always Dreaming, silver mane Lee would have warranted more Looks in an unprecedented runner-up display. Nonetheless, as the long-shot line shrinks, expectations swell and the pot is no longer as enticing. Blue as his collar may be, hopefully Lookin at Lee already didn’t burn out his prospects now up against the big boys.
3) Classic Empire (4/1)
Injury concerns held me several lengths back from hype surrounding the pre-Derby favorite. On the one hoof, a 4th-place result falls directly in line with what should have been reality or even exceeds it. The hip held up, but now Classic Empire sports Susan’s infamous black eye (it still makes sense). This tantalizing stud of a pick can take solace in the fact that his media-driven rival…
2) Always Dreaming (10/11)
…is as sure a bet to win the Triple Crown as the Iron Throne’s fate is close to being decided by George R.R. Martin. The fur shall not be frayed by the allegedly treacherous three-peat transpiring twice in only three years. Such success needs to take a break in order earn its merit back. That’s the sole, foolish rationale for depriving Always Dreaming of his tiara.
1) Conquest Mo Money (16/1)
Here is how I hypothetically succeed in business by possibly trying too hard. Owner and breeder Tom McKenna built up mystique and comeback narrative simultaneously. The option to rest away from the Kentucky Derby is as brilliantly strategized as LeBron James’ and Tom Brady’s regimen combined. Conquest is NY-blooded, and he’s bay.
Mike L. // The Guide