Michael “The Wizard” Kipness, knowledgeable horse racing handicapper since 1986, analyzes the eight-horse area for Saturday’s 148th Preakness Stakes, designating every horse as a contender or pretender to win the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Go to Wizardraceandsports.com for his full card picks and wagering methods for Friday’s Black Eyed Susan Day (14 races) and Saturday’s Preakness day (14 races), in addition to instructional instruments on find out how to win cash on the races and a latest podcast.
Publish place, horse, jockey, morning-line odds:
1. Nationwide Treasure, Velazquez, 4-1
Winless in two begins in 2023, however his efforts are higher than they give the impression of being. Each occasions he was frolicked vast chasing faster California speeds, however he by no means stopped attempting.
Within the Santa Anita Derby, he steadied on the prime of the stretch however regained his finest stride late. Within the Preakness, Nationwide Treasure might be allowed to return to his finest recreation, and that’s the entrance finish, the place he can dictate the early proceedings.
Drawing the rail and including blinkers simply ensures that jockey John Velazquez will waste no time and play “catch me when you can.” Coach Bob Baffert wears the Preakness Stakes crown with seven victories in his illustrious profession.
2. Chase the Chaos, Russell, 50-1
Has zero likelihood and is simply on this race as a result of he gained the El Camino Actual Derby, which was a Preakness “win and you’re in” race.
3. Mage, Castellano, 8-5
For 149 years, it was a necessity for a Kentucky Derby winner to have a 2-year-old racing basis. Justify was the primary horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Kentucky Derby (in 2018) with out racing as a 2-year-old. Mage is not any Justify, however he was nonetheless in a position to overcome this time-tested impediment to win the Derby truthful and sq..
Mage jogs my memory a little bit little bit of 1971 Derby and Preakness winner Canonero II. Each have South American connections. Canonero rallied from far again to win the Derby similar to Mage. Within the Preakness, he confirmed his versatility and velocity dueling with Japanese Fleet earlier than placing that rival away, successful by 1½ lengths in observe file time.
Mage did present good early velocity in his first two begins, however a whole change in working model resulted in him rallying from properly off the tempo following tardy breaks in his subsequent two races. Will his connections instruct jockey Javier Castellano to be extra aggressive out of the gate and go after Nationwide Treasure and attempt to park out First Mission?
A extra seemingly situation is for Castellano to put Mage into an ideal putting place in mid pack earlier than making his transfer on this smaller area. Mage is a steadily bettering 3-year-old who’s the kind of horse who can repeat in one of many weakest renewals of the Preakness.
4. CoffeewithChris, Rodriguez, 20-1
Has good early velocity and is 1-1 at Pimlico. It stops proper there, as he has little likelihood of contending with the higher velocity of Nationwide Treasure at a distance that can clearly take a look at his stamina.
5. Purple Route One, Rosario, 10-1
Deep nearer can land a chunk if the fractions warmth up and there’s a tempo meltdown. The sort of working model will not be normally conducive to Pimlico on Preakness day. Jockey Joel Rosario suits his working model like a glove.
6. Carry out, Lynch, 15-1
Steadily bettering 3-year-old was supplemented to the Preakness for $150,000. Went all out April 15 to defeat a weak area within the Tesio. Can land a chunk, however a win is probably going not within the playing cards.
7. Blazing Sevens, Irad Ortiz Jr., 6-1
Coach Chad Brown seems to be to win back-to-back Preakness Stakes with Blazing Sevens, who doesn’t have the identical high quality resume as 2022 winner Early Voting. However he’s bettering.
Following his debacle within the Fountain of Youth, Blazing Sevens confirmed large enchancment with blinkers added within the Bluegrass. With Brown calling the photographs and Irad Ortiz Jr. within the irons, I anticipate an excellent effort.
8. First Mission, Saez, 5-2
Prime coach Brad Cox had no hesitation boosting this 3-year-old in school into the Grade 3 Lexington off only a maiden win, carrying down pacesetter Arabian Lion in a gritty efficiency. Each wins got here at 1 1/16 miles.
Within the Preakness, First Mission might be requested to journey an extra one-eighth of a mile breaking from an outdoor put up. He wants a goal to run at and has the proper complement in Nationwide Treasure.
The problem is that the pacesetter is more likely to be a extra formidable rival than Arabian Lion. This may power the hand of jockey Luis Saez to assault early and put on down that rival. Definitely, a process that First Mission is able to carrying out, however one which gained’t be straightforward. Contender.