As I have said before, I will be happy if Animal Kingdom wins the Preakness and goes on to be a Triple Crown winner. If the Racing Gods are in the mood, then it could happen. He beat the Derby field convincingly and now he just has to have a good trip and do it all over again.
But, let’s consider a few other options.
I am intrigued by Dance City. He is a big good looking colt, with a speed over stamina pedigree. He looks like he has those Pleasant Colony genes. He is lightly raced and, has already shown gameness in his short career. Who knows just how good he is?
Shackleford ran a very good race in the Derby and now is cutting back. If he can sit and wait, behind what looks to be a race with pace, he could show us another good effort.
Mucho Macho Man may still be improving. I don’t think you can leave him out.
I will use Dialed In as well. He may not have liked the Churchill surface. If he can get a better hold of the track, early on, and not lose contact with the field, he will come flying late.
What to make of Mr. Commons? You know John Sherriffs doesn’t ship for fun. This horse has worked forwardly since the Santa Anita Derby and there will be no question about his fitness and his preparedness. He is a winner on dirt and turf in his short career. Does he belong with these?
The Dixie on turf is the first race of the year for the talented multiple graded stakes winner Paddy O Prado. If he is fit enough to handle the soft and tiring turf course, off a layoff, then he is a cinch in here. The son of El Prado should be bigger and stronger this year and looking down the road to this year’s major races for older horses. The local horse Pocket Patch, posted a huge number on a yielding turf course last year. He will be getting his preferred surface, but is definitely a notch or two below the favorite. Graham Motion’s Slews Answer started his career, this year as a four year old. He is improving and looks to have some talent, but is he ready to face Paddy?
If you are playing the Pick 3 or Pick 4, and you are looking at the Schaefer, don’t forget that Ichabod Crane did very well at Pimlico in the 2008 Preakness when he finished 3rd to Big Brown after a troubled trip. The NY bred has never been off the board at the distance. But it is a contentious field of older runners, with Apart, Colizeo and Pleasant Prince, all looking live in here. The mile and a sixteenth is a perfect distance for Colizeo and he could take them wire to wire in here.
If you need something other than the favorite in the Gallorette, take a look at Dyna Waltz. She has experience on soft turf, she has won going short and long, will surely be fit enough. Those Dynaformers get better as they get older.
If Shared Account does not enjoy the going, I think Sheppard’s horse has a good chance to take it all.
Enjoy Preakness Day!
Good luck with all your wagers and a safe trip for all our equine friends.