There is no Triple Crown at stake and the first four that crossed the wire in the Kentucky Derby (G1) are missing in action, but who cares, did you see Saturday’s Preakness Day card?
As horseplayers we can’t ask for much more. We have a 14-race card that kicks off at 10:30am ET and we have large competitive fields and no free squares if you are looking to hit a Pick 4 or a Pick 5.
The Preakness will be the final leg of a $2 million guaranteed Pick 4 covering Races 10-13 and a $1 million guaranteed Late Pick 5 spanning Races 9-13. Preakness Day will also feature a $500,000 guaranteed Pick 4 on Races 6-9 and $250,000 guaranteed early Pick 5 on Races 2-6.
We have 144 horse entered on Saturday’s card including a field of 13 that will line up in the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1), the second jewel of the Triple Crown. A dozen of the 14 races have fields of nine or more.
The stakes action starts in the third race where a field of six go 1 1/16 miles in the $100,000 Sir Barton. The Todd Pletcher trained King for a Day makes his first start since running fourth in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs last fall.
The $100,000 James W. Murphy drew a field of 10 with Eons likely to scratch to bring the field to nine. Pletcher sends out the 4-1 morning line favorite Current, who was fifth in the Florida Derby (G1) and returns to turf.
The $150,000 Maryland Sprint (G3) drew seven with the Jeff Runco trained Lewisfield the 9-5 morning line favorite. The gelding has earned triple digit Beyers in his last two starts at Laurel Park and looks pretty tough. His main foe will be the Steve Asmussen trained New York Central (6-1).
The $1000,000 Searching is a 1 ½ mile turf marathon for fillies and mares that drew a field of eight. The Roger Attfield trained Ickymasho (8-5) comes into the race off a victory in the Bewitch (G3) at Keeneland in her last outing.
The $100,000 The Very One is led by the Wesley Ward trained Jo Jo Air (3-1), winner of the William Walker at Churchill Downs on April 27.
The $150,000 Galorette (G3) for fillies and mares is a tough one to figure out. Four of the nine in the field are coming back off layoffs including the Chad Brown trained Inflexibility (3-1) and Barkaa (6-1).
Three-year-olds go six furlongs in the $200,000 Chick Lang (G3). The Rodolphe Brisset trained Preamble is the 5-2 morning line favorite.
The $250,000 Dixie (G2) is the race preceding the Preakness. A dozen were entered with Flameaway a scratch after going on Friday.
The $1.5 million Preakness (G1) may be lacking in star power but it drew a field of 13, four exiting the Kentucky Derby and eight new shooters to the Triple Crown.
Improbable (5-2) and War of Will (4-1) both exit the Derby and figure to be the top two betting choices with newcomers Anothertwistofate (6-1), the Lexington (G3) runner up and Alwaysmining (8-1) the local hero and winner of the Federico Tesio figuring to take some action.
Let’s head out to Pimlico for Saturday’s featured wagering race of the day:
Pimlico Race 12 The Dixie G2 (Post time 5:39 ET)
#11 Inspector Lynley 7-2
#12 Catholic Boy 3-1
#2 Just Howard 10-1
#3 Admission Office 12-1
Analysis: Inspector Lynley tracked the early pace and finished gamely to win the Dangers Hour last out at the Big A going a mile. Two back he checked in sixth beaten 3 1/2 lengths in the Muniz Memorial (G2) behind Bricks and Mortar, who returned to w the Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs in his next outing. Three back the Shug trainee won the Tampa Bay (G3) at this distance. He should be able to work out a good tracking trip and has the recency edge over our second choice who is coming back off the bench.
Catholic Boy faded to finish a well beaten 13th in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) last out in a disappointing effort. He ran twice on turf last year including winning the Belmont Derby (G1) last July. He has won four of his five trips on the lawn in his career. He is in good hands with the Thomas, a former assistant to Todd Pletcher and Christophe Clement. The trainer is 19% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. He has solid looking works on the morning tab and looks ready to fire off the sidelines, but his price may end up lighter than his 3-1 morning line.
WIN: #11 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 11,12 / 2,3,11,12
TRI: 11,12 / 2,3,11,12 / 2,3,10,11,12