05/18/2013 11:31AM

Preakness Day 138


12:30 pm: Happy Preakness. Almost six hours till post time, but there's a pretty good undercard to pass the time: seven other stakes races, four of them graded. The 13-race card's a little light on multirace exotics -- just two pick-4's and a pick 5 (as opposed to four pick-4's, a pick-5 and a pick-6 on Derby Day's 13-race card) -- but the all-graded-stakes pick-5 ending with the Preakness is a mandatory-payout deal with an $82k carryover and the pick-4 ending with the Preakness carries a $1.5 million guarantee.

Orb is 3-5 in the early Preakness betting with a bunch of them between 7-1 and 11-1 behind him and I'm curious who ends up being the second choice. I have a lot of respect for Frank Carulli, the Pimlico linemaker, but just can't see Mylute as the 5-1 second choice per his prediction. He can hit the board but he strikes me as a less likely upsetter than Goldencents and Itsmyluckyday, both of whom are undependable and perhaps distance-challenged but who at least have races somewhere that are good enough to compete for the top spot. I'd even give slightly better chances of victory to Departing and the Lukas trainees Will Take Charge (a little Derby trouble off a 49-day layoff) and Oxbow (held well after being near the scorcing Derby pace.)

In the Special-Preakness double kicked off by Last Gunfighter at $3.20 yeaterday, Mylute is 7th choice with a $75.80 willpay, behind Orb ($5.80), Itsmylucky Day ($45.40), Goldencents ($49.40), Departing ($55.20), Govenor Charlie ($60.20) and Will Take Charge ($60.20), and ahead of Oxbow ($100.80) and Titletown Five ($344.40).

I'll be back with my pick-5 play before that sequence starts at 3:14 pm.


12:45 pm: Scratches from the graded stakes so far are Access to Charlie and Withgreatpleasure from the DuPont Distaff (race 8); Daydreamin Gracie and Idle Talk from the Gallorette (race 9); Poseidon's Warrior and Candyman E from the Maryland Sprint (race 10); and Utley and Thunder Lord from the Dixie (race 11).

Yesterday's prelim graded-stakes Beyers: 100 for Last Gunfighter in the G3 $300k Pimlico Special, 92 for Fiftyshadesofhay in the G2 $500k Black-Eyed Susan.


1:30 pm: Here's the pick-5 lineuop after scratches:


2:35 pm: Here's the pick-5 play. Starts with the G3 DuPont DIstaff with a scheduled post of 3:14 pm:


3:20 pm: Summer Applause held off Sea Island to win the G3 Allaire DuPont Distaff, getting a dream trip after Moon Philly, the other speed in the race, stumbled at the start. Summer applause was able to sit just off the crawling pace (6f in 1:15.70) of longshot Daydreamin Gracie, took over in upper stretch and prevailed. Chalky start to the pick-5.

Summer Applause, a 4-year-old Harlan's Holiday filly, was turned over to trainer Chad Brown two starts back and won the G2 Top Flight at Aqueduct before running fourth in the G1 Apple Blossom last time out.

Obr currently 4-5 in Preakness betting, followed by Goldencents, Mylute and Itsmyluckyday all at 8-1.


4:10 pm: Pianist, Chad Brown's "other" filly in a race where his Samitar ran 4th at even money, wired the field at 7-1 to win the G3 Gallorette. No excuses for my 7-1 Hard Not to Like, who chased from the rail throughout but could not reel in the winner. Some rain is falling but the courses are still labelled fast and firm and the Gallorette time of 1:40.60 suggested the grass is still quick.

Pianist,a 4-year-old  More Than Ready filly who had never gone off at more than 5-2, won her first graded stakes. She was coming off a fifth-place finish in the Honey Fox, a race in which Samitar ran second.

Brown goes for a third straight graded-stakes win in the upcoming G3 Maryland Sprint with current 2-1 favorite Hardened Wildcat.


4:55 pm: NBC didn't show it, but apparently Sage Valley ($6.60) won the Maryland Sprint, Taking over from early leader Manito in upper stretch with 2-1 Hardened Wildcat up for second and Laurie's Rocket third at 5-2.

Sage Valley, a 4-year-old Discreet Cat colt, was making his first start since Nov. 9. He was claimed in February of 2012 by owner Michael Dubb and is trained by Rudy Rodriguez.


5:45 pm: Thought the Dixie was wide open with several live longshots but I never sniffed Skyring ($50.40). Hope some of you are alive for something:


6:45 pm: Well, the Preakness ended up with a winner surrounded by historic echoes -- but instead of Phipps and Janney and McGaughey it was Lukas, Stevens and Calumet. Maybe we failed to give Oxbow enough credit for being the only horse close to the Derby pace to be around at the finish, but I still found him a tough horse to like. What I do like is that Lukas ran him. Everyone is so cautious and cagey and you can't help wondering if the connections of the second-, third- and fourth-place Derby finishers are second-, third- and fourth-guessing their decisions to pass the race after watching colts who ran 6-15-5 in the Derby run 1-2-3 in the Preakness..


As for Orb, he simply didn't run his race and while he may not have liked racing down on the inside, he showed nothing at any point in the race and was fourth by default. There's always a wave of disappointment when a Triple Crown possibility evaporates, but it's not as if Orb was unfairly deprived of anything.