05/18/2013 9:37AM

Preakness Day at Pimlico

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Happy Preakness Day from Pimlico, where it is overcast, and security to get into the track is tight. There is a chance of showers here today, but probably not enough to impact track conditions. Temperatures are predicted to top out in the high 60s to low 70s.

Speaking of track conditions, I though the inside on the main track here was dead on Friday. One local whose opinion I respect said it has been that way all meet, especially in sprint races. So it’s a good idea to pay extra attention on how the track is playing early on.

If the inside still looks like a place to avoid, I don’t think it will have any affect Orb’s chances in the Preakness. He’s going to fall back early anyway, and with the two horses to his immediate right having some speed, he should have some space to get off the inside early. Besides, Orb is an outside runner. You have to expect he’s going to get to the outside at some point during the Preakness because that’s where he’s comfortable. Still, you hate to see any kind of track bias on big race days, and I hope we see an even main track from the get-go today.

To reiterate, I’ve been on Orb for a while now, so while I never relish taking short-priced favorites, I feel I can do so in this case. And I still like the Preakness Orb over Will Take Charge.

I’m also interested in a few horses in some of the undercard stakes. In the Chick Lang (the sixth race), I anticipate a pace battle and like City of Weston and Undrafted to close and capitalize. In the James Murphy (the seventh race), I’m going to play around a bit with Red Wings. There are no killers in the Murphy, Red Wings is a much better horse now than when he tried turf earlier in his career, and being by English Channel, from a Red Ransom mare, he’s cut out to be a grass horse. And in the Dixie (the 11th race), I’m hoping I get something even close to the 5-1 Imagining is on the morning line. There was a time when I though Imagining was every bit as good, if not better, than Point of Entry, who last year emerged as one of the top three turf horses in the country. Imagining has had some issues, but trainer Shug McGaughey has him going good now – he was much the best winning last month at Keeneland off a nine month absence – and there is still time for him to be a Grade 1-level performer.

Good luck today, everyone.

Bill Kaup More than 1 year ago
If Orb couldn't overcome a dead rail and racing between horses down the backstretch he didn't deserve to win the Preakness much less the Triple Crown. Exposed!
John Burton More than 1 year ago
I am looking forward to your post-PREAKNESS analysis!
Albert More than 1 year ago
Mike, at least you liked Orb in the Derby. So many others just got on him after Louisville. Bad timing on their part, huh? As I said in earlier posts, this race was basically unplayable. Better to watch. Having said that, I have felt all along that Mylute has run faster than Orb in the past and today he got the clear shot at proving it. I don't get what happened to Departing...he did not run to his numbers. I gave Itsmyluckyday to listeners who were looking for a surprise, but I will have to live a few more lives to gather the knowledge I will need to pick a horse like Oxbow. The only thing I can think (especially with the grass upset too) is that D. Wayne has tapped into the good doctor's bag that Pletcher has been using.
Anil More than 1 year ago
Mike .... I'm at work can you please bet $100 on Howe Great for me in the 11th. I'll pay you back.
Michael Watchmaker More than 1 year ago
Now THAT's funny!
Anil More than 1 year ago
Okay I'll share half the winning with you......
Robynrokn More than 1 year ago
Closer even winning the 5f race at PIM. Not seeing any indicators from yesterday or today so far that speed and front runners won't be caught.
hialeah More than 1 year ago
Hi Mike, Race One might have been somewhat of a preview as to how Joel R will ride the Preakness. From the one hole JR took back and stayed inside on the first turn, bade his time down the backstretch, angled out on that far turn and went 5 or 6 wide at the Top O the Stretch. He mowed down the tiring speed fairly easily. Good Luck!
Scott Miller More than 1 year ago
so much for the post history, irrelevant with just 9 in the Preakness...orb on top and that's all i'll say...the others would have to tag team orb and box him in...he stil swings 3-4 wide and mows them down like they're standing still, like the derby
Albert More than 1 year ago
I missed the mowing down part.
Scott Miller More than 1 year ago
bet the 3 peter...we dare you...he finishes last...he can't even get a mile much less 1 3/16
Peter G More than 1 year ago
Only 2 "rail-runners" have won the Preakness in the last 50 years! ORB is a rail runner! Here is a gift in Race 9 at Pimlico today Preakness Sat! Exactas 3-4 and 4-3! Good luck! Good Day to Govenor Charlie! The nag that gets totally overlooked! Can you say # 8?
Michael Watchmaker More than 1 year ago
Ummm ... Orb is a rail runner? He rallied four wide in the Fountain of Youth, four wide in the Florida Derby, and at least six wide in the Derby. He's more an outer rail runner.
John Gamble More than 1 year ago
wow- out on a limb with those selections ... boxing the morning line favorites. Heady stuff
Robert Darling More than 1 year ago
Thanks for the advice Mike. I bet Orb in the Pool 2 at 13 to 1 , have the double going with him today {$5.80}. But I think he's the best 3yr. old to race in quite some time. Please let him go all the way this year. Thanks again, Bob Darling