05/15/2009 7:56PM

Preakness Eve

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--Rachel Alexandra is 8-5 on the morning line and 3-2 in the early Friday win-pool betting, but closed at less than even-money in the more substantial Black-Eyed Susan-Preakness daily double pool.

Here are the $2 will-pays from Payton D'Oro, the $7.20 winner of the Black-Eyed Susan, to each of the 13 Preakness entrants; the equivalent win-pool percentages and resulting win-pool odds implied by those willpays; and the Friday win-pool odds:

Rachel Alexandra was selected on 42.28 percent of the live tickets; at Pimlico's 18 percent win-pool takeout rate, that would translate to a win mutuel of $3.80 if the race is bet precisely the same way in the win pool by post time that it was in Friday's double pool.

That's an unrealistic "if," especially when it comes to the longshots. Flying Private will not be as long as his effective 106-1 double-pool odds, through he'll probably be longer than the 25-1 he was in the Friday betting. Same goes for Luv Gov (95-1 vs. 25-1) and Tone It Down (119-1 vs. 19-1).

On the basis of the double betting, though, Rachel Alexandra could well be south of 8-5. It appears there will then be a cluster of five horses in the 6-1 to 12-1 range, including Friesan Fire (6-1 in the double pool/9-1 in the win pool), Pioneerof the Nile (7-1 in both), Big Drama (8-1/10-1), Mine That Bird (12-1/7-1), and Musket Man (11-1/17-1).

If his double price holds, Mine That Bird could be the longest price of any Derby winner in Preakness history. Dark Star was the 11.3-1 third choice in 1953 behind 1-5 Native Dancer, and Charismatic was the 8.4-1 fifth choice in 1999.


--The Black-Eyed Susan was one of five stakes, two of them graded, on Friday's Pimlico card, which was filled with good racing and short prices -- all 13 winners paid less than 4-1:

I hope nobody's going to think it reflects poorly on Rachel Alexandra that Stone Legacy, who ran second to her in the Oaks, was 6th today in the Black-Eyed Susan. Stone Legacy, whose Oaks performance earned her a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 75 for her 20 1/4-length defeat, was wildly overbet at 6-1 today and her eight-length defeat suggests she ran her usual race.

Payton d'Oro, like Rachel Alexandra, is a filly from the first crop sired by Medaglia d'Oro (by El Prado), as are stakes fillies Gabby's Golden Gal, She's Our Annie, Renda and Ameribelle. Medaglia d'Oro's most accomplished colt so far is Tesio Stakes winner third-place finisher and Preakness longshot Tone it Down.

Medaglia D'Oro's nemesis on the racetrack was Pleasantly Perfect, to whom he ran second in both the  2003 Breeders' Cup Classic and the 2004 Dubai World Cup. Pleasantly Perfect (by Pleasant Colony) hasn't gotten off to quite as splashy a start but is the sire of the very promising 3-year-old filly Green Light, an eight-length winner over Doremifasollatido in today's Fall Aspen Stakes at Belmont. Green Light, who covered six furlongs in 1:08.32 today, may make her next start June 6 in the Acorn Stakes on the Belmont Stakes undercard.


--Interesting thoughts about synthetic racetracks from trainer Gary Stute (Papa Clem), who has trained and raced on them in California the last two years, during a TVG interview today:

"I've kind of been against synthetics the whole time and I think a few more people are starting to agree with me now. I run a lot fewer horses than I used to. Seems like I used to have three times as many horses in the barn as on the ranch and now it's three times as much on the ranch as at the barn. It seems like if they start to go sore behind it doesn't matter what you do, you just can't get them right. Honestly, I've given away about 15 horses in the last year with bowed tendons."


--I'll be back in the morning with some thoughts on the Preakness Day racing, which begins at 10:15 a.m. ET. I ended up picking Rachel Alexandra because, well, sometimes the best horse wins.

Michael Cusortelli More than 1 year ago
Kudos to Gary Stute to speaking out against synthetic tracks! The California Horse Racing Board, under the direction of Richard Shapiro, forced the state's major tracks (at their own expense) to install synthetic surfaces before the jury was in on their effectiveness to prevent injuries. And what was Mr. Shapiro's reward for his knee-jerk reaction? A job with a six-figure salary working as a consult for the California racing industry. That's a sad commentary on the state of our industry, isn't it?
spectacularbid More than 1 year ago
steve, love all the stats you post. speed seems to have done very well today and unless it rains i think it will continue. if i owned rachel she would be resting for the belmont. i don't understand the logic of running her here. based on the early odds i'm leaning towards big drama and musket man. has there ever been a 13 race card without a $10 winner? even at the great barrington fair there was always one or two surprises.
New Jersey D More than 1 year ago
Thanks for the week long blog. Think I am going to pass this race. Nothing against RA. However, the results of the Derby was so unsettling, one can make a case for at least six horses who ran poorly in the Derby who could rebound. The question is which horse is going to do this.
scootheowl More than 1 year ago
So I'm looking at the form and see Rachels opponents ran a 41 second last 3/8ths. Mine That Bird ran a 47 & 2/5 last 1/2 mile in the Derby on an off track. He was 15 lengths behind on a 1:12 1/5 pace in the Derby which puts him @ 1:15 and change fininhing out in 2:02 3/5. The quarter he ran between 6f & the mile was 22 & change. Maybe this horse is for real. Friesan Fire breezed in 58 & change on the 12th, I'm tossing the Derby & the Oaks and giving him another shot! 2/5 box just in case.
Toones More than 1 year ago
Is Larry_G correct that the Preakness is not onESPN or any national broadcast? If so, this says a lot about the weaking horseracing industry. More so, than all the numbers dished out about decreases in purses and handles. The Second Jewel of the Triple Crown where 100,000 fans show up, is not on national TV. Sad, sad, sad. Are there other sporting activities that draw 100,000 people that doesn't receive national attention?
steven_crist More than 1 year ago
toones: The Preakness is being telecast on NBC. Larry was talking about the undercard. bochalls: In the last 50 years, I count 11 Derby winners who have been worse than fourth in the Preakness: 2006: Barbaro (9th/DNF) 2001: Monarchos (6th) 1993: Sea Hero (5th) 1992: Lil E. Tee (5th) 1991: Strike the Gold (6th) 1984: Swale (7th) 1983: Sunny's Halo (7th) 1970: Dust Commander (9th) 1965: Lucky Debonair (7th) 1962: Decidedly (8th) 1960: Venetian Way (5th)
Allen Klayman More than 1 year ago
I want to know if any racing jurisdiction is ever going to do something again about Kent Desormeaux not riding his horses out to the finish line. His ride in the 10th race yesterday at Pimlico was despicable, as he once again wrapped up on his horse with about 50 yards to go and potentially costing his horse second place and almost costing his horse third place. He does this time and time again and I have yet to hear of any warning or ruling from the stewards at any track about this. He was warned and fined several times when he used to ride in California, but it seems like no one else seems to care. He simply has no interest in riding a horse to the wire if he feels he can no longer win the race. That would be fine if the only betting and purse money at tracks was for winning, but he seems to not understand/care that there is money on the line for finishing in the second through fifth positions for both owners and betters. I feel that unless a rider feels that his horse has a physical problem or he sees that he has clearly wrapped up the position he is running in, he should be obligated to ride all the way to the wire.
beerbelly More than 1 year ago
How many lenghts make a furlong? One furlong = 660 feet. If you assume one length is 10 feet 66 lengths make a furlong. If you assume one lenght is 9 feet 73.33 lenghts equal a furlong. For the purpose of simplicity most Sartin-Brohamer disciples use 10 feet. The University of Pa did a study many years ago that concluded the "true' beaten lenght is closer to 9 feet. We are at the mercy of the chart-makers who use beaten lenghts with varying degrees of accuracy. If the sport graduates to the previous century & publishes "feet behind" accurately instead of beaten lenghts some of us might not have to work for a living.
bochalls More than 1 year ago
Sorry to re-post, but I've got a question. What Derby winners have come to the Preakness and flopped? Did Monarchos fail to hit the board? Besides the tragic Barbaro break down, I cannot remember a recent Derby winner who chucked it in Baltimore. Is MTB gonna teach us a lesson about looking a gift horse in the mouth, "Charismatic" style? It was all Menifee that year and the Derby winner paid around $18.00 in the Preakness.
Baby G More than 1 year ago
Broad Brush died yesterday