05/16/2008 10:36PM

Preakness Eve


Here are the Friday exit-poll numbers on the Preakness: The Pimlico Special/Preakness daily-double will-pays, their equivalent win odds, and the advance-betting win-pool odds:

The Special/Preakness double handled $345,902, while the advance win pool was only $90,566, so the double equivalents may be more telling. Let's use those prices to see, just for fun, how the race might be being bet if we remove Big Brown from the equation entirely:

7-2 Gayego
9-2 Kentucky Bear
6-1 Racecar Rhapsody
7-1 Yankee Victor
9-1 Giant Moon, Hey Byrn
10-1 Macho Again, Icabad Crane, Riley Tucker
17-1 Stevil
22-1 Tres Borrachos

Tres Borrachos is looking like a lock for Longest of the Long, at 75-1 in the double-equivalents and 99-1 (or higher) in the early win pool. No Preakness starter has gone off at higher than 40-1 since Song of the Sword was 51-1 in 2004. He finished 9th of 10 behind Smarty Jones, two weeks after finishing 11th as the Longest of the Long in the Derby at 55-1.

--Apparently no horse will ever go off at more than 88-1 at Pimlico. Those were the odds Friday on Double Blossom in the The Very One Stakes, and it is hard to imagine a horse ever having less chance of winning a horse race than Double Blossom did today.

Double Blossom came into The Very One against stakes horses not merely a maiden but a loser of her only two starts by a combined 118 1/4 lengths -- 42 1/2 in her debut last summer and 75 3/4 in her return last month at Pimlico. On Friday she of course trailed at every call, and was beaten "only" 32 lengths. Her trainer is 0 for 32 over the last five years, and 10 of his starters have finished dead last in those races.

--The soggy Friday card at Pimlico featured some good racing and generous payoffs. The all-stakes pick four was too tough (CCAA) for me but paid $6472.20 (better than double the $3,036 parlay) for the not-impossible combination of Termsofengagement ($11.20), Student Council ($16.40), All Giving ($7.60) and Sweet Vendetta ($17.40). The Black-Eyed Susan intrarace exotics also were high, with the Sweet Vendetta (7-1)/She's All Eltish(3-1)/Seattle Smooth(3-1) trifecta somehow paying $514.20 for $2 in a field with just seven betting interests.

Nonody picked six but they only spent $14,675 trying, so there's a $9,220 carryover for the $1 minimum-bet pool on Preakness Day.

First post Saturday is 10:30 a.m. ET. The first stakes race, the G3 Maryland Sprint Handicap, is at 11:28 and the early pick four starts with the fourth race at 12:04. Network coverage begins at 11 a.m. on ESPN2, switches to ESPN from noon to 4:30, and then NBC takes over from 4:30 to 6:30. I'll put some thoughts on the card up in the morning and start live-blogging here starting at noon.

anthony More than 1 year ago
Will BB offer up a betting opportunity like Smarty Jones did?? Where you can weight and dutch your bet on all the other horses? Or is he so good that even that bet won't make sense??
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
Wow! The bar sure does clear out after the Derby "Last Call," doesn't it?! Where did all the opinion torpedoes disappear too? Don't tell me that the Derby is the human equivalent of Groundhog Day - (The real one, not the Bill Murray version, & I don't mean the real Bill Murray - the late racing writer - but the equally talented & impetuous actor...). With all the Pimlico turf scratches = lower handle. And this is the only Stronach-owned track that has been profitable - according to reports, only because these two days are such a money-maker. This might be the only event where the accountants hit the water before the bridgejumpers. For those of us following his lunatic trajectory since the ill-fated day when he bought Pimlico (& this track & that track & then, the Magic Beans, all on credit, to boot), it has been nothing but amazing. Jay Cronley's recent satire portrayed the new Bouncy-Trac - invented by FS & to be laid down at Santa Anita - consisting primarily of ground-up $100 bills. As of this evening, the story is still fictional. But don't rule this out as a future possibility, his last great brainstorm before the Repo Men come knockin'. I asked Hollywood Hayden, who was kind enough to stop & chat for a few minutes on his way home tonight from the Meadowlands, if --- The Preakness card were, instead, just the 2nd race at Hollywood Park on a Wednesday, would he have had any interest at all in the race? "None." (But in his opinion, the greatest racing real estate white elephant has not been the new Gulfstream Park, but, instead, the 1980's renovation of Garden State Parkway.) Congratulations to Dale Beckner, who spent too many barren years at Monmouth suffering on horribly slow horses. He's finally gotten a second chance, & won three straight races tonight at Presque Island Downs. That brings his total of wins in the first four days of the new meet to eight. Couldn't have happened to a harder working guy. The Preakness (Dirt Only): Win Bets on Tres B., Yankee Bravo, & Hey Brin, & a seven-horse exacta box comprised of Macho Again, Tres B., Icabad C., Yankee B., R. Rhapsody, B.B, & Hey Bryn. Put a saver bet on Martha Stewart, who might get 2nd in what looks like The Worst Preakness Field Ever, an event that inspired the following handicapping comments next to multiple entries, nationwide: "Consider only if no one else looks any good," & "Borderline, but upgrade, because everyone else stinks."
easygoer More than 1 year ago
From the guy who gave you Recapturetheglory in the Derby...and, hey, he beat 14 horses... Icabad Crane. There. I've said it. Bet him across the board. And box the 1-3-7 as well. Donate a potion of the winnings to charity, as you are now wealthy beyond all dreams of avarice.
mdoheny More than 1 year ago
Steve, For the life of me I cannot understand how churchill's sat program is excluded from the Form sold in NY. Is there any consideration given to the fact that it is included every other day of the meet and that people enjoy playing the same tracks? Why show a track like finger lakes where the handle has to be about 5% of churchill's on a sat? To be sporting i will make you a proposition - find a way to randomly survey 25 of your customers and ask them whether they would prefer finger lakes today or churchill? if you find 5 that choose finger lakes i will donate $100 to your favorite horse racing charity
nathan_detroit More than 1 year ago
Steve -- Any reason the DRF is not covering the firing of Pimlico track president Chris Dragone by Magna? John Scheinman reported this in the Washington Post two days ago. I have no opinion on the firing, other than it is just another misstep by Frank Stronach in his quest to make Maryland racing even more meaningless than it already is. On a side note, as I was in lovely Laurel Park yesterday paying $8 to sit in a stained seat and order bad food with nonexistent service, I took a walk over to the bar to get a tonic water and a lime. Seems they have raised the prices for their "big" weekend of racing. I paid $4.75 for a small plastic cup of tonic (no gin, just tonic) and a lime. The bartender shook his head and said, "They are charging $8 for a beer today and tomorrow as well ..." Nothing like a nice enjoyable day at the Maryland races! (I ended up having a great day via Student Council ... and the sun is shining this morning and I have some money in my Philly Park Phone Bet so all is good!) Good luck today, players.
steve wolfson, sr. More than 1 year ago
The indictment of Native Dancer and, more specifically Harbor View Farm's Raise a Native is unfair; and, I believe, inaccurate and unfounded. In my opinion, a major reason for breakdowns appears on p.29 of today's DRF: "Two go in 10.20 at Fasig-Tipton... Wednesday's fastest quarter-mile time was 21.40 seconds,by two horses..." Years ago young horses rarely, if ever, were asked for such accelerated speeds; and judicious handlers would not breeze them at all unless their still-being-formed knees were "closed," and rated at least a "B." To paraphrase Tom Cruise in "Top Gun," this "need for speed" has probably done significant damage to the bone structure of many developing horses, and resulted in an increase in catastrophic breakdowns.
Florida Larry More than 1 year ago
Hummm ...'BIG'Brown and Barry Bonds equals BB and BB, does the similarity end there? If there is a 2008 Triple Crown, might it require the dreaded 'asterisk?' Well we'll see, for now it's Preakness Day, let's go racing ....
Arazi More than 1 year ago
Yessssssssssss @ Live broadcast Guess I'm more hooked on to this blog than NY Times and LA Times combined :o)
Ghost of Kingpost More than 1 year ago
Off topic, does anyone know what Casino Drive's Beyer was from the Peter Pan?
george quinn More than 1 year ago
I am going to take a shot with Macho Again. It is surely disposible income that I will be using as the 7 surely looks like the one. But remember D Wayne Lukas and his greatest quote. He said horses are like strawberries, they go bad overnite. Now I cannot say Macho Again is a better horse than Big Brown but I sure wiil have some across the board money. 25-1 or better on the Derby Trial winner? I will take a shot. 99 Beyer in his last race, makes him as fast or faster than anyone else besides the favorite and maybe Gayego. But the latter I think is about to start going backwards. MACHO AGAIN across the board and on top and bottom of the 7 who knows? After all this is the sport where Onion beat Secretariat. Good Luck everyone, I will be at Keeneland at 830 a.m GEORGE IN LEXINGTON KY.