05/15/2010 8:26AM

Preakness: I'm Surprised


Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver might have been a narrow favorite over Lookin At Lucky in a modest Preakness win pool at Pimlico on Friday, but in the much bigger Black Eyed Susan-Preakness double pool, which is a far more accurate barometer, Lookin At Lucky was a clear-cut favorite over Super Saver. Even after having overnight to process this information, I am still surprised at this.

Looking at the last 10 Preaknesses, seven Derby winners - Big Brown, Street Sense, Barbaro, Smarty Jones, Funny Cide, War Emblem, and Fusaichi Pegasus - went off as favorites at Pimlico, some very heavy favorites. Of the three Derby winners who did not go off the favorite when they ran back in the Preakness, Mine That Bird and Giacomo were both 50-1 when they upset the Derby. Super Saver, on the other hand, was the clear second choice in the win pool when he won at Churchill two weeks ago.

The only recent situation this is remotely analagous to is in 2001 when Point Given was favored in the Preakness, which he won, over Derby winner Monarchos. Like Lookin At Lucky, Point Given was the chalk in the Derby. But unlike Lookin At Lucky, who was the highest priced Derby favorite in history, Point Given was a strong 9-5 favorite in the Derby. Interestingly, Lookin At Lucky and Point Given share a connection: trainer Bob Baffert.

Anyway, it's a gorgeous Saturday here in Baltimore. There's hardly a cloud in the sky, with low humidity. There is, however, a stiff breeze out of the northwest. If that's all we have to complain about, we'll have a good day.