05/14/2012 12:54PM

Preakness Pace, Or Lack Thereof


Hansen’s withdrawal this morning (Monday) from the Preakness, following the defection of Trinniberg a couple of days earlier, means that, unless something bizarre happens or we suddenly get a new shooter with lots of early speed, the pace in Saturday’s Preakness will be very different from the scorching pace we saw in the Kentucky Derby.

Barring a bad start, Bodemeister will go to the lead Saturday as he did when such a game second in the Derby. But with no other one-way speed in this Preakness as of this writing, Bodemeister figures to be able to go a lot slower early this time. And the way it looks to me, I think I’ll Have Another, who masks his early foot because he is also able to rate so kindly, will be laying second early, just as he did when he won the Robert Lewis and Santa Anita Derby.

I suppose there is always a chance another horse might go nuts early here, but I can’t imagine who that could even be. Brimstone Island did show a bit of speed early in his career, but that was against claimers in slow-paced races. Cozzetti was close up early twice, but they were slow-paced races, one on turf and the other an off-the-turfer. Same deal with Pretension. He twice contested the lead, but though slow fractions. Teeth of the Dog did get his maiden win in front-running fashion, but did so after setting – you guessed it – a slow pace.

Maybe Hierro could have been close early as the Preakness would have been his first start beyond a mile. But he defected from the Preakness Monday, too.

Perhaps this is fitting. I’ll Have Another and Bodemeister were deservedly the two most talked about after the Derby – I’ll Have Another, because, well, he won, and Bodemeister, because he fought so gamely after setting that extreme pace – and they will be the overwhelming first two Preakness betting favorites Saturday. They might well have this Preakness all to themselves, and from the moment the gate opens.

chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
This is so much more sensibly written than Beyers' blabbering tout job of the two time first-loser. Oh, and truthful too...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JP: Lightly raced, plenty of upside, but doubt he's there just yet. Wood form not flattered in Derby. Mike, JP's comment on Teeth of the Dog/Preakness Analysis. Don't have his contact here on site. Maybe it was your webmaster's fault but I have noticed lately significant errors.such as posting the video of the 2011 instead of the 2012 Arkansas Derby in the body of your analysis. We all are entitled to form our opinions, but we are not entitiled to form inaccurare facts, and this is the DR form. Regards, Dogs Up
Greg Rouch More than 1 year ago
Even without a close pace presser, Bode might be in psycho speed mode after running like a sprinter in Derby. May run unnecessarily fast all by himself and if the track isn't speed-conducive this time, he wouldn't last as long as he did in Louisville. Plus, I still think Derby took more out of Bode than out of winner and the tank won't be 100% refilled, even though he outwardly acts sharp.
Mark Waggoner More than 1 year ago
If there's one thing I've learned from 45 derbys and 20+ Preakness's, DON'T TRY TO MAKE THIS HARDER THAN IT IS. These were clearly the best 2 horses at Churchill that day and, by a large margin, these kinds of Derby horses run in the top 3 at Pimlico. Keep your eyes open, but don't out-think yourself.
Benjie Esposo More than 1 year ago
...and I'll Have Another will catch Bodemeister again...
wilson More than 1 year ago
Bode had a track that was kind to speed and giving up track records left and right at Churchill. If he had gotten a fair track I think he would have finished off the board in Louisville. Any track playing more fairly will be to I'll Have Another's advantage in the rematch. With a smaller field I also hope that Creative Cause can avoid going super wide in both turns and maybe he can take advantage of a fair track. Churchill was a conveyor belt in my opinion and produced flukish results, times, and expectations.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
this article is another defection,talk about a statement of the obvious,yes we all know that bodemeister is a speed horse and without trinniberg and hansen there will be less speed for him to deal with,you could be even more clever and state that if the track is as speed biased as churchill was on derby day he will have an even bigger advantage,but it would be of more value to the readers if you would get away from the obvious and mention other factors,like the fact that ILL HAVE ANOTHER is simply a superior racehorse and if within 2 lenghts of bodemeister at the top of the stretch will run him down everytime at any dist over 1 1/8 miles,and that if bode slows the pace too much he will be the one chasing ill have another,another good angle to explore is (whent the day well) who closed into that bias and is improving with every race,or the fact that dale romans has a runner in the race that has some pace in cozeti who is bred to run all day and will be double digit odds,much more interesting than jumping on to a croweded bandwagon thats more than a little shaky.
Dina More than 1 year ago
bode will fold his tent all right but it will be after he leaves the WC he goes all out again i picked him 2nd and 3rd in derby and used 4 on top i hit tri. with a $58.00 ticket.trust me when i say this baffet has just missed the TC 2 times. and i would love to see IHA do it but he had good trip to do it racing luck! bode is a monster he goes gate to wire then use in 2nd the the one that come out of the BC JUVIE race and IHA for 2nd and 3rd and the all butten for 4th because the super will be the onle bet that pays .peace and good luck
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
That bullet work the other day is giving Baffert nightmares again... They don't work Trinniberg that fast!!!
edb More than 1 year ago
Bode on the lead and don't look behind you. If track is fast, how do you like a $25 exacta and a $75 tri? Not the opportunity to get to the next tax bracket, but thank God for the rest of the card. Looking hard for a longshot, but so far so bad. Wish Hansen was in for Bode to run second and why wasn't he pointed to this race? Still like a bunch of closers for a nice Belmont.