05/16/2012 3:12PM

2012 Preakness: Cozzetti one of five new shooters

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Barbara D. Livingston
New York-bred Zetterholm is a Preakness longshot for trainer Richard Dutrow.

BALTIMORE – The primary focus is on the top finishers in the Kentucky Derby, and deservedly so, at least according to the Pimlico Race Course toteboard. But when the 137th Preakness is run Saturday, there is always the chance that a new face will emerge to upset the horses that became familiar to racing fans by running in the Derby.

“New shooters,” as they are commonly called, have won the Preakness seven times in the last 40 years, dating to Bee Bee Bee upsetting Derby winner Riva Ridge in the 1972 running. This year, however, it would appear the new shooters are up against it. Despite their roster being somewhat long – five non-Derby starters are entered – it is not particularly strong, as none of them figure close in the wagering to Bodemeister, I’ll Have Another, Creative Cause, and Went the Day Well.

Of the newcomers to the 2012 Triple Crown series, perhaps Cozzetti has the best chance, although he, like all the others, figures among the longest shots on the board. A distant fourth behind Bodemeister in the Arkansas Derby, Cozzetti has some decent back-form, having also run creditably in three other stakes, including a third-place finish in the Tampa Bay Derby. Perhaps more importantly, trainer Dale Romans has loved how this colt has trained in recent weeks at Churchill Downs.

“One day he’s going to wake up and run lights out,” said Romans, who won the Preakness last year with Shackleford and took a pass on the Preakness this year to await the Belmont Stakes with his third-place Derby finisher, Dullahan. “He’s a really talented colt and he’s been showing signs of turning the corner.”

Here are short profiles of the other new shooters:

* Pretension: There always seems to be a token Maryland horse or two to give the locals a rooting interest, and this year one of those horses is Pretension. Twice a winner of minor stakes, most recently the Canonero II (formerly the Tesio) at Pimlico last out, this New York-bred is based at the Bowie training center with Chris Grove, one of the top conditioners on the Maryland circuit.

* Teeth of the Dog: This is one of the more intriguing newcomers, for a couple of reasons: he’s lightly raced and has flashed a bit of promise, having finished an okay third at 53-1 in the Wood Memorial in his last start, and his trainer is Michael Matz, who not only has the 2006 tragedy involving Barbaro as his lone Preakness experience, but who also has Union Rags as a prominent member of this 3-year-old class. While Union Rags awaits the Belmont, this colt will be a long-priced stand-in.

* Tiger Walk: Owned by the rejuvenated Sagamore Farm of Under Armour tycoon Kevin Plank, this colt seems unlikely to reprise the lost glory of Native Dancer and other Sagamore greats – but like the old racetrack saying goes, you’ve got to be in it to win it. Improving locally-based colt comes off okay finishes in three straight New York preps – the Withers, Gotham, and Wood Memorial.

* Zetterholm: The fact that Rick Dutrow really wanted to be here seems a plus, given the trainer’s high rate of overall success and that he knows how to win the Preakness, having done so four years ago with Big Brown. But even though this New York-bred made commendable progress over the winter, he still seems a rung or two below the best of the crop and will be something like 50-1 on the board – a far cry from the odds-on choice Big Brown was.

Sharpshooters

Seven horses who did not run in the Kentucky Derby have won the Preakness in the last 40 years.

Year Horse Preakness payout Prior start
2009 Rachel Alexandra $5.60 Kentucky Oaks, 1st
2006 Bernardini 27.80 Withers, 1st
2000 Red Bullet 14.40 Wood Memorial, 2nd
1983 Deputed Testamony 31.00 Keystone Stakes, 1st
1982 Aloma's Ruler 15.80 Withers, 1st
1980 Codex 7.40 Santa Anita Derby, 1st
1972 Bee Bee Bee 39.40 Woodlawn Stakes, 5th

 

Eric Singer More than 1 year ago
I really like Went the Day Well in this race. Here's my thinking - Bode is going, everyone knows it. I'll Have Another is the only one who can keep him honest. He sits off his flank and makes a move on him at the top of the stretch. They start battling and set the table for someone who is near by. Yes, you could imagine that could be Creative Cause but I don't believe in him. Looking at Went the Day Well in the Spiral he was able to sit just off a sub 47 and motor home. Motion is a conservative horseman and he seems very excited for this race. So I will play IHA and WTDW on top - and will put Bode under them. If you play Bode on top, play him only. Lone F trip - and then play the others under. My take - he will be passed late.
Eric Singer More than 1 year ago
Thew new shooters could run 3rd or 4th - here's a quick take on them: Tiger Walk is working super on the local trip and gets Kent D, a jock who grew up riding at Pimlico, Teeth of the Dog - his beyer figures have improved every single race, this is his 2nd start at 3. Pretension - win on the local strip and I am not using him. Zetterholm - for 4th is you like, and I think Dutrow is smoking crack Cozetti - improving and woking well, he could get a nibble
chuck More than 1 year ago
I liked Cozzetti's race in the Arkansa Derby. He's worked well and had the benefit of by passing the Ky. Derby.
john jenkinson More than 1 year ago
7,9/2,5,7,9/2,5,6,7,9,11 x 5 and go collect. Daddy Nose Squat.
Rob Beaudoin More than 1 year ago
I will be using cozzetti underneath as Romans is too hot to overlook. I look for him to spice up a Super that may otherwise be a bit chalky.
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
Cozzetti keeps popping into my head but it doesn't feel the same as it did when Dullahan was popping into my head before the KDso I'm a little uneasy. :\
Rob Beaudoin More than 1 year ago
teeth of the dog a little intriguing as well
James G More than 1 year ago
theedge4saratogaracing@yahoo.com sends their triple crown report FREE just for the asking. Ask them and see them in Saratoga! Enjoy the Preakness and Belmont!
Steve Pernici More than 1 year ago
I would love to see my friend Tony Grey win with the NY bred Zetterholm.
JeanK More than 1 year ago
Been 50 years since 1972 when Bee Bee Bee won. rhymes with Cozzetti right?
Nick Arden More than 1 year ago
40 years but who's counting?
Vic Bullock More than 1 year ago
looks like tiger walk a tri & sup chance
JeanK More than 1 year ago
I really like Tiger Talk but his day may come more towrds theTravers. Too soon.
JeanK More than 1 year ago
Mr. Romans always held Cozzetti in high regard. I respect this horseman's opinion and if he says the colt is ready, he is ready to go. We shal seel if he is good enough. He should be closer to the pace in this race. Nice progression in his racing lines, and may be ready for a break through performance.Has got speed and now that he is fit and ready he can tossle on the front end . Will wait till they put the saddle on him Saturday then make a solid bet if I like what I see. Been following this horse and had him in an exacta with Bode in Arkansas. Maybe this time.