05/14/2003 11:00PM

Preakness Profiles: Senor Swinger

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STRENGTHS: His trainer, Bob Baffert, has won four of the last six runnings of the Preakness. His Preakness successes include Kentucky Derby winners Silver Charm, Real Quiet, and War Emblem. His other win came with Point Given, who bombed at Churchill Downs. Senor Swinger comes from a different path, not having raced in the Derby. He closed with a rush to win the Grade 3 Crown Royal American Turf on the Kentucky Oaks undercard. Jockey Pat Day was able to settle him down after the colt blew his cool in the paddock before the race. Having Day aboard in the Preakness is an asset. He is a five-time winner of the race, and a win with Senor Swinger would tie the late Eddie Arcaro's record of six Preakness victories.

WEAKNESSES: His lone graded stakes triumph came on turf. Although he faced good horses in the Crown Royal American Turf, they were not the premier 3-year-olds in the country. When Senor Swinger tried Grade 1 company in the Florida Derby and Wood Memorial, he twice finished fifth. He was nearly nine lengths behind Funny Cide in the Wood Memorial when racing on a muddy track. He also appears slower than the favorites. Funny Cide has run Beyer Speed Figures of 110 and 108 in his last two races. Senor Swinger's highest Beyer is 97.

STRATEGY: Day will try to get him to relax in the post parade if this horse gets rattled in the paddock - as he did at Churchill Downs. Once the race begins, look for Day to place him in the back of the pack. The colt's strength is his late punch.

VALUE: Were it not for his successful connections, Senor Swinger would be 20-1 to win the Preakness. With Day and Baffert in his corner, he seems likely to start as the third or fourth choice at odds of around 8-1 or 10-1.