Ricky’s analysis, horse introductions and best bets on the 144th Preakness Stakes
The Kentucky Derby may be over, but the drama ensues. A lot of things that I am going to avoid touching on with that race as I look towards the 144th running of the Preakness Stakes. There is one thing that I will note, as most of you have probably already heard countless times. This is the first time that the Derby winner has not ran in the Preakness in 23 years. Now that I have an asterisk next to the winner, I would like to note that 2nd, 3rd and 17th – I only mention 17th because he was the best horse that day and was DQ – are all also not running. That leaves 4th place, Improbable, as the best Derby horse finisher to come give it a shot at wearing the black-eyed susans at Pimlico.
Weather looks to not be an issue, with all forecasts showing high 70’s and rain chance under 20%. I love a fast track in Baltimore. With the weather being set and the post positions drawn, I think we have a nice idea how this race will shape up. 13 horses set to run is a monster of a field for the Preakness, as its max is 14. I will give my analysis on the horses, how to use them, and give my best bets. Please check back on Saturday for updates to my bets or I will be available in DFS Karma Discord to answer any questions you might have!
Gate 1: War of Will (4-1 ML Odds)
War of Will will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, just as he was in the Kentucky Derby. I said that I didn’t want to speak on drama from that day, but what I saw from WoW was a horse that was also weaving on the track. Unfortunately, War of Will drew the 1 hole again and will ride the rail. He proved that with a slow pace, the rail wasn’t an issue, and could complete the Derby. The pace looks to speed up this race and having Warriors Charge 2 horses over, I think War of Will could be pushed to the front faster than he would want to be. Could that cause him to die down during the stretch? This is a strong horse, but on two weeks of rest, we are asking a lot, especially if WoW is challenged early. USE UNDERNEATH (Many people will have him as a win contender, and that’s fine, but I see the race going differently where he probably won’t hit the board. It all depends how the first 1/8 of the race unfolds. To be safe, you could use him in your win portion.)
Gate 2: Bourbon War (12-1 ML Odds)
Very close to getting into the derby was this horse. He sat on the outside looking in. Ran 4th in the Florida Derby, 2nd in the Fountain of Youth (to Code of Honor – 2nd place finisher of the KY Derby). Irad Ortiz Jr gets the mount and boy does this horse fit Irads style of racing. Bourbon War has the most late speed of this race, which means that this horse will be off the pace and possibly even stalking. I don’t see the horse going to the back of the pack to try and garnish a stretch run as it has failed in the past, but this horse gives its best effort at the finish line. Use underneath, possible win if conditions are right. Would be my biggest longshot at having a chance.
Gate 3: Warrior’s Charge (12-1 ML Odds)
Castalleno will sit atop of Warrior’s Charge. This horse should be one of the quickest ones out of the gate and fighting for a rail position in front of War of Will. I think that this horse will be outclassed in the race. There is a possibility that the horse gets to a lead, slows pace, and explodes down the stretch. Even still, I believe the horse will be passed. How many will pass him is the question. No better than 3rd, I would die of shock if this horse won.
Gate 4: Improbable (5-2 ML Odds)
Your morning line favorite is the 4th place finisher in the Kentucky Derby. Improbable will have a different jockey, hall of famer Mike Smith. It’s a deadly trifecta of trainer Bob Baffert, jockey Mike Smith and Improbable being the favorite. This horse has incredible late speed. The facts are that Improbable was Bobs least likely winner of the Derby and was saved by good starting position. The facts are Baffert is 2 for 14 in the Preakness when his horse doesn’t win the Derby. The facts are Smith is 2 for 17 in the Preakness. The facts are Improbable hasn’t won as a 3 year old. With all of those negative facts, youd be silly not to use Improbable in your exotics. I am listing as a Win Contender, however I personally don’t have him winning.
Gate 5: Owendale (10-1 ML Odds)
Owendale is picking up steam from other experts. Im not sure why. He won the Lexington Stakes over Anothertwistafate, before that he finished ten lengths behind War of Will. What does this mean? He has burning late pace speed, second to Bourbon War. The only angle I can see is that his stablemate, Warriors Charge, was added this week and could work as a rabbit. That would take out the other quick horses allowing Owendale to possibly close and take a piece of the prize. No better than 3rd.
Gate 6: Market King (30-1 ML Odds)
I will not waste your time with much on this horse. A late addition to the race, the extent of this horse will be hearing his name as one of the quickest out of the gate, but will be passed, by probably the entire field. If I could make a bet for last place finish, this would be my horse. Avoid like the plague.
Gate 7: Alwaysmining (8-1 ML Odds)
This is my favorite horse in the race. At 8-1 Odds, it doesn’t seem like it should be a favorite. But this is the only Maryland bred horse in the race. This is just a fast horse all around, and is currently at a 6 race win streak. I don’t see how this horse doesn’t factor into the money, but the odds being set at 8-1 says that I must be too in love with this animal. I try to stay honest, so I will caution you to follow me with this horse, but if we stay around 8-1, we could have a nice payday. My Favorite – Win Contender but more realistically 2nd-4th.
Gate 8: Signalman (30-1 ML Odds)
I’ve been saying it since I’ve seen this horse, but Signalman is a fraud. He has almost burned me multiple times as he likes to find his way to 3rd place. Last time out, he came 3rd behind Derby racers Vekoma and Win Win Win. In small fields, I add him to 3rd or 4th place, but with this field, I’ll let him take my money if he comes better than 4th – He shouldn’t. Toss
Gate 9: Bodexpress (20-1 ML Odds)
Jonny V will not get his Preakness win this year. That is not to say the horse will fail altogether though. I hate to discredit horses, unless I absolutely think they are frauds. This one was second in the Florida Derby, but had a tough time in the Kentucky Derby coming fourteeth. Use that how you will. Depending on how much you want to spend, I wouldn’t slot him higher than 3rd. I don’t really like the horse. Pure security play if you use him underneath.
Gate 10: Everfast (50-1 ML Odds)
This horse was added with only hours to the Preakness Post draw. The owners and trainer must like what they’ve seen out of this horse, but having too many off the board finishes is scary if you use him. We are looking at nine losses in a row. I seriously cant see Everfast hitting the board. Toss, seriously. Or throw $2 on him to win at extremely long odds… Could have another Country House repeat :eyeroll:
Gate 11: Laughing Fox (20-1 ML Odds)
A live longshot that could have some traction. Look, we have favorites that will hit the board. Then we have long shots that can spoil. This is a stalking horse that will get off to a slow pace and show speed late. With the speed that goes off early, I don’t think its crazy that this horse could fly by some down the stretch. Maybe factor? Maybe overmatched, as his resume would suggest. Question mark. Id probably use him to finish off exotics.
Gate 12: Anothertwistafate (6-1 ML Odds)
Third choice for your morning line odds, Anothertwistafate has been under the radar. Six races in, he has 3 wins. His last 2 starts? Second place to Cutting Humor (Kentucky Derby horse) and Owendale. Training well, I think if this horse stays off the pace that he has a shot. I don’t feel like hes ready to win, but this was the race he has been training towards. Jose Ortiz will try to make it happen. If spending money, use him for no better than 2nd place.
Gate 13: Win Win Win (15-1 ML Odds)
Before you read this: I know what you’re already thinking. Win3 did not impress in the Kentucky derby. I agree. I cant explain why. I though the horse would love the slop, but instead acted like a Prima Donna. So with that said, I still love this horse. It’s a closer, which is what we look for in races that we have speed up front (we do). Will the horse win? Who knows. If you have money to spend, sprinkle dollars on him. If the race goes fast, this horse should be on the top half of the finishing order. Im reckless and like him to do better. I want him to do better. Closer, has a high percentage chance to be around the wire.
Ricky’s Best Bets
*I will make sure this is updated on Saturday if I have any change of hearts/weather/news etc.
*Remember – There is one way to win and 20,000 ways to lose. Use this as a blueprint. I am sharing my bets, but I chase long shots. Please use the horses you like after reading my analysis.
$10 Win – on the 2, 7, 13 (These are my longer shots that have a chance)
$4 Show – 2, 4, 7, 11, 12, 13 (If you like an extreme long shot, throw the 9 in the mix too)
$2 Exacta – 2, 7, 13 / 1,2,4,5,7,11,12,13 = $42 bet. (If you like to have favorites come first, add 1 and 4 to the first part of that exacta. It will run you $70, and there’s not always a great payout when a favorite wins)
$0.50 Trifecta – 1,2,4,7,13/1,2,4,7,13/1,2,3,4,5,7,9,11,12,13 = $80 (You should add 12 to second place and it makes the Trifecta a nice even $100. I did say no better than 2nd for him…)
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