2021 Preakness Stakes Cheat Sheet
The 146th edition of the Preakness is scheduled for Saturday, May 15th at Pimlico Race Course in beautiful Baltimore, Maryland. With all of the controversy, we've hardly had any time to rest just two weeks removed from the Kentucky Derby. Between dodging cheating scandals and news cycles, the Preakness Stakes draw was delayed a day while officials decided what to do with Bob Baffert and Medina Spirit. In the end, Maryland officials decided to let this horse run in the Preakness. Now that we have the final order with morning line odds, we can take a closer look and the field of ten.
Before you bet on the Preakness Stakes, consider upgrading to Horse Premium or MVP to get access to my official plays. Two weeks back, I gave premium players Medina Spirit at 12-1 odds in the Kentucky Derby as my top horse. Today, I have just as strong of an opinion on the Preakness trifecta. You'll need to subscribe to see how I'm going to cash in that race.
This horse ran two weeks ago at Churchill Downs, but he wasn't running in the Kentucky Derby. He won the opener as a longshot and his trainer thought he looked good enough to run back for the Preakness. There is no doubt in my mind that this horse will be disregarded by the betting public. If you see 99/1 and want to throw some "what if" money on this horse, I can recommend charities that would better serve your donations.
Keepmeinmind is a horse that made my really early Kentucky Derby contenders list. He needed every bit of each prep race to crack the top 25 points leaderboard. The horse improved drastically in the Derby two weeks ago finishing 7th at 49-1 odds on a track that favored speed horses, rather than closers. The 7th was good enough for Diodoro to send this horse to Baltimore. Will this horse have better luck closing under the hot pace expected in the Preakness?
Originally, I wanted to write an article titled 'Will Medina Spirit win the Triple Crown?' but after the positive drug test and uncertainty if the horse would even run in the Preakness, I decided to step back from that thought. But I will share my answer here: no. While this was my top pick in the Kentucky Derby and we got generous odds of 12/1, the recency bias of millions of eyeballs on this horse always deflates the price in the Preakness. I liked Medina Spirit in the Derby because that race favors front-end speed and I truly thought he was going to be cruising out front solo, which he was. After the dust settled, it's hard to know for sure how he'll handle himself in the Preakness, likely and hopefully drug-free. It's my early assessment that this horse mustered up as much as he could and rebroke down the stretch that two weeks isn't enough time to bring him back in this race. I will only be nervous if this horse gets to the front of the pack as he has never been passed in a race.
One of the lightest raced horses in the Preakness Stakes, you really need to do your homework before tossing or using on your tickets. This horse has increased distance with each start he's made, but at the same time, finished worse and worse. It's hard to take this horse seriously, considering the horses that beat him came back to run poorly in the Kentucky Derby. Fresh legs may help this horse but it's hard to see this one competing for anything more than minor exotics.
It took the Kentucky Derby to finally force this horse from finishing on the board. I wouldn't say this horse had a terrible trip in the Derby but was wider than expected. Being wide forced him back instead of closer to the lead and, being a speed horse, was unable to find the right gear needed to close in on the front of the pack. Still, a respectable 6th place finish. In my opinion, an upgrade in jockey to the best in the sport should help with a cleaner break. This horse is an intriguing one if you are looking to toss the Bafferts.
Rombauer is an interesting entry into the Preakness. I think bettors are going to struggle with this horse because of his past performances. Rombauer won his debut on grass, struggled on dirt, went to Golden Gate to win on the synthetic track, and in his most recent start ran a very good third behind Essential Quality on dirt. Personally, I see this horse as a turf horse but because of his last race on dirt, he requires some consideration.
France Go de Ina, bred in Kentucky but raced in Japan, is slated to run in the Preakness Stakes for his USA Debut. After racing 3 times in Japan, this horse most recently was spotted in Meydan. He was last in a 14 horse race with a slow pace. He closed well, but not well enough to get within striking distance. Rosario rode that day and retains the mount for the Preakness. I don't want to show everyone my hand, but I expect this horse to vastly outrun his 20/1 odds.
In the slop at Keeneland last out, Unbridled Honor closed very well under Julien Leparoux. This was the best race of his career thus far. I do worry that if it's not wet, this horse will not do much in the Preakness Stakes. There are faster closers and horses that do better on fast surfaces than Unbridled Honor, but getting the jockey change to Luis Saez is an incredible boost. Luis is easily one of the best at getting everything out of a horse.
Risk Taking has the most fitting name in this race. Starting off his 3-year old career, Risk Taking looked like a horse that was going to be tough to beat after winning the Withers at Aqueduct. Following up that impressive victory, he went off as the favorite in the Wood Memorial and crapped the bed. That result had the trainer skip the Kentucky Derby and point towards this race. If you can swallow the failed attempt of the Wood, you will find a nice price on this closer.
Concert Tour was one of the favorites going into the Kentucky Derby before he was scratched from consideration. His trainer stated he didn't come out of his last race well enough to be ready to race. Pointing to the Preakness Stakes was the most logical for this gifted horse. I fully expect Mike Smith to take Concert Tour to the front of the track and will duel with Medina Spirit. The question is can Concert Tour hold on in a pace battle or will another horse benefit?