The Derby was a mess. My horse, Prime Timber, seemed well positioned, but didn't have enough to make a run. There were rumors that he wasn't well and his subsequent defection from the Triple Crown trail lends credence to that. Charismatic ran a dandy race, with Menifee closing like a rocket at the end. There were so many horses in so much trouble that it's hard to gauge the quality of the field and of individuals. Let's run down the Preakness by post position.
1 - Torrid Sands - not a chance, doesn't belong here, if it had the good taste to not be here, we could have seen Vicar or Silverbulletday.
2 - Kimberlite Pipe - didn't run a bad race in the Derby, was bumped and carried wide, still lost the whole thing by less than 3 lengths. Gets Shane Sellers up which won't hurt either.
3- Cat Thief - has now run four consecutive personal bests -- this has to stop sometime. Always right there, never quite there.
4- Badge - One turn horse in a two turn race
5- Menifee -- tough, consistent, big finish in Derby. The likely favorite off the assumed rough trip in the Derby. I'm not sure it was all that rough and horse don't often move up from second in the Derby to first in the Preakness.
6- Charismatic -- two big races in a row for the former claimer, has this horse improved that much in 6 weeks? He wasn't close in the Santa Anita Derby, looked strong in the big one. I won't be surprised if he wins and I won't be surprised if he runs out.
7- Excellent Meeting -- rough trip in the Derby, lost the whole thing by 2 lengths, like Menifee, extremely consistent. Has enough speed to get close, enough kick to stay back, look for her to run big.
8 - Patience Game -- last two were excellent, working brilliantly, but never run over a mile and no non-Derby starter has won this since 1983
9 - Adonis -- mugged in the Derby, so we can toss that one. I wasn't excited by the Wood victory two weeks ago, I'm still not
10 - Worldly Manner -- was he short in the Derby because he needed a tightener or because he's bred to be a miler? I'm going to say the latter, but I won't be shocked if I'm wrong
11 - Stephen Got Even -- rough trip but it didn't have to be, he got out okay then fell back. Zito has done this once before with non-competitive Derby horse (Louis Quatorze), but it won't get my money.
12 - Valhol -- I don't think so, unless he brings his batteries along. Early speed could cause some trouble - and I mean that literally, as he may go for the lead and cross in front of some horses who may not like it.
13 - Vicar -- Surprised that he's here, I really like him but this post is a killer for him. Has the class and the talent to run with the best of them, but he's going to be wide from the start, probably strung out on the turn and he's never shown the ability to rate and make a move. I think Silverbulletday would've had a better shot. I have to respect Nafzger for trying.
I'm not lost, just can't get a real handle on this. I don't have enough information yet. Let's try these: