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Preakness Stakes Picks: Early Speed has the Edge
SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2019
by: Rich Bieglmeier
It's Preakness Saturday and Captain Obvious, Pimlico Racecourse is the center of the horse racing universe. The Baltimore, Maryland track hosts nine stakes race with at least $100,000 in prize money.
$100,000 Sir Barton Stakes - Race 3
$100,000 James W. Murphy Stakes - Race 5
$150,000 Maryland Sprint Stakes - Grade III - Race 6
$100,000 Searching Stakes - Race 8
$100,000 The Very One Stakes - Race 9
$150,000 Gallorette Stakes - Grade II - Race 10
$200,000 Chick Lang Stakes - Grade III - Race 11
$250,000 Dixie Stakes - Grade II - Race 12
$1,500,000 Preakness Stakes - Grade I - Race 13
Of course, we have them covered with analysis, distance/surface/post position biases, top contenders, pace history, early race outlook, picks and suggested wagers in our 2019 Preakness Wagering Guide. Get it here!
Unlocking the Preakness Code with Speed
This is the first year since 1996 that the Kentucky Derby winner isn't running in the Preakness Stakes. Twenty-three-years ago, hall-of-fame jockey, Pat Day rode LOUIS QUATORZE to a wire-to-wire (w2w) victory for trainer Nicholas Zito.
Going w2w hasn't been too uncommon as five Preakness winners lead all the way around the track since 1996, with four in the last 10 years. Horses that could get to the lead and never look back in this year's Preakness Stakes include:
WARRIOR'S CHARGE (PP: 3 ML 12-1) The Brad Cox trainee hit a switch in his last two runs. After trying to rate and run in his first three starts, WARRIOR'S CHARGE switched to an upfront running style and won his last two races by 6 1/2 and 6 lengths, respectively. He's taking a big step up in class and will need to show he's got the class to make it three Ws in a row.
ALWAYSMINING (PP: 7 ML 8-1) He's won a half-dozen races in a row at Laurel Park and most of them have been total demolitions of the competition. ALWAYSMINING showed the way to the winners' circle with 1s across past-performance lines in five of six wins. The competition wasn't as stiff as the Preakness will be, but it did include a victory over fellow Preakness contestant WIN WIN WIN.
All of them can't go nothing but ones. Nonetheless, early speed plays well. Twelve of the last 20 Preakness winners ran first, second or third in the opening quarter mile. In addition to WARRIOR'S CHARGE and ALWAYSMINING, these horses have a history of co-piloting the leaders out of the gate.
War of Will wins at Fair Grounds
WAR OF WILL (PP: 1 ML 4-1) typically runs second or third in the first 2 furlongs, usually within two lengths of the leader(s). He's run into trouble, literally in the Kentucky Derby, in his last two races, contact with MAXIMUM SECURITY and hurting himself in the Louisiana Derby two outings ago. He'll have to avoid the excuses this time to come home first.
MARKET KING (PP: 6 ML 30-1) The longshot has run in the first three at the first call in seven of his eight races. Positionally, he should be in the right spot based on the last 20-years; however, there's a reason the oddsmaker put him at 30-1. While he gets out of the chute in a hurry, he tends to fade his way home. MARKET KING has lost ground late in seven of eight races, including his lone win. He'll need a lot more stamina to wear this year's Preakness Crown.
BODEXPRESS (PP: 9 ML 20-1) Looking for a possible upset horse? BODEXPRESS might be the one. He's been first, second or third in the first quarter in four of his six starts, including third in the Kentucky Derby. He was in the mix until the mess, finishing 14th. Two races back, he finished second by 3 1/2 lengths behind the disqualified Derby winner MAXIMUM SECURITY. A clean race with no problems and BODEXPRESS could be the most live longshot.
ANOTHERTWISTAFATE (PP: 12 ML 6-1) Except for his debut, he's been first (3x) or third (2x) at the quarter-mile call. From there, he moves forward. He's either extended his lead or closed in on the winner in every race except his maiden trek when he bombed. In the last two races, he's been covered up, boxed in and bothered, but still managed to finish second by 1 3/4 lengths and a neck, from the most recent back.
ANOTHERTWISTAFATE is our pick to win the 2019 Preakness. See who we like with Anothertwistafate as well as all our other picks for today's stakes races in our 17-page Preakness wagering guide.
Good luck at the races!
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