Thursday

Preakness Stakes Notes: Post Postitions, Big Brown - Big Favorite & Dan's Picks


Welcome to my preview of the second leg of the 2008 Triple Crown Season.

Coming up on Saturday at approximately 5:15pm CDT, 13 horses will participate in the 133rd running of the Preakness Stakes. And at approximately 5:18pm, we'll know whether we're heading to the Belmont Stakes in June with a Triple Crown Championship on the line.

So today I'm going to run down the field, tell you about how enormous a favorite Big Brown's likely to be by post time, and finally lay out my picks and wagers for the race.

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So somebody cue the bugler and let's get this thing under way!

First off, here are your official Post Positions and Morning Line odds for the 133rd Preakness Stakes:

1. Macho Again, 20-1

2. Tres Borrachos, 30-1

3. Icabad Crane, 30-1

4. Yankee Bravo, 15-1

5. Behindatthebar, 10-1

6. Racecar Rhapsody, 30-1

7. Big Brown, 1-2

8. Kentucky Bear, 15-1

9. Stevil, 30-1

10. Rile Tucker, 30-1

11. Giant Moon, 30-1

12. Gayego, 8-1

13. Hey Byrn, 20-1

So Big Brown is your overwhelming favorite at 1-2 and those odds are only going to go down once the betting windows open. I have no idea what the final odds will be, but it wouldn't surprise me a bit to see a Big Brown win pay $2.10 to a $2 wager. Which means any investment in a Win Wager ticket would have to be WAY too large for comfort to make any money. Instead, I'll be looking for Exacta and Trifecta bets as my way of wagering on the race.

And to do that, we need to look at some other horses.

Gayego is the only horse other than Big Brown that ran in the Derby that's now making the trip to Pimlico in Baltimore, MD. He's also been installed as your second-favorite at 8-1. I haven't the foggiest idea why they're bringing this horse to the Preakness. He finished 17th out of 20 horses in the Derby and showed no spark or interest in competing in that race. Running a horse on only two-weeks rest is a dicey proposition as it is. Which is why you're only seeing 2 horses even attempt it. But if you're not competing for the Triple Crown, and you got crushed by Big Brown in the Derby, why would you even attempt this? I'm tossing him out of my wagers

Your third-favorite is Behindatthebar at 10-1. This is a horse that was originally scheduled to run in the Derby, but was pulled out after developing a fever a couple weeks before the Derby. I'm not a sold on this horse only because his best performances have come on synthetic surfaces, and as we saw in the Derby, the horses who excelled on synthetics didn't make the transition to dirt all that well. But he's got some of the best numbers in the field, so I'm thinking I'll have to account for him in my wagering.

After those two horses, everybody else is 15-1 or higher. Which means that if the right horses come in after Big Brown, you could still make some money on exotic bets. So who am I looking at? Glad you asked!

Kentucky Bear is at 15-1. This horse has only 3 races under his belt, but has the speed figures to be a factor in this race. He also has 2 bullet workouts (fastest of the day at a given distance) in the last 3 weeks, so he looks to be in good form. I'm definitely using him.

Riley Tucker at 30-1 is a bit more experienced that most horses in this race. He's run in 4 graded stakes races and has hit the board in 3 of them. He's something of a stalker who could be positioned to make a late move and sneak into 2nd or 3rd. I'll probably use him to show.

Hey Byrn is at 20-1. Winner of the Holy Bull back in April, Hey Byrn likes the lead. So I'm hoping he doesn't burn himself out chasing Big Brown. If he doesn't, he should be in a good stalking position and is very capable of hitting the board.

I'm still on the fence on two other horses, Tres Borrachos at 20-1 and Icabad Crane (the only horse with previous experience on Pimlico's dirt) at 30-1. But they could figure into some sort of exotic bet for me.

So my trifecta bet will probably look something like this:

7-Big Brown

over

5-Behindatthebar, 8-Kentucky Bear and 13-Hey Byrn

over

2-Tres Borrachos, 5, 8, 10-Riley Tuker and 13

A $2 trifecta bet with those horses will cost you $24. And if it hits you're probably looking at a decent payoff. Last year when the top 3 horses hit the board, the Tri still payed $50 to a $2 wager.

So make sure to tune in Saturday at 5:15pm on NBC and see how I did! Or, if you're in town, feel free to join WCCO as we broadcast live from Canterbury Park in Shakopee!

That's all for today, back tomorrow with more baseball!



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