May 15, 2009

Preakness 2009 Picks

These are our 2009 picks.  Looking for 2010 picks?

Preakness week, baby - it's here. If you're not excited for Preakness yet, check out our previous posts on the subject (there's one pic in there that's barely NSFW). Some of the Preakness rules no longer apply, thanks to the new beer prohibitions, so we'll update them next year. Brien is the only one of the ECB authors who will be attending, but he plans to moblog (that's mobile blog) the whole thing, if AT&T wireless doesn't let him down.

On to the picks:
The first thing we have to determine here, is just how good Mine That Bird really is. Was that 105 Beyer a fluke? Was it just Calvin Borel's magic touch (he'll be atop the favorite, Rachel Alexandra)? That extra gear he had in the Derby sure didn't look like a fluke, and at 5-1 I'm willing to consider him.

Like always, let's take a trip through the field
  1. Big Drama - No G1s, but an impressive record. The workouts aren't that impressive, though. No
  2. Mine That Bird - Big pressure, new jockey, flukey result last time. Maybe
  3. Musket Man - I didn't like him in the Derby and even a Show doesn't make me like him here. No
  4. Luv Guv - The D. Wayne Lukas entry just broke his maiden in the slop. No No No
  5. Fresian Fire - Sexy pick for the Derby laid an egg. Great workouts, though. Maybe
  6. Terrain - The speed numbers aren't there, and neither are the wins. No
  7. Papa Clem - I liked him in the Derby, and his 4th was close to a 2nd. Yes
  8. General Quarters - Had a horrible Derby, and nothing in his history suggests anything different here. No
  9. Pioneer of the Nile - Good Derby showing, but overall middling Beyers. Good workout this week. Yes
  10. Flying Private - Stopped in the Derby. That's right, stopped. No
  11. Take the Points - Decent speed numbers, but poor results. No
  12. Tone it Down - I try to give the MD horses love, but not this one. No
  13. Rachel Alexandra - Great Beyers, but this is quite a step up in class and distance. Maybe
At 8-5, there's no value in Rachel Alexandra. If her prices go up, she's definitely worth a look. As for the other Yeses and Maybes, Mine That Bird is 6-1, Fresian Fire is 6-1, Papa Clem is 12-1 and Pioneer of the Nile is 5-1.

I like a $2 Exacta with Pioneer of the Nile and Papa Clem over Mine That Bird, Papa Clem, Fresian Fire, and Pioneer of the Nile. That's only a $12 bet, and should pay out well if it hits.

Consistency is at a premium again in the Preakness, after a horribly mediocre Derby field let a horribly mediocre horse cruise through major traffic. The only horse likely to go off at better than 4-1 is filly Rachel Alexandra who was just purchased and just switched trainers after her crushing, cruising win in the Kentucky Oaks. That leaves a lot of value on the board, which means we'll be playing bet against the chalk.
I think I would spread $10 win bets across 1-Big Drama, 3-Musket Man, and 5-Friesan Fire along with $10 ATB on 7-Papa Clem.
My reasoning on Big Drama is that horses on the rail with great early speed can go wire-to-wire. I know it isn't likely he can hold it, but you never know what traffic and a damp track could do the horses behind him. At 10-1 or better, it's worth a stab.
If you really feel 13-Rachel Alexandra is unbeatable, feel free to put her on top of exactas but you'll need more than $2 to see any real value and there are enough place contenders to make things get expensive quickly.
I would not even consider betting any combination with both Rachel Alexandra and Mine that Bird in the top two spots, because that will be the go-to know-nothing bet of the afternoon. Even a trifecta with those two on top will pay nowhere near the likelihood of it actually happening. Also, I still don't like 9-Pioneerof the Nile as a win option in this race. While the most consistent horse out here, a mid-90's Beyer is only good enough for 2nd, 3rd or 4th here.
So that's:
$10 win 1, 3, 5
$10 ATB 7
And if you're scared a girl will beat you:
$5 ex straight 13/1, 3, 5, 7
If the other guys get their crap together before the race, their picks will appear here.

1 Responses:

bennydabum said...

Amazing! Papa Clem was my pick for the Derby also. So, you really gotta love him today - Exactas 7-1 7-9 and box 7-5

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