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How to guess $100 on this 12 months’s Preakness Stakes


When Epicenter hit the entrance with Zandon attempting to chase him down within the stretch run of the Kentucky Derby, and Crown Pride attempting to carry on for third, visions of leaving Churchill Downs with a pocket full of money admittedly ran by my thoughts.

That mixture was one of many trifectas I had prompt in tips on how to guess a $100 bankroll on the massive race — and for a short second seemed prefer it is perhaps a winner. But all of that ended when 80-to-1 Rich Strike shot by the within for some of the beautiful Derby victories anybody has ever witnessed.

For those that had Rich Strike, it was a really, very profitable day. For the remainder of us? Hey, it was a terrific story.

But after shaking off the frustration of getting worn out within the Derby, it’s time to attempt our luck within the Preakness with one other $100 enterprise that can hopefully get us again to even after which some.

The second leg of the Triple Crown is all the time a really completely different race from the Derby. It’s a smaller discipline (simply 9 entries this 12 months versus 20 within the Derby), 1/sixteenth of a mile shorter and all the time consists of a mixture of horses from the Derby making the brief two-week turnaround, in addition to some late bloomers who weren’t prepared or didn’t have sufficient factors to qualify for the primary leg.

Simplification worked out on Wednesday morning at Pimlico Race Course, preparing for Saturday's Preakness.

Simplification labored out on Wednesday morning at Pimlico Race Course, getting ready for Saturday’s Preakness.

And this time, in fact, the Preakness doesn’t embody the Derby winner, whose connections made the extremely uncommon choice to skip the race and provides Rich Strike extra time to recuperate. 

But even with no Triple Crown chance on the road, this Preakness appears to be like like an attention-grabbing race that can match Epicenter in opposition to Secret Oath, the D. Wayne Lukas-trained filly who put in a dominant efficiency within the Kentucky Oaks.

On paper, Epicenter is a deserving favourite. Outside of his 2-year-old debut final September, he’s by no means completed worse than second and ran a adequate race to win the Derby. With apologies to Rich Strike, whose Derby efficiency was almost definitely a one-off, Epicenter is one of the best 3-year-old colt in America.

That means if Epicenter has his A-game, he’s most likely going to win the Preakness. But there are many causes he may not be at his greatest, beginning with the truth that all of his earlier races had been spaced out at the very least 4 weeks aside. We gained’t know till Saturday evening how he handles coming again in two weeks, and at 6-to-5 on the morning line, Epicenter shouldn’t be going to supply a lot betting worth.

Likewise, Secret Oath goes to take some huge cash — not simply because she’s a wonderful filly however as a result of there’s large sentimental worth hooked up to Lukas, a five-time Preakness winner who continues to be grinding it out each day at 86. Plus, fillies have fared properly within the Preakness just lately, with Rachel Alexandra profitable in 2009 and Swiss Skydiver beating the boys in 2020.

But these aren’t the one logical contenders within the race.

Early Voting is a proficient and well-bred colt from the Chad Brown barn who completed second by only a neck within the Wood Memorial on April 9 in solely his third profession race. Likewise, Creative Minister is making simply his fourth begin and impressively gained one of many undercard races on Derby Day, prompting his connections to present the Preakness a shot.

The wildcard of the race is perhaps Armagnac, who did not present a lot this spring within the West Coast Derby preps however dropped down at school on May 8 and put in one of the best efficiency of his profession.

Then there’s Simplification, whose fast-closing stretch run within the Derby to complete fourth was largely neglected as a result of Rich Strike closed faster.

SKIPPING RACE: Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike will skip Preakness Stakes

OPINION: Rich Strike’s inconceivable win is palate cleanser for troubled sport

But there was one huge distinction between these two horses: While Rich Strike hugged the rail and saved each little bit of floor across the far flip, Simplification needed to race six or seven paths huge in an effort to get a transparent run. If Simplification had gotten Rich Strike’s journey, he would possibly properly have been the Derby winner.

From the very starting of his profession, Simplification has proven that he’s a top quality colt. In March, he stamped himself as one of many high Derby contenders with a come-from-behind win within the Fountain of Youth Stakes. For some motive, jockey Jose Ortiz modified ways within the Florida Derby, urgent the lead and tiring to 3rd within the stretch. But in Kentucky, he went again to his extra pure operating type, ran an excellent race however misplaced an excessive amount of floor going huge on the ultimate flip.

Simplification, who drew the No. 1 submit place, won’t face as a lot visitors this time round. But whether or not all of it comes collectively for him within the Preakness will rely on what sort of tempo the leaders arrange entrance.

The excellent news is, there’s high quality pace on this race with Early Voting and Armagnac seemingly vying for the lead and Epicenter both becoming a member of them or monitoring simply behind. If they set decently quick fractions, you possibly can see how the race would possibly unfold, with Epicenter poised to pounce on the 3/8 pole, the opposite two struggling to carry on whereas Simplification, Secret Oath and maybe Creative Minister start gathering momentum as they head into the stretch.

We’re going to guess that Simplification, who picks up jockey John Velazquez for the Preakness, is the horse in a position to avoid wasting floor this time and have somewhat extra left within the tank than each Epicenter and Secret Oath, who made a giant run across the far flip however flattened out within the stretch the primary time she confronted colts within the Arkansas Derby. At 6-to-1 on the morning line, Simplification additionally affords much more worth than each of them regardless of operating virtually as spectacular a race as Epicenter did within the Derby.

So for our $100, right here’s how we’re going to guess:

  • $25 to win on Simplification

  • A straight $20 exacta Simplification over Epicenter

  • A straight $10 exacta Simplification over Creative Minister

  • A $6 straight trifecta Simplification-Epicenter-Secret Oath

  • A $2 trifecta Simplification utilizing Epicenter, Secret Oath, Creative Minister and Early – Voting in second and third ($24 guess whole)

  • A $5 straight trifecta Epicenter-Simplification-Secret Oath

  • A $10 straight exacta Epicenter over Simplification

Hopefully a minor Preakness upset can yield a giant payday and make up for emptying our pockets on Derby Day. Good luck!

This article initially appeared on USA TODAY: Preakness Stakes: How to guess $100 for this 12 months’s race



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