Orb is great Orb is this and Orb that, c'mon people, the horse won in the goop. I've been handicapping races for a long long time and one of my steadfast rules is to not rate off track races unless it is the only race the horse has in its past performances, and if that is the case, do so with extreme reluctancy. Take away his Kentucky Derby win, and his speed numbers are slightly inferior to more than just one Preakness entrant. I'm not saying he can't win, but he will be a huge underlay, not the biggest underlay of the year, as I've seen many 3-5 shots or less go down the tubes at Aqueduct and Belmont this year, for example, horse that looked like really bad bets going in. Orb could also be like a Zenyatta, the speed figures might not matter, he just gets it done. But I really don't like him tomorrow. Besides the inferior speed figs and the big win in the slop, there is also the fact that he was well prepped off a month plus layoff prior to the Derby, this also makes him a big bounce candidate.
Horses like Orb make the game beatable. Yes, they win some of the time, but because they are so overbet, it means there will be others in the race that will be underbet. Seeking value is the only way to beat the game in the long run, and unless Orb goes off at 7-1 or better, there is no value there.
I got dusted with my Derby picks, but again, this is a long term game and the Derby was just a race. That being stated, I am probably very due when it comes to getting the Preakness close to right. So who do I like? My ratings came up with three horses close to tied.
Mylute, with Rosie Napravnik, could be the one. He had a very good speed figure in the Louisiana Derby, and the 30+ day layoff going into the Derby might have been a negative. In fact, this horse rarely runs twice within a month, but looking his Derby line, I have to figure that coming back within two weeks could mean a peak performance from him. He will most likely need a fair track or more preferably a closer's track, in order to win the race.
The fact that Goldencents is in the race, means either you can totally discount his 49 length loss in the Derby, or that his connections are just plain nuts. I am leaning towards the former. He had a very good number in the Santa Anita Derby, and figures to be very close to the pace in the Preakness. If he is right, I don't think he will be compromised by other early speed in the race, and there isn't much of a difference between 1 mile and an eighth and 1 mile and 3/16th, so distance shouldn't be an issue.
Oxbow is the final horse in my top three. The Preakness distance looks perfect for him, and the expected pace of the race and his post position, makes him a contender. He ran a good race in the Derby, and should be able to time his move much better tomorrow, his past figures are decent, and he should have no problem outrunning his final odds in the Preakness.
A case could be made for almost every horse in the Preakness. If I use Orb, it will be on one superfecta ticket with my top three picks.
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