Preakness Analysis 2017

Preakness pic 16Preakness Stakes-The 142nd running of the Preakness stakes is carded as race 13 this Saturday at Pimlico Racecourse, approximate scheduled post time is 6:48 PM. The field consists of 10 entrants who are vying for the 2nd Jewel of the Triple Crown with Always Dreaming continuing his quest for a Triple Crown bid. The weather forecast is projecting seasonal mild temperatures with little to no precipitation leading up to and on Preakness day, should be ideal weather for fans and horses.

It’s time to get your “Preak on”, while I love the Derby and it is the greatest single betting race annually, the Preakness race and weekend is the most fun. Outside of the fights in the infield and the parking lot, it’s just a very entertaining weekend.

What I learned from the Derby: Always Dreaming is a very nice animal, I actually wrote him up on top in my article and changed it about a week out due to clocker reports of the horse not settling which prompted even an exercise rider change, it was the perfect storm for the favorite to falter, but it didn’t happen. I also learned the rest of the group is mediocre at best.

So on to leg 2 of the series a race that is usually very formful, most of my loyal followers like when I look into the crystal ball and project something out of the ordinary which usually involves a value play, but sometimes we all need to come to the realization that Golden State will win the 2017 NBA title and it’s near impossible to bet against Always Dreaming in the Preakness.

As stated numerous times, I am an objective handicapper, but if you used my system in the Derby it identified 6 horses of the 20 that could win and the top two finishers were in that group of 6, so sometimes number don’t lie, so let’s look into the Preakness stats.

Favorites fare very well in Baltimore, by the numbers:

The Preakness plays to speed. In the last 30 running’s, 18 of those 30 winners were sitting 1-4 at the first call.

Derby runners have come back to win the Preakness 40 of the last 47 editions.

The race’s history has had 72 favorites win in the 141 runnings, that is a 51% clip.

Only 4 of the last 30 races were won wire to wire

Since 1997, 10 of the past 20 Derby winners have doubled up in the Preakness; Furthermore, 14 of the last 20 Derby winners have been no worse than 2nd

I am a college graduate with an accounting & finance degree, but I can’t give you the exact algorithmic deviation of those stats, but in rough terms I would say the above numbers say Always Dreaming has about 60% chance to win and 80% chance to be no worse than 2nd.

Ok, so I like the odds on favorite. I am certainly not Nostradamus but although the feature looks very chalky the undercard for the 2 days is magnificent. A major 2 thumbs up to the MJRC & Stronach group for assembling so many stars in Baltimore this weekend. I remember when boxing was a real sport and we would get the pay per views of Holyfield, Tyson, or even Foreman and the undercards were stellar, well whether you are a fan or gambler, you are in for a treat.


Should you be wagering on Friday (which I strongly recommend), it is an absolute amazing card including numerous stakes. In race 6, I like Shaman Ghost (#6) who is arguably the 2nd best handicap horse in racing. In race 8, I like Victory to Victory (#3) who looks to be a budding infield star in the making. In race 10, local 11 yr old hero Ben’s Cat looks for his 8th career Pimlico turf win, but he runs into two speedballs in Alpha Slew & Pay Any Price who should be exchanging blows from the bell. Alpha Slew (#1) is ML at 30 to 1, but could be a sneaky longshot value play. For Race 11 which is the featured Black Eyes Susan stakes, I like Lights of Medina (#5) who is coming off a stakes score and two race winning streak for trainer Pletcher, the same conditioner who sends out Always Dreaming, could be a double on the weekend for him.

Onto Saturday undercard: Race 9, I love A.P. Indian who needed his last start, should be fresh and ready to fire a big effort. In Race 12 the Dixie stakes going back to Ring Weekend who lost by a neck last year and will look to avenge that defeat against a pretty solid bunch.

If you like racing, get to the track or fund your wagering account , ake off work Friday, you will be glad you did. If funds are a little low, raid your mom’s purse, I might just take my own advice as there are too many good opportunities to pass up, now onto the feature…..


#4 Always Dreaming– A perfect 4 for 4 since moving to the Pletcher barn with a running style that fits this race like an absolute glove. He can be on the lead, but doesn’t need it. The other major intangible is he is fresh having run his last prep race pre-Derby on April 1st so he’s a tad bit fresher than most of these. I actually laid no Triple Crown winner at -800 before the Derby as I really thought the Derby was going to be a pari-mutuel puzzle. I have since covered the bet at +350 locking in a 1 unit loss that should tell you what I think of this runner’s chance. His dad went a long way on the chooch to get beat by a neck in toe 2012 Preakness, have a feeling his son is easily going to avenge that loss, the popular choice that I certainly won’t try to beat.

#10 Conquest Mo Money– Catches a race completely devoid of speed outside of the favorite so should get a nice forwardly cozy spot. Obviously if the track is playing to closers, might drop him down or eliminate but on a surface that typically plays fair and tends to favor speed, he should be exactly where you want him. A super neat rags to riches story as he was bought at the Conquest dispersal sale 7 months for a mere $8,500 and has rewarded owners with 500K. Like that owner’s bypassed the Derby to come here so he had ample time to get back in his feed tub after a hard fought Arkansas Derby, take a long look for minor spoils.

#5 Classic Empire- Ran well in the Derby off a troubled trip, but now gets his 3rd race in 35 days and that was after playing catch up due to a minor injury. Now I don’t doubt he is the 2nd most talented runner headed to the gate and in a vacuum some could argue he might be better than my top pick when it’s all said and done at the end of the year, but we are in the here and now and he was squarely beat on Derby day when he should have closed better into a closing bias run race and it appears he & AD are going to different directions. No doubt his loyal backers will try again, but I’m not sure he is Buster Douglas, likely Frank Bruno trying it again against Tyson with same result.

#9 Lookin At Lee- He was my wise guy horse on Derby day and had he ran 3rd or 4th I would have caught a very juicy Trifecta or Superfecta, but I had to settle for a nice Exacta. Before you run back to the windows, he got an absolute dream rail trip and likely traveled 30-50 feet less than any horse in the race. I am not sure Moses could have parted the Sea any better. The rail at CD suited him perfect, the wide draw here shouldn’t hurt him but he will get away wide at the back and try to mow them down a again from the far back in what should be a controlled pace while shortening up a 1/16 of a mile, doesn’t bode to well this time, stone closer hoping for a jockey position battle to make any real noise.

Selections: 4-10-5-9

Betability: Strong, most gamblers always bitch when people back short priced horses, but the reality is there is a risk vs reward system always at play. Currently Always Dreaming is even money to win the race. In My opinion, he will be bet down off that to 4/5 or even 3/5 yet according to my line and statistical math he has about a 60-70% chance of winning. Converting that to odds, fair value is 4/5 and even money is an overlay so make the bet!

Suggested Wagers:

10 unit  Win bet #4

1 unit Trifecta wheel #4 with #1, #2, #5, #9, #10 with #1, #2, #5, #9, #10

1 unit Superfecta wheel  #4 with #1, #2,  #5, #9, #10 with ALL with #5, #9, #10

1 unit Superfecta wheel #4 with #1, #2, #5, #9, #10 with ALL with #5, #9, #10

5 unit Exacta #4 with #2,#5, #10

No saver bet

Graded Analysis with fair value win odds

#4 Always Dreaming- 3 to 5, Has overcome adversity with a running style made to win the Preakness, I find no chinks in his armor, the train continues onto New York.

#10 Conquest Mo Money 8 to 1, The fresh danger, should be on the lead or pretty close, wonder how close he can stay to my top pick when the real running begins.

#5 Classic Empire- 5 to 1, I really like this horse overall, just don’t like him today to turn the tables on my top pick, should find a way to get a big chunk of the minor rewards.

#9 Lookin at Lee- 25 to 1, His dad won this race and he is improving, but this isn’t the spot to get warm and fuzzy about his chances, minor spoils seem to be the ceiling.

#2 Cloud Computing- 20 to 1, Beyer wise he fits, but his hanging chandelier races in New York make him a dicey play for me, he is a bit of an unknown so price players might want to shop here.

#1Multiplier- 35 to 1, Everybody’s wise guy horse as he won the Illinois Derby, but that race hasn’t meant anything in years, breeding looks distanced challenged, pass.

#6 Gunnevera- 35 to 1, Really shocked he is here after a very lackluster last two efforts, showing me signs he needs a major break, picks up Money Mike but I don’t think even that can help.

#3 Hence- 40 to 1, In and outer who ran a solid effort in the Sunland Derby, but ran poor to even in the Derby, I think he is a cut below these but  you always need to respect everything TAP sends to the gate.

#8 Senior Investment- 75 to 1, comes into this off a long shot score in the Lexington, but was soundly beaten in LA Derby and that proved to be a weak prep race, simply a race filler.

#7 Term of Art- 100 to 1, Does hail from the well-respected Drug O’Neill barn and adds a hood for this, but the hood’s been on before with no result so can’t see anything really changing.

Don Tiger

-Professional handicapper at

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