When asked who my pick for the Preakness was, I was just beginning to look at the form, so I decided to type my thoughts as I went. This is what happened. Since this was basically typed as I thought, it’s definitely not the most concise post ever, but I think it’ll give you a good idea of what I think of the race.
The short version: Creative Cause
The long version:
If Bodemeister is 8-5 I will play against him all day. He is a good horse (potentially freakish), and he’ll have a pace edge, but at 8-5 is more than worth betting against.
The problem is I don’t see any horse being able to truly go with him early – and I really don’t think there’s any such thing as relaxing just off of Bodemeister, because Bode wants none of that. The only horses I think could possibly hang with him are I’ll Have Another, Creative Cause, and maybe Went the Day Well. MAYBE Teeth of the Dog, but his wire-to-wire maiden win was with slow fractions. I think he’s the only new shooter with any chance whatsoever, though I don’t really like him.
I think it’s between I’ll Have Another, Bodemeister, Creative Cause, Daddy Nose Best, and Went the Day Well. I don’t know if Went the Day well will get the setup he had in the Derby when he appeared to explode late, but he has shown tactical pace in the past so I don’t think he’ll be nearly as far back tomorrow.
I feel like now that Bode’s scared off all the other speed, it puts the other horses in a very interesting predicament – the same one I had anticipated if they’d passed on this race for the Belmont (though in that case it would probably be even more problematic). Either a horse like IHA, CC, or WTDW (very unlikely) goes and tries to run with Bode early and basically sacrifice their own chances, or they let him go and pray that they can reel him in. I don’t believe what Doug O’Neill said about maybe being in front of Bodemeister per say, but I think they are planning on trying to go with him as much as possible. Problem is, I don’t think Bode will be okay with that.
IHA’s best chance of winning might be to go and find his stride early, maybe trying to see if he can pressure Bode. Bode will try to put distance between them, and I think the key might be to let IHA have a breather while Bode powers off on his own. All reports are that Bode looks great this week, but I’m thinking he might regress slightly off his Derby performance – enough that by simply forcing his hand early the others can improve their chances. The thing is, IHA ran a great race, too. Which leaves Creative Cause, who I expect to be near IHA early, as possibly the horse that ran well but never fully got on track in the Derby, to be able to pick them up late.
So, um, long story short… it’ll come down to odds, probably. I think I’m with Creative Cause, but if I’ll Have Another is any better than 3-1 (assuming CC is at the 6-1 ML price), then he’ll be the one who gets my money.