Preakness 2018 Pimlico Preview

Kentucky Derby winner Justify puts his unbeaten streak on the line and looms a very short price in Preakness 2018 at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday, May 19. Justify defeated nineteen runners under the Twin Spires on Saturday, May 5. Three of his Derby rivals are back for more in Baltimore, including runner-up Good Magic. Four new shooters will try to dethrone the reigning king of the 3-year-old class, including Tampa Bay Derby hero and Arkansas Derby runner-up Quip. The Preakness 2018 field, in post position order, with morning line odds and comments: CPR (Comprehensive Performance Rating) – Today’s Racing Digest rating takes into account pace, final time, and closing fraction. 1. QUIP (12-1): Solid improvement from age 2 to 3. His breakout race was the Tampa Bay Derby (132 CPR), and his Arkansas Derby was solid as well (140 CPR). His connections wisely skipped the Kentucky Derby, and this

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Santa Anita Handicapping Recap Week 20

Thursday Santa Anita Park Recap: May 10 Fast main track and firm turf course. One dueling front running winner at 6.5f on dirt. The winning turf course running styles were a downhill stalker, and a closer at one mile (rail at 20 feet; rail on hill at 14 feet). Flavien Prat and Tiago Pereira both booted home a pair. May 10 Claims: Race 1 – Just Bookin (claim voided, reason vet). Race 3 – Winner’s Dream (claim voided, reason vet). Race 4 – True Valor ($10k, Steve Miyadi). Well Measured (claim voided, reason vet). A couple of clear place finishes caught the eye. Etching may have moved a bit too soon under Mario Gutierrez in the second race. She could not hold a 3-length lead in the stretch but was nine clear of the show. In the fourth race, True Valor stalked and finished almost five ahead of the show.

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Santa Anita Handicapping Horses To Watch Week 20

SPARKY VILLE ( May 11): Two year old colt for Jeff Bonde made his debut in Friday’s second for special weights at four and a half on the main. Off at 3/1 in a field of 8 he was totally void of any early speed and fell back to last early, a good dozen lengths off the pace. That was surprising as Bonde works his horses fast, and this one came into the race with quick drills. Nonetheless, Smith didn’t panic and let this baby settle, then put in a good run from the ¼ pole on home, got up for third and was only beaten about 3 lengths at the wire. The gallop out was particularly strong and he went by the wire to wire favorite quickly after the wire. This son of Candy Ride is a soon winner for a barn that does very well with juveniles. SOUTHERN

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Santa Anita Handicapping News and Notes Week 20

• Week five of the spring/summer meet at Santa Anita was concluded on Sunday under cooler temps and even some cloudy skies with some light drizzle over the weekend. But the track remained fast and the turf remained firm and both surfaces played fair over the weekend. The placement of the turf rails are becoming a non factor in handicapping at this track, as horses can win on the lead or come from well off the pace regardless if the rails are in or out 30 feet. Naturally they have to move them each day to sustain the course, which gets as much as four turf races per day, but sometimes the rails are even moved within the race card. It used to be when the rails were 20 or 30 feet out, the advantage went to horses on the lead, but that theory just doesn’t hold water anymore. Racing

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Kentucky Derby Recap and Preakness Preview

Justify put an emphatic end to the Apollo Curse in a prominent throughout victory in Kentucky Derby 2018 on Saturday, May 5 at Churchill Downs. Mike Smith positioned Justify perfectly in second, just off the flank of overmatched 49-1 front runner Promises Fulfilled through strong splits of 22.24, 45.77, and 1:11.01 over the sloppy (sealed) main track. Good Magic was right behind the top two, probably no more than a length and a half back through the opening six furlongs. Justify opened up after Promises Fulfilled gave in, and the race was basically over after a mile. Good Magic gamely chased the winner for the final quarter of a mile and came up a couple of lengths short while just holding second over late mover Audible. Justify is now 4-for-4, and looms a very short price in Preakness 2018 on May 19. His preliminary Today’s Racing Digest numbers for the

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Santa Anita Handicapping Recap Week 19

Thursday Santa Anita Park Recap: May 3 Fast main track and firm turf course. Three front running winners on dirt (7f, 7f, 5.5f). The winning turf course running styles were a patient runner at one mile, a stalker at one mile, and a downhill stalker (rail at 30 feet; rail on hill at 14 feet). Another riding double for 7-pound apprentice jockey Asa Espinoza. Two wins for journeyman rider Tiago Pereira as well. May 3 Claims: Race 4 – Rooms ($25k, Peter Eurton). Race 6 – Don’t Stalk Me ($20k, David Jacobson). Race 7 – Cimpl Man ($62.5k, John Sadler). Cimpl Man ended up an okay 3rd in today’s downhill feature, and he was the only horse running for a tag in the $62.5k optional claiming affair. Hronis Racing and John Sadler were not afraid of the high price tag, and the took him away from Gary Mandella. The downhill

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Santa Anita Handicapping Horses To Watch Week 19

MEAL TICKET ( May 4): Four year old Malibu Moon filly for Matt Chew put it all together in Friday’s second, a maiden special weight affair at 9 furlongs on the lawn for 3 and up. Off at 6/1 in a field of 8, she lagged early and was last into the clubhouse turn about 8 lengths off the pace. She started her rally at the ¼ pole, came five wide into the stretch, then just exploded late to win off by five under a hand ride. She got fast fractions to chase in here of 22.50 and 46.60, but it was still a very impressive turn of foot. The second and third place finishers were both finishing strong, but she went by them like they were standing still. Up the ladder.LEROY (May 4): Four year old gelding for Phil Oviedo made start #2 in his brief career in Friday’s

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Santa Anita Handicapping News and Notes Week 19

• Santa Anita Park concluded week four of their Spring/Summer meet under pretty warm temps on Sunday as the thermometer hit the low nineties. The main track played fair on Sunday but early speed dominated on both Friday and Saturday. For the first time in at least 10 weeks, early speed dominated on the turf course Saturday with 4 of the 5 winners going wire to wire, and the rails were all the way in. That has really been the exception to the rule since this meet started way back on December 26. The course returned to playing fair on Sunday. The pick six was hit numerous times over the weekend and the single ticket jackpot has climbed all the way to $284,685 when racing resumes this Thursday. • The stakes races over the weekend at Santa Anita don’t leave a lot to get excited about. Fault beat a small

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Kentucky Derby Report

Inner posts can be the kiss of death in the Derby. My Derby top Lookin At Lucky had a miserable trip from the rail in 2010, but came back two weeks later to capture the Preakness. My Derby top Union Rags was shuffled out of contention from an inner post in 2012 but returned five weeks later to capture the Belmont Stakes. His son Free Drop Billy drew post two this year and might get shuffled back early. For Derby post positions, I want my top win contenders to be as far away from the rail post as possible and 2015 was a good example. Early/pressing type American Pharoah drew post 18 and moved in a bit after scratches. He was free and clear and in the hunt throughout and his outer draw was the key to his victory over Firing Line and Dortmund. Nyquist stalked the pace from post

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Santa Anita Handicapping Horses To Watch Week 18

BAKERSFIELD SOUND ( April 27): Four year old gelding for Neil Drysdale made his long awaited debut in Friday’s opener, a Cal bred maiden special weight event at a flat mile on the turf. Off at 7/1 in a field of 10, he showed surprising speed and went right to the front from the 3 hole and stole away with quick fractions of 23.11 and 46.74. Van Dyke gave him a breather at the 3/8th pole, then he found another gear at the top of the lane, and zipped away to win by four under a hand ride down the stretch. Just like his father, Acclimation, this one has good speed and can carry it over a good parcel of ground on the grass. He debuted without Lasix and was dead fit for a Hall of Fame trainer. Up the ladder. TOUCHING RAINBOWS (April 27): Five year old gelding for

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