Looking at the 2016 Preakness Horses
Looking at the 2016 Preakness Horses by Reinier Macatangay: This weekend, 11 horses will take their shot at the $1,500,000 Preakness Stakes (GI), the second leg of the Triple Crown series held at Pimlico Race Course. The race first began in 1873, three years after Pimlico first opened.
While Kentucky Derby (GI) champion Nyquist looks invincible in this spot, horse racing presents many surprises, and even the most legendary horses such as Secretariat lost a few times in their careers.
For those still unfamiliar with the field, here is one last look at the contenders and a mix of comments from writers, average racing fans and connections.
1. Cherry Wine (20-1)
The Dale Romans-trained colt packs a mild closing kick. He did place third in the Blue Grass Stakes (GI) at Keeneland, although the efforts of Brody’s Cause and My Man Sam in the Derby failed to back up the race.
“Cherry Wine does have a pedigree that suggests not only being successful on multiple surfaces, but successful as he matures mentally and physically,” fellow Lady and The Track contributor Casey Laughter wrote.
2. Uncle Lino (30-1)
Oatsee’s grandson (Oatsee produced 2011 Preakness winner Shackleford) steps up in class after winning the California Chrome Stakes. He previously ran third in the Santa Anita Derby (GI) after a grueling pace.
“The main weapon of Uncle Lino is his early speed, and he will utilize it in the Preakness,” Sigi Mendoza, also a Lady and The Track contributor, pointed out in his article.
3. Nyquist (3-5)
This undefeated Kentucky Derby champion owns plenty of tactical speed and an incredible amount of talent under the guidance of Doug O’Neill and Reddam Racing. The connections won this race in 2012 with I’ll Have Another.
“Nyquist sits just off the hot pace, the front runners commit suicide, and he runs over this field,” racing fan Sarah Sapp suggested.
4. Awesome Speed (30-1)
Look at the beautiful distance pedigree. The Awesome Again colt comes from an Aptitude mare, giving him longer-distance influences on both sides. Room for improvement exists, but maybe not by this weekend.
“His speed isn’t that awesome and neither are his chances,” racing fan Nini Rogerio wrote.
5. Exaggerator (3-1)
The Derby runner-up to Nyquist will prove a popular choice at the windows on Saturday. After the conversion to a deep closer, Exaggerator ran the best two races of his career, although with major pace setups.
“Exaggerator looks tremendous physically,” Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman tweeted.
6. Lani (30-1)
Based in Japan, this Tapit colt offers familiar names in his pedigree (note the damsire Sunday Silence, who won the 1989 Preakness). He broke slow at Churchill Downs while finishing ninth. Perhaps he starts better tomorrow.
“ … Lani was picking up ground late in the Kentucky Derby, which leads me to think that he’ll be closer to the pace tomorrow and will pounce when the real running begins,” racing fan Paige Campbell explained.
7. Collected (12-1)
Triple Crown-winning trainer Bob Baffert conditions him. Also, Javier Castellano takes the mount and he rarely makes bad decisions. Note the 112 TimeformUS Speed Figure when capturing the Lexington Stakes (GIII).
“He still has to … step up. If he breaks well, you never know … ” Baffert said for a TVG interview.
8. Laoban (30-1)
Speed, speed, speed! If Uncle Lino hopes to coast easily, think again. Laoban will take the fight to him, regardless of the consequences. Trainer Eric Guillot used the speed strategy successfully with Moreno throughout his career.
“I like Laoban. Not the favorite by a longshot. But will set the pace and hopefully stay up front at the wire,” Twitter user StandardbredGal offered.
9. Abiding Star (30-1)
The betting public will ignore this Uncle Mo colt, but two starts ago at Parx Racing he did post a 118 TimeformUS Speed Figure and can move forward. The problem is, enough quality speed is lined up to hamper his chances.
It is hard to knock anyone taking a chance with a nice horse who will go off at 30-1 or higher at post time.
10. Fellowship (30-1)
Trainer Mark Casse starts him for the second time after he spent most of his career in the Stanley Gold barn. The son of Awesome Of Course will attempt to take advantage of a hot pace and possibly blow up the exotics.
“ … the first time I rode him, he had a beautiful feel. He … was a very efficient mover,” exercise rider Brian O’Leary said for the Courier-Journal.
11. Stradivari (10-1)
Todd Pletcher’s Preakness hopeful comes into Baltimore with a massive 14-length win at Keeneland. TimeformUS awarded the son of Medaglia D’Oro a 117 TimeformUS Speed FIgure.
Pletcher discussed Stradivari’s Keeneland win for a press release, “That was, I thought, very, very impressive.”