By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
CAN “THE PHAROAH” CROSS THE BURNING SANDS – AT PIMLICO?
Can American Pharoah Grab The Black-Eyed Susans?
By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor – in – Chief
and Jennifer Thibodeaux Bourque
PHILADELPHIA (BASN): The fortunes of the Racing Gods smile on a beleaguered Maryland and Pimlico – as the 140th Edition of the Preakness Stakes runs today.
The question – can Derby winner American Pharoah make it two in a row – and set up another potential Triple Crown effort?
Our racing colleague, Jennifer Thibodeaux Bourque, has studied bloodlines for years; and understands the different facets which come with the second jewel of the Thoroughbred Triple Crown. “ This weekend will tell the tale for ‘Pharoah’, says Bourque. “He’s going to be tired – but so will Firing Line and Dortmund. Now we see which ones have true talent.”
The field, shortened to eight (Pimlico has never allowed a bigger field than 13 for The Preakness) has only five returnees from the Derby. Every year it seems a local “specialist” – in this case the #6 hoss, Bodhisattva – pops up to work the ‘horse for course’ angle – which Ms. Bourque feels…is unfair. “It is unfair! As we speak, a number of trainers are waiting to enter until the Belmont Stakes, which sucks. Triple crown qualifiers and those entered should be the same ones all the way unless injured – and no geldings should be allowed. This group of races is basically for breeding rights more so than the Breeders Cup (in October).
As to the race itself, the shorter distance at one and three sixteenths’ miles will make for a different strategic approach. My colleagues Roast Beef and Railbird Rocco saw the same thing in the Derby. ‘The fractions were abysmally slow for this caliber of thoroughbred,” says Rocco. They come out the gate in 23, 47 – 2:00 4/5 – no pace doomed anyone thinking of closing.”
The smaller field while eliminating traffic problems, will force the issue, as the uncoupled entry of ‘Pharoah and Dortmund will come out the gate at posts 1&2, respectively. Jockey Gary Stevens, who has been hard – knocking with Firing Line seems to have the closing spot with the #8 post – but i think at the end, Danzig Moon (#4) may find a way to fatten up the exotic pools – i see him as the closer saving ground on the rail, then swinging into an outside lane unless we get a speed duel – if that happens, the rail may turn out to be gold coming down the backstretch.
That said, let’s get down to business:here’s the plays:
JTB: I still like ‘Pharoah #1 to get it done; Firing Line second and Mr. Z (#3) to show – $3 straight trifecta 1-8-3, and a $5 wps saver on Firing Line – $18.00
MLI: I will wheel Danzig Moon #4 – back with the #1 American Pharoah in a $2 trifecta ($24) and a $1 superfecta partial 14/with 147 – Divining Rod /1247/with the field for a $32 investment – total = $56
On that note, don’t forget when you see your Hoss steamin’ down the stretch, get up and scream at the top of your lungs…
WORK THAT NOBLE BEAST!