Re: Preakness Stakes (572 Views)
Posted by: jwbcardinals
Date: May 20, 2022 10:21AM
I am struggling with aligning my thoughts on patterns/readiness, pace, breeding, fresheners, etc.
Clearly pace makes the race, and it appears this race goes back to traditional front-speed bias in TC races. There isn't much signed on here to challenge Early Voting, so I would expect a moderate pace with Epicenter pressing...and then a gaggle within a couple lengths with Simplification, Creative Minister, Skippy, Armagnac, and Secret Oath.
Many of them are "close" in their figure range and on decent patterns, so not as many tosses as in the typical Derby handicapping. So how ready are they to fire at this distance on a hot day? Epicenter, Simplification, Creative Minister, and Secret Oath have a short 2-week turnaround. But although there historically are concerns for horses that moved forward in the KD coming back in 2 weeks...Epicenter, Simplification, and Secret Oath all paired their previous tops. So although the short rest is still an issue, it isn't as concerning as previous years. What does the timing, heat, distance do to their chances of running a top or pair?
Is there a concern with Creative Minister coming off a 4 point new top as well as coming back on short rest...which puts him in that risk category. But he is lightly raced and never gone backwards, so I guess there is no reason to expect regression.
There is also of course a risk of a horse running a high number of consecutive races without getting a "break/freshener". So in that category you have to wonder about those with many consecutive races like Secret Oath (8 races), Skippy (7), and Epicenter (6). This is a newer type of concern as horses aren't running as often...but something to consider.
Which of these factors do you consider most important when looking at this race?