This is a special edition of “Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes” for Preakness Weekend as our stable of handicappers gives our takes on the final leg of this year’s mixed-up Triple Crown, including multi-race wagers leading up to the big race.
Granted, the Preakness lost some of its luster with Belmont winner Tiz the Law losing to Authentic in the Kentucky Derby as there’s no chance of a Triple Crown. However, many will be betting on Authentic, the 9-5 morning-line favorite, to move to the head of the class and they’re encouraged by the fact that Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is 5-for-5 with his Derby winners in the Preakness and is going for a record eighth Preakness win overall.
But let’s start with the Pimlico Special-Preakness double that starts with Friday’s Pimlico Special and also a Pick 4 leading up to the Preakness on Saturday’s card. (Note: we might add more plays on Friday or after early scratches on Preakness Day around noon ET Saturday). Good luck, and I hope we help with your handicapping and construction of your tickets.
Pimlico Race No. 11 (6:23 p.m. ET/3:23 p.m. PT)
John Lauro likes the Special-Preakness Double with #8 Owendale (8-5 morning line) in Friday’s Pimlico Special with #9 Authentic (9-5) in Saturday’s Preakness; this bet is available in Pimlico’s 11th race on Friday. “Johnny V (Velazquez) is holding all the cards as he rides both Owendale and Authentic.”
Pimlico Race No. 8 (3:22 p.m. ET/12:22 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes the following $.50 all-stakes Pick 4 (cost $48)
Race 8: 1, 3, 7, 8
Race 9: 1, 4, 9, 10
Race 10: 5
Race 11 (Preakness): 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10
Pimlico Race No. 11 (5:36 p.m. ET/2:36 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes #3 Art Collector (5-2 morning line). “This Thomas Drury colt had a minor setback that prevented him from competing in the Kentucky Derby where he would have probably been the second betting choice. He comes into the Preakness with five straight wins over three different tracks and three solid workouts. He will break sharp and try to make Authentic earn the lead. He should have a perfect trip. Jockey Brian Hernandez must avoid a speed duel or it will cost him in the stretch. He will be bet, so I recommend keying trifectas and exactas with 3 over 1, 5, 7 & 9 and also reverse these wagers putting Art Collector in the second spot and a Win bet for the straight bettors.”
Ed Sehon likes #5 Thousand Words (6-1 morning line). “There’s an old adage among hard-core horseplayers that says, ‘If a trainer has two entered in the same race, bet the one with the highest odds.’ With Bob Baffert’s Kentucky Derby wire-to-wire winner #9 Authentic (9-5) the certain favorite, his other entered colt -- the high-energy, rambunctious, sharp Thousand Words -- is just as certain to be overlooked in the wagering. Our choice was scratched from the Derby after tumbling to the ground in the Churchill Downs paddock mere minutes before post time. Prior to the paddock spill, the $1 million son of Pioneerof the Nile had blitzed a select Del Mar stakes field at 9-1, earning a 104 Beyer Speed figure. Rested and hopefully relaxed, top Kentucky-circuit rider Florent Geroux picks up the mount for Baffert. I could go on for a Thousand Words, but the boss told me to keep this ode closer to 200. Wager: Win on 5 & box in exactas and trifectas with 3, 4, 8, 9 & 10.”
John Lauro likes #9 Authentic (9-5 morning line). “Baffert’s record in the Preakness is awesome. It’s a very simple race. We’ll use the #9 with #3 Art Collector, #4 Swiss Skydiver & #7 Ny Traffic underneath in exotics.”
Dave Tuley likes #8 Max Player (15-1 on the morning line). While Authentic is certainly a worthy favorite and the Preakness usually goes to the fastest horse, this race also has a reputation for price horses filling out the exacta as the second-place horse has averaged odds of 16-1 over the last seven runnings. The 3-year-old that fits that mold the most is the late-running Max Player, who was my pick in the Belmont and Derby and finished third and fifth, respectively. But I’ve seen this before where I like a horse early because I’m always trying to find horses on the improve before everyone else gets on the bandwagon. Hopefully, this is the day where this young colt lives up to his potential. Bet Win & Place on #8 Max Players, plus let’s key the 8 with my friends’ top choices, the #3 Art Collector, #5 Thousand Words and #9 Authentic.