By Keith Pettyjohn — Saturday is the final leg of the Triple Crown, the 145th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course, 2020 style.
Here’s an overview of the field, their early odds and their last three outings, including the grade each Graded Stakes Race earned, a Class-Based Performance Rating and a brief comment on each runner:
#1 EXCESSION 30-1: Mar14 G2 Rebel (B+, 96). Feb15 G2 Risen Star (B-, 76). Jan18 G3 LeComte (B-, 73).
The Skinny: Ran the race of his life last time out. But that race must have taken something out of him or knocked him off of his game; on the shelf seven months.
#2 MR. BIG NEWS 12-1: Sep05 G1 KY Derby (A+, 103). Jul11 G2 Blue Grass (A-84). Apr11 OP Stakes [non-graded] (83.
The Skinny: Has improved in every start of his career and is poised to make another move forward today, quite possibly at very decent odds.
#3 ART COLLECTOR 5-2: Aug09 Ellis Park Derby [N-G] (102). Jul11 G2 Blue Grass (A, 101). Jun13 Allowances (94).
The Skinny: Winner of five straight races will face his toughest challenge today. Likely to go post-ward second betting choice.
#4 SWISS SKYDIVER 6-1: Sep04 G1 KY Oaks (A, 100). Aug15 G1 Alabama Stakes (A-, 100). Jul11 G2 Blue Grass Stakes (A, 95).
The Skinny: Terrific filly takes on the boys; second three back to Art Collector and second in KY Oaks. Has posted two triple-digit Performance Ratings.
#5 THOUSAND WORDS 6-1: Aug01 Shared Belief [NG] 102. Jul04 G3 Los Al Derby (B, 86) Apr11 OP Stakes [NG] 33.
The Skinny: Showed a lot of talent in first three career races. Put it all together again last time out. Interesting move to put blinkers back on after a career best effort.
#6 JESUS’ TEAM 30-1: Sep05 G2 Jim Dandy (A, 94). Aug15 Pegasus Stakes [NG] 91. Jul18 G1 Haskell (A, 87).
The Skinny: Has been a much better horse switching to D’Angelo barn. But looks to be in too deep here.
#7 NY TRAFFIC 15-1: Sep05 CD G1 KY Derby (A+, 80). Jul18 G1 Haskell (A, 100). May23 G3Matt Winn (B+, 93).
The Skinny: Improved efforts for six straight races before topping out with a 100. Regressed significantly in the Derby. Should give a better account of himself in her.
#8 MAX PLAYER 15-1: Sep05 G1 KY Derby (A+, 97). Aug08 G1 Travers Stakes (A, 93). Jun20 G1 Belmont Stakes (A-, 90).
The Skinny: Has taken a step forward in each lifetime start. Another forward move here makes him as a fringe player for trifecta, superfecta and Super High-5.
#9 AUTHENTIC 9-5: Sep05 G1 KY Derby (A+, 108). Jul18 G1 Haskell Stakes (A, 100). Jun06 G1 SA Derby (A-, 96).
The Skinny: Coming off his career best effort in KY Derby where he beat several of these. Trainer has put two fast workouts on his workout tab. The one to beat.
#10 PNEUMATIC 20-1: Aug15 Pegasus Stakes [NG] 95. Jun20 G1 Belmont Stakes (A-, 86). May23 G3 Matt Winn (B+, 92).
The Skinny: Five career starts makes him the most lightly raced horse in the field. Looks to be in over his head against more seasoned runners.
#11 LIVEYOURBESTLIFE 30-1: Sep05 G2 Jim Dandy (A, 96). Aug12 Allowances (82). Jul02 Allowances (82).
The Skinny: Made a major move forward last out when second in the Jim Dandy, but needs another move forward to be a player here.
So there it is, Pandemic Preakness 145 and a brief overview of each runner with the most recent form and the races they exit.
Post your comments below letting me know who you like and how you see this race shaping up. Will look forward to that…