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A CLASS-BASED LOOK AT THE QUALITY AND DEPTH OF PREAKNESS 145: WHAT SAY YOU?

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…

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⚠ Before you comment

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14 Responses

  1. Keith,

    Filly is so honest, so tough, always shows up but boy are the dynamics rough for her today. Seems her best races are on or very near the pace and there’s a chance her choices are the rock or the hard place. One things for sure, she sure doesn’t need to carry her track with her. Eight starts this year–remarkable in this era, second one against boys–and eight different venues. Talk about old school…

  2. .10 super — $ 6.00 — 2 x 2 x 6 x 6 – – – – –
    3 – 9 with 3 – 9 with 2 – 4 – 5 – 7 – 8 – 10 with 2 – 4 – 5 – 7 – 8 – 10
    I think it is a 2 horse race — Authentic and Art Collector —
    Should be a good day of racing.

    1. Looks like a good bet. Thanks for sharing. I’m going to hang my hat on Authentic. And I’ll spread a little more underneath.
      So I’ll bet a .50 cent tri….

      #9 Authentic
      over 2-3-4-5
      over 2-3-4-5-7-8-10-11

      It cost $14 and if I can get a price in third, then it shall be a worthwhile bet. Even if comes back rather chalky, it should still cover $14

      GOOD LUCK!!!

  3. Kim, like your thinking and thanks for playing our home version of the game.

    I, too, think that one of two horses will win the Preakness but, hyperbole intended, if my life depended on it, Authentic will be BB’s sixth Kentucky Derby winner to repeat in Baltimore. A safe and speedy journey to all.

    We’ll have a detailed Preakness play by late Friday afternoon and a look at major Breeders’ Cup races from around the country Saturday.

  4. KP,
    Thanks for sharing your data in a manner that should help some of us learn how to use them to analyze/handicap a race. Perhaps in the future you could list them in order of your preference.

    Re-sequencing your Post Position list below based on highest figure attained among (last?) three races seemed to help me focus on them, but perhaps you have a better way. I’d appreciate seeing how you personally ranked this field and how you intend to play vertical exotics here:

    #9 AUTHENTIC 9-5:   Sep05 G1 KY Derby (A+, 108).   Jul18  G1  Haskell S. (A, 100). Jun06 G1 SA Derby (A-, 96).

    #2 MR. BIG NEWS 12-1:  Sep05 G1 KY Derby (A+, 103). Jul11    G2 Blue Grass (A-84).   Apr11 OP Stk [NG]  (83).

    #3 ART COLLECTOR 5-2:   Aug09 Ellis Park Derby [NG]  (102).  Jul11  G2 Blue Grass (A, 101).   Jun13  ALW (94).

    #5 THOUSAND WORDS 6-1:  Aug01 Shared Belief [NG] 102).   Jul04 G3 Los Al Derby (B, 86)  Apr11 OP Stk [NG] 33.

    #7 NY TRAFFIC 15-1:   Sep05 CD  G1 KY Derby (A+, 80). Jul18 G1 Haskell (A, 100).  May23 G3
    Matt Winn (B+, 93).

    #4 SWISS SKYDIVER 6-1:  Sep04 G1 KY Oaks (A, 100).  Aug15 G1 Alabama (A-, 100).   Jul11  G2 Blue Grass (A, 95).   The Skinny: … Has posted two triple-digit Performance Ratings. {As_have_Authentic_and_Art Collector??}

    #8 MAX PLAYER 15-1: Sep05 G1 KY Derby (A+, 97). Aug08 G1 Travers (A, 93).   Jun20 G1 Belmont S. (A-, 90).

    #11 LIVEYOURBESTLIFE 30-1:  Sep05 G2 Jim Dandy (A, 96).  Aug12 ALW (82).   Jul02 ALW (82).

    #1 EXCESSION 30-1:   Mar14  G2 Rebel B+, (96).  Feb15 G2 Risen Star (B-, 76).   Jan18 G3 LeComte (B-, 73).

    #10 PNEUMATIC 20-1:  Aug15 Pegasus S. [NG]  95.  Jun20 G1 Belmont S. (A-, 86). May23 G3 Matt Winn (B+, 92).

    #6 JESUS’ TEAM 30-1:  Sep05 G2 Jim Dandy (A, 94).   Aug15   Pegasus Stakes [NG] 91.  Jul18 G1 Haskell (A, 87).

    I would rank the contenders as follows:

    Authentic appears the best.
    Art Collector may prove the best.
    Mr. Big News improved to finish closest to Authentic among returning KY Derby starters following his throw-out loss to Art Collector.
    NY Traffic’s Haskell finish encourages ignoring his non-competitive Derby performance.
    Swiss Skydiver has been consistently competitive.
    Pneumatic has been consistently improving.

    SPR: 9,3 // 9,3 // 7,2,4,10 // 7,2,4,10 (2x1x4x3=24)
    SPR: 9 // 7,2 // 7,2,3,4,10 // 7,2,3,4,10 (1x2x4x3=24)
    SPR: 7,2 // 9 // 7,2,3,4,10 // 7,2,3,4,10 (2x1x4x3=24)
    SPR: 7,2 // 3 // 7,2,9,4,10 // 7,2,9,4,10 (2x1x4x3=24)
    SPR: 7,2 // 7,2 // 9,3 // 9,3 (2x1x2x1=4)

    1. Thanks for the recommendation IND….I’ll consider that for the next time.

      For this race I’m making two bets. A $14 tri bet and a $22.40 dime super bet hoping to get lucky in the underneath spots

      TRI
      9
      over 2-3-4-5
      over 2-3-4-5-7-8-10-11

      and in the Super…I’ll put “ALL” on the bottom line

      Good Luck today

  5. Wow, thanks I, for giving your time and sharing with the HRI Faithful along with your interpretations. I cannot argue with a single one. Hope that doesn’t prove too much of a burden. The best of trips and a safe and speedy journey to all!

  6. TTT

    No. Horse Race 11 M/L TTT

    9 Authentic 2.496859726 9/5 2.92
    4 Swiss Skydiver 0.921834273 6 7.90
    8 Max Player 0.738042220 15 9.87
    2 Mr. Big News 0.723232658 12 10.07

    Forget the rest.

    1. Have to respect your “courage” leaving AC (Art Collector) off the ticket. The experts think Authentic and AC will run 1, 2 so you are clearly taking a different path, ha, ha. Art Collector is the fresh horse having missed the Derby. Again, respect your courage to not use him. By leaving him out you may not be “collecting” at the windows but that’s my opinion. Pneumatic may be the mystery horse plus you get Steve Asmussen who took down Preakness with Rachel Alexandra, Curlin, etc.

  7. Keith, putting yourself in a position to get lucky and turn a favorite into something, like the play. All the best at Remington later on…

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