After successfully picking the exacta and taking Animal Kingdom across the board in the Kentucky Derby, I felt it necessary to put out my Preakness picks in writing, well, typed out anyways. Much like the derby, I feel the Preakness is wide open this year due to the slow field. History shows that my picks are ludicrous and that you should go with the top few horses, but I like a couple of big underdogs in the 136th running of the Preakness Stakes.
Win: #13 Concealed Identity (30/1)
Expect the 13 horse to get some last minute betting to drive down the odds, but I love Concealed Identity, although no one else seems to. There are no major knocks on this horse besides the field being deep, but how deep is the field? Concealed Identity is 2-0 at Pimlico, and is the only horse in the Preakness to have raced at this track. He had a great workout and his last race was the best of his career, posting a 96 speed rating. He likes to stalk just a bit down the stretch then drive at the end. Animal Kingdom is strong, but overrated. When you look at past stats and see that the Preakness almost always delivers a favorite in the winners circle, remember that Animal Kingdom was the first horse to win on dirt who had never run on it before, there was a last second jockey change, and questions about his durability in such a long race.
Place: #3 King Congie (20/1)
King Congie is another underdog that I love in this race. Congie has Albarado riding him after being taken off of Animal Kingdom a day before the derby nearly two weeks ago. Congie had very bad showings in two dirt races previously in his career, which is the reason for his inflated odds. Congie has won three of his last four, and finished just behind Kentucky Derby runners Brilliant Speed and Twinspired in his last outing. Over his last four races, Congie has improved each time and gave his best performance in his last race with a 97 speed rating. I like Congie to finish a length back of Concealed Identity.
Show: #11 Animal Kingdom (2/1)
Animal Kingdom has won three of his last four and scorched the dirt at Churchill with a 105 speed rating. There are more front runners in this race with Dance City, Shackleford, Flashpoint, Astrology, Concealed Identity and Sway Away. If Animal Kingdom hangs back too far, he will pay for it in the end, and so will Dialed in, another favorite. I think Animal Kingdom will end up too far back and fail to track down Concealed Identity and King Congie.
Exacta: 13 with ALL. This is a wide open race, and this $13 bet would pay huge for an exacta, especially if anyone other than Dialed in or Animal Kingdom takes second. I have also taken a couple favorites and even put 13, 3, and 5 (Shackleford) in an exacta box.
Trifecta: 13, 3, 11 box. I also like 7,8,9,5 box for a race that allows extra room to move up near the end but still squeezing out Animal Kingdom.
Superfecta: I like 10 cent boxes for superfectas. I have boxed 7,8,9,10,11 and 13,3,5,11. The difference in my picks is due to the two different types of racing we could see on Saturday afternoon.
Disclosure: I am NOT an expert handicapper, simply a sports loving free lance writer who enjoys horse racing and picking horses for fun.