[Updated with Zach's selections]
|Race||Zack Top Pick||JP Top Pick||Siva&Bale3 Top Pick||Matt Top Pick||TFTribe Top Pick|
|Jim Murhpy||4-Heat Press||6-Shinning Cooper||11-English Minister||10-Redwood Kitten||7-Notacatbutallama|
|Dupont Distaff||3-Moon Philly||3-Mono Philly||7-Brushed by a Star||7-Brushed by a Star||6-Summer Applause|
|Gallorette Hcp.||4-Samitar||4-Samitar||6-Embarr||3-Pianist||9-Old Tune|
|MD Sprint Hcp.||3-Manito||3-Manito||4-Hardened Wildcat||7-Candyman E||4-Hardened Wildcat|
|Dixie||9-Swift Warrior||9-Swift Warrior||4-Imagining||9-Swift Warrior||4-Imagining|
|Race||Zack Odds Play||JP Odds Play||Siva&Bale3 Odds Play||Matt Odds Play||TFTribe Odds Play|
|Jim Murhpy||6-Shinning Cooper||10-Redwood Kitten||11-English Minister||11-English Minister||6-Shinning Cooper|
|Dupont Distaff||2-Withgreatpleasure||4-Daydreamin Gracie or 5-Sea Island||4-Daydreamin Gracie||5-Sea Island||5-Sea Island|
|Gallorette Hcp.||9-Silver Screamer||2-Daydreamin Gracie or 5-Old Tune||6-Embarr||10-Appealing Cat||10-Appealing Cat|
|MD Sprint Hcp.||3-Manito||4-Hardened Wildcat||2-Broad Rule||7-Candyman E||3-Manito|
|Dixie||1-Wilcox Inn||11-Humbele and Hungry||10-Skyring||12-Two Months Rent||1-Wilcox Inn|
|Preakness||6-Oxbow||2-Goldencents||7-Will Take Charge||7-Will Take Charge||8-Govenor Charlie|
Best Bets and other thoughts on the card:
My pick of the card is in the 6th, the Chick Lang Stakes. A race which should see three horses battle for the lead with a fourth pressing the pace, I like 7-City of Weston to come from off the pace and steal the race, and at a nice M/L of 6/1. This grey colt has shown that he's very game with three straight wins (2 at 6f and 1 at 7f) and has Bris figs that exceed or equal par in 2 of his last 3 races. He had a solid 5f work on the 11th and has Javier Castellano up, who is winning at 22% clip this year. To top it all, City of Weston has been in the money in all 10 of his last starts.
7-Will Take Charge: I have some doubt he'll be 12-1, because of D. Wayne showing up in the connection line. Also, trip handicapping isn't something you have to get Rosetta Stone or deep in the library film to decipher anymore. He stopped behind Verrazano to cut off his run, and probably needed the race in the Derby to freshen up for this spot. While Oxbow will garner the attention at the window because of Gary Stevens being there and being 6th to WTC's 8th, he seems the more likely to take advantage of the pace. The "wiseguy" horse almost never seems to win the Preakness in recent memory. Peace Rules, Lion Heart, Gayego/Kentucky Bear, and Dollar Bill all come to mind right away. Will Take Charge may be your second longest shot to Titletown Five in here. I like that, for exotics at least. He won't outkick Orb without a major step up, but he's my prime longshot play of the day underneath in exotics. He's the best value play of the day, I feel.
My best to win play is probably Embarr in the Gallorette for a straight win bet thanks to 3/3 at Pimlico turf, though.
I love 7-Candyman E in the Maryland Sprint Handicap and will be running to the wind, er laptop, to bet him if he's anywhere near his 6/1 morning line odds. He didn't run a very good race in the G3-Commonwealth at Keeneland last time out but I'm willing to toss his lone Polytrack race in the bin and look strickly at his performances on fast dirt surfaces. He's perfectly content to sit three to four lengths off the lead and he should have plenty to run at if some of the speed horses in this race mix it up in the early stages. I think the return to dirt gives this gelding a big time shot at win honors.
I rarely go with chalk, but you have to think that the 8-Code West in the 13th race of the day is a free square, and totally deserving of a 4/5 morning line. The second-place finisher in the Risen Star finds himself matched here against Allowance company. Baffert rolls at 36 percent wheeling back a beaten favorite and horse has trouncing-level late pace numbers against this field.
You all know I hate chalk, so, as a bonus...my top selection from Stakes listed above is the 3-Manito in the 10th. He has a couple of other E types in here, who I do fear may cook him early, but I like the price and my numbers hint that he might be the speed of the speed. Trainer King Leatherbury has scored on 3 of 5 Stakes races, and looks for this son of speedballer Indian Charlie to win his fifth straight on the step up to his highest level yet. Worth a shot.
Chad Brown's GB-bred, Samitar, has seen the toughest of test since arriving in the United States last July. She's only finished out of the money once in a five-race campaign that included three Grade I stakes and a pair of Grade II's. The speed in this race isn't eye-popping, and I think the 9-horse Silver Screamer could surprise some and be in the mix down the stretch. She's going up in class but has shown in past races she can chase leads at distance and finish strong.