With the 134th running of the Preakness just days away, our team of writers and handicappers put together a group of free picks for the annual race.
The 134th running of the Preakness Stakes will be held at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland on Saturday, May 16. For our free picks and predictions for Saturday’s race, see below.
Rachel Alexandra: How solid is this horse? Well, jockey Calvin Borel will jump ship and ride Rachel Alexandra rather than the horse he won the Kentucky Derby with, Mine That Bird. If you do not believe the hype on Rachel Alexandra, consider that the owners of the 1st , 2nd and last place finishers at the Derby all said that they would try and enter extra horses to try and keep Rachel Alexandra from being able to race the Preakness. She rain a 108 Beyer Rating at the Kentucky Oaks (her 4th triple digit Beyer in a row) and not one of the males in the Preakness has ever even earned more than one triple digit rating in their careers. Sloppy conditions at the Kentucky Derby made the race a crap shoot and thus resulting in the shocking long shot win, but expect Rachel Alexandra to dominate on Saturday.
Big Drama: A minor injury kept Big Drama out of the Derby, but this colt has plenty of potential. He finished his juvenile campaign by winning four stakes in impressive fashion. Do not be fooled by his 2nd place finish in the Swale at Gulfstream, as he finished first but was disqualified and dropped down to place. Despite the disqualification, he still logged a 108 Beyer Rating and has the speed to make a late surge and make the finish exciting.
Pioneerof The Nile: Pioneerof The Nile’s amazing performance on the rain soaked surface at the Kentucky Derby was lost in the shuffle due to the shocking 50/1 upset win by Mine that Bird. Despite not being on the rail for the entire 1 ¼ mile distance, Pioneerof The Nile earned an astonishing 95 Beyer Speed figure on the way to a 2nd place finish. Not withstanding a freak storm to replicate the conditions at the Derby, Pinoeerof The Nile is a speedy tactical horse and that should keep him close to the lead the home stretch and he ends up taking a respectable third at the Preakness.
Friesan Fire: We should get decent value on this horse after disappointing all of his backers by losing the Kentucky Derby by 42 ½ lengths as the favorite. Despite the minor injuries suffered at the Derby, this horse is expected to be in full form and able to show what he can do on better track conditions. Considering a skilled trainer like Larry Jones decided not to skip this race is a sign Friesan Fire is ready to redeem himself. At 8-1, this horse should be tossed in any exotic combinations on value alone.
Pimlico Race Course – Baltimore, Maryland
Big Drama 20/1
Flying Private 22/1
Friesen Fire 13/2
General Quarters 10/1
Luv Gov 20/1
Mine That Bird 5/1
Musket Man 10/1
Papa Clem 10/1
Pioneerof The Nile 4/1
Rachel Alexandra 5/4
Take The Points 20/1
Tone It Down 30/1
Posted: 5/14/09 4:40PM ET