The general consensus among racing pundits is that the more entries in the Preakness the weaker the top horses.
A couple of days ago as many as 16 horses were strong considerations for the race. Now there are just 11 in the field, some scared off by Bodemeister’s speed, and others who just don’t feel they can come back in two weeks off the Kentucky Derby.
Since 1984 only three horses have won the Preakness that didn’t race in the Derby. That would mean that I'll Have Another, Bodemeister, Creative Cause or Went the Day Well have the best chance on Saturday.
While Bodemeister and I’ll Have Another figure to take most of the money at the windows, here are a few horses that can steal this race at a price.
Creative Cause (+600); Jockey: Joel Rosario
You’ll most likely get around 8-1 when the race goes off on this one. Creative Cause finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby, the first time he’d ever missed the board. Trainer Mike Harrington’s charge has raced against the best and never lost by more than a length until the Run for the Roses.
Frankly, he was due for a stinker, and if fifth in the Derby is to be considered a bad race, then there’s still plenty left in the tank for the Cause who rallied home eight wide.
Take away the traffic that Creative Cause endured in the race and the stretch drive would have been much easier. Creative Cause has also beaten Bodemeister and has posted a Beyer figure of 102. That type of race could put him in the winner’s circle here.
Teeth of the Dog (+1500); Jockey: Joe Bravo
Went off a 53-1 in his last race, taking third in the Wood Memorial. When Bravo asked the Dog to run he did and he never stopped. His final furlong was a pedestrian 13 seconds but if he gets off to a better start and the top guns fail to fire this one could surprise. Teeth of the Dog beat Went the Day Well in February as the 2-1 favorite.
Cozzetti (+3000); Jockey: Jose Lezcano
A decided longshot, Cozzetti is the son of Cozzene who won the Breeders’ Cup Mile in 1985. While there isn’t too much to hang your hat on with this one he is trained by Dale Romans who won this race last year with Shackleford and finished second two years ago with First Dude. Obviously Romans knows a little about this race.
Romans decided against starting Dullahan in the Preakness and will enter him in the Belmont. So, he’s giving Cozzetti a shot here.
The negatives: It took Cozzetti three tries to break his maiden and he’s winless in four starts since. His Beyer figures stink and Bodemeister walloped him in the Arkansas Derby.