Cindy's Horse Racing Website Index

Analyzing the Preakness Contenders

Date: 05/11/2003

Using historical trends and the past performances for 8 contenders currently certain for the Preakness Stakes, we have weighted several factors to develop the following ranked list, similar to what was done for the Derby. Each horse was given points for his conformation to a Preakness winner's profile, and points were subtracted for negative aspects. Of course this does not guarantee that the horse with the most points will win, but it does give you a good idea who to eliminate from the winning position. It follows that if a horse doesn't fit the winner's profile, he may still finish in the money, much like how handicappers might bet anti-bias horses on the bottom of exotics.

For more information on the trends and statistics used in this analysis, check out the book Triple Crown Handicapper 2003 by Jim Mazur.

We also recommend checking workout patterns in the final week since these are a good indicator of who is ready. Preferably you're looking for horses that came out of the Derby and only had one (no more, no less) workout between starts, preferably at Pimlico. Contrary to popular opinion, the preferred running style in the Preakness is to rally or at least stalk. Wire winners are actually rare, with front runners winning just 18% of the time, although War Emblem last year was one of them. This is a very speed-laden group with the only true rallier being Senor Swinger.

Funny Cide winner of the Kentucky Derby.
Funny Cide - He definitely raced in the Derby with a sharp race. He has the right number of 2 and 3 year old starts, did have a 2-year-old stakes win, a graded stakes at 3, has been off the right number of days, has run the Beyer par. However, his biggest knock is that he has points in the far right (Professional) wing of his Dosage Profile. Contrary to the Derby where this is a huge positive, in the Preakness with its shorter distance this is a huge negative. Only 4 winners in 25 years had Professional points. Also, geldings have not fared well in the Preakness, but he won against that stat in Louisville. Will lightning strike twice?

Peace Rules - He and Funny Cide are almost identical in how they match the profile, except that Peace Rules has not yet run to the Preakness Beyer par figure of 106, just missing at 105.

Senor Swinger - He was too lightly raced at 2 with no stakes but has raced enough at 3 and does have the requisite graded stakes win at 3. He is within the correct layoff time, but he was not in the Derby (a huge disadvantage), has not run to the Beyer par. But on the upside he does not have Professional points in his Dosage Profile and he gets the "double whammy" of top Preakness trainer Bob Baffert and top Preakness jockey Pat Day.

Champali will come in off a second place finish in the Derby Trial Stakes.
Champali - He was not in the Kentucky Derby, lacks a graded stakes race at 3, and has not run the Beyer par figure. In his favor, he has the proper number of races at both 2 and 3 with the requisite stakes win at 2. He's been off the proper number of days, had a sharp race last out, and does not have any Professional points in his Dosage Profile.

Cherokee's Boy - He is the local hero (Maryland bred, raced, and trained) and has the local hero jockey in Ryan Fogelsonger. This is a positive angle in the exotics but not the win position (last year Magic Weisner finished second). Other positive factors include the correct number of races at three (but overraced at two), has been off the right number of days and has a sharp prep race in the Federico Tesio, and he lacks the cursed Professional points in his Dosage Profile. However, he falls far short of the Beyer par with a career best of 92 and was not in the Derby.

Midway Road - We find it hard to recommend him in any manner, but he did score next after Cherokee's Boy in our points. Correct number of races at 2 and 3, layoff within the accepted range, sharp prep race (allowance win at Keeneland) last out. He also lacks the Professional points in his Dosage Profile, which is a positive here, but was not in the Kentucky Derby, a huge knock, and has not run to the Beyer par of 106.

Scrimshaw - This one lacks the Professional points in his Dosage Profile and raced in the Derby, and does have the requisite graded stakes win at 3, but that is the extent of his positives. He has not run to the Beyer par, did not have a sharp prep race, and was underraced at two.

Kissin' Saint - There's not much to like about this one. He was not in the Derby, he's been off too long, he does not have a graded stakes win at all, he has not hit the Beyer par, he did not have enough races at two, and worse of all he does have the dreaded Professional points in his Dosage Profile. To his credit he has raced enough as a three year old and had a sharp race last out.

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