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Preakness Poll
Who will win the 2018 Preakness?

Diamond King
Good Magic
Lone Sailor
Sporting Chance

Analyzing the Preakness Contenders

Date: 05/14/2018

Three years ago American Pharoah was a stand out in all his races and went on to sweep the Triple Crown, the first horse to do this since 1978, then things went back to normal with three different horses winning the Triple Crown races both in 2016 and 2017. It remains to be seen what will happen with the 2018 series, so we will attempt to handicap the probable Preakness field using angles that have pointed at the winner in past years. It is well known that to win the Preakness, you have to have raced in the Kentucky Derby, and if the Derby is not in the horse's past performances he is an immediate toss for the win. In recent years, only Red Bullet in 2000, Bernardini in 2006, Rachel Alexandra in 2009, and Cloud Computing in 2017 skipped the Derby to win, although some would argue Rachel Alexandra was good enough to win the Derby. It should come as no surprise that the top 5 horses in the analysis all ran in the Derby. Although Pimlico is often called a speed-favoring oval, about half of the Preakness winners came from off the pace, while 1/3 of winners stalk. However in recent years rally types have not fared as well, so we are looking for horses that win from inside 4 lengths out, which would be marked as E, E/P, or P type in BRIS past performances, with S types failing on this factor.

We also recommend checking workout patterns in the final week since these are a good indicator of who is ready. Not having a work between the Derby and the Preakness used to be a negative, but perhaps this angle has been negated as recent winners Exaggerator, American Pharoah, California Chrome, I'll Have Another, Shackleford, and Lookin at Lucky (6 of the last 8) all did not post a timed work during the 2 week layoff. (2013 winner Oxbow did, en route to his upset of Derby winner Orb). But note again that all of them came out of the Derby, so with that short layoff a timed work may be unnecessary. Horses not coming from the Derby definitely should have a timed work.

Where there is a tie in points we will list the horses in alphabetical order. You can view free past performances here from

Good Magic - leads the way in the Preakness analysis, and scored on every factor we looked for. It is worth noting that every horse in the analysis has a dosage index under 4.0 so this did not affect the results. The Juvenile champion is coming off the recommended prep race, the Derby (this is such a strong angle it is worth 2 points), he has enough starts at 2 and 3 including stakes wins both seasons, is coming here off a sharp prep, has qualified on speed figures with his 105 in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) (need a 104 BRIS fig in a route race, lifetime), and has the preferred running style, which for the Preakness is the opposite of the Derby, winning from within 4 lengths off the pace rather than closing from over 4 lengths out.

The next 2 horses tied with the second most points and are listed alphabetically:

Bravazo - like Bolt d'Oro, is only missing on two angles. Finishing 6th beaten 8 lengths in the Derby did not qualify as a sharp prep, and he has not met the speed figure par of 104, his best being the 98 when winning the Risen Star (G2).

Justify - made the 2nd place grouping, not surprisingly given his wins in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and Kentucky Derby (G1). Like in the Derby analysis, he lost his 2 points by failing to start as a juvenile; we only need 1 start at 2 (he has none) and an in-the-money stakes placing at 2.

Lone Sailor - is alone in the 3rd place spot. He comes to Baltimore off an 8th place finish in the Derby, thus missing out on the sharp race angle. His best speed figure is the 100 when finishing 2nd in the Louisiana Derby (G2), and he has no stakes win this year (in fact lifetime). In addition he is a deep closer, not recommended here.

The next 2 horses tied with the second most points and are listed alphabetically:

Diamond King - is the first horse in our analysis to have skipped the Derby, coming here off a win in the Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel. He is also short on starts this year with 2 (we look for 3 starts), and his best speed figure is the 95 earned in the Tesio.

Givemeaminit - finished 3rd in the Pat Day Mile (G3) on the Derby undercard giving him a sharp prep 2 weeks out. He lacks a stakes win this year and his best speed figure in a route was the 90 when finishing 4th in the Louisiana Derby (G2), well short of the 104 par.

Sporting Chance - is alone in the 8th place spot. He finished 4th behind Givemeaminit in the Pat Day Mile (G3), beaten 8 lengths so despite being 2 weeks out, was not sharp. Although he has a stakes win at 2, the Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga, he lacks a stakes win his year. His best speed figure is the 95 finishing 3rd in the Blue Grass (G2).

The next 2 horses tied with the second most points and are listed alphabetically:

Pony Up - is another newcomer to the Triple Crown circus, off a 3rd place finish in the Lexington (G2), which is a sharp prep but beyond the 30 day limit preferred for the Preakness. He tends to close from well off the pace, does not have a stakes win this year, and his best speed figure is a 99 when finishing a close second in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3).

Quip - won the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) then was second in the Arkansas Derby (G1) but has been unraced since, so he has a sharp prep but off a long 35 day layoff. He only has 2 starts this year, did not finish in the money in a stakes race as a juvenile (7th in the Kentucky Jockey Club [G2]), and has a best speed figure of 98 earned at Tampa.

Tenfold - sits alone ranked last in the Preakness analysis. Like Justify he is an unraced juvenile with a front-running style but the similarities end there. He only scored on 3 factors -- 3 starts this year, races close to the front, and his dosage is under 4. He comes here off a 5th place finish in the Arkansas Derby (G1), not sharp and 35 days out, has no stakes wins, and his best speed figure is a 94.

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