Preakness preview

by TCI 4 years ago

Jon & Joel break down the Preakness field and talk about the challengers and challenges facing Derby winner California Chrome. Can the big favorite be beaten, and if so, who is good enough to spoil his Triple Crown bid?

Watch it. Comment.

TCI Top 10

Rank Name Bris Comments
1 California Chrome 106 Derby winner looking for sixth straight win, but this race is more competitive than his ML odds suggest.
2 Social Inclusion 106 Appears to be on his game at Pimlico, where his lethal speed could be tough to reel in; Very dangerous.
3 Kid Cruz 99 New shooter is a deep closer on a roll; Needs a fast pace to be effective here, which is possible.
4 Ride On Curlin 102 Physically looks better going into the Preakness than the Derby; Rosario gives him a shot to be on the board.
5 Bayern 99 May be the quickest of the speed; Think he’ll prove to be a top middle-distance type, but this seems beyond his reach.
6 General A Rod 100 Derby effort is a toss, as he was never engaged like he needs to be; Can grind his way onto the board here.
7 Ring Weekend 97 Has some upside and his Calder performance can be forgiven, but not sold he is ready for this yet.
8 Pablo Del Monte 95 Important piece to the Preakness because he’s the furthest drawn speed, but pace influence will be his lone contribution.
9 Dynamic Impact 96 Has really come around this year and could have a nice future, but this is a big jump at this point.
10 Ria Antonia 94 Speaking of big jumps, this filly’s owner has ambitious plans considering she was just off the board in the KY Oaks.

through 5/15/2014


  • 1JoeP

    Hi Joel – Preakness now less than 24 hrs. away. Sounds like the weather on Saturday should be good. Here’s my top 4 Joel: #1 California Chrome. #2 Dynamic Impact #3 social Inclusion #4 Kid Cruz. I believe if CC breaks good like he did in the derby, he will be in good shape to win the Preakness. I think that Dynamic Impact and Kid Cruz both have a big shot at 2nd. Social Inclusion should also be in the mix. I could see CC pouncing on Social Inclusion in the stretch and going by him. Dynamic Impact and Kid Cruiz could run on late to pick up the pieces.

    • Joel Cunningham

      Hey Joe!

      Two scenarios play out in my head and I think both of them will make this race challenging for Chrome. Baffert wants to stalk with Bayern, and I don’t think Pablo is good enough or quick enough to keep up with Social Inclusion. So I think if that’s accurate, then there’s a good chance that SI gets into his cruising speed without taking much heat, and that would make him dangerous to catch over that racetrack the way it usually plays if he can run back to his Gulfstream allowance race, which I still believe was a legit race in his first try around two turns. The key for him will be how he handles the pre-race saddling in the infield and big crowd. He melted down a bit before the Wood and I believed his performance suffered a bit, along with it being his first road trip for a trainer who doesn’t travel much.

      Now that he’s been a Pimlico and has had some work at the track and time to get familiar, I think that should help, not to mention he’s another start more experienced.

      The other scenario I see playing out if Bayern and Pablo pressing SI a la today’s Pimlico Special, and there becoming a pace meltdown. If that’s the case, then the race becomes one that involves everyone and gives an advantage to the closers. I could see Ride on Curlin or Kid Cruz sling-shotting to the lead inside the 16th pole if that were the case.

      Either way, I don’t believe either scenario is one I would want to see if I were a California Chrome fan. He hasn’t really been in a race against top horses where he wasn’t able to control things and dominate his rivals. If SI gets loose then that would be the first time he’d have to try and catch a quality speed horse over a track that usually favors speed types. If Chrome sits off of a pace meltdown, it will be the first time he’s had to rally from behind and hold off fellow closers of this quality. I know they’re not of his quality, but coming back on 2 weeks and having to run a different style of race doesn’t make it easy for him IMO.

      We’ll see how it plays out. I think Chrome’s best scenario is for either Bayern or Pablo to pressure SI through a moderate pace and then for Chrome to try and jump on SI around the 1/4 pole and allow his class to take over, which sounds like the trip you think he’ll get.

      This is a very intriguing race in terms of how it’s going to set up. Also can’t wait to see how the track is playing while drying out tomorrow. Should be a fun day!

  • JR

    Hi Joel,
    Thank you for the show 🙂 I’m a happy chappy now. Joel, do you think SI is similar to Bobemeister in his running style? I know you have been high on SI, but I’m rooting for CC. Do you know if CC wins, he will be the first Cal bred to win the derby and preakness.

    Joel, how much weight can a horse lose after a race like the derby, I heard Sherman say CC has gained 35lbs. If I heard him correctly. Anyway, I sure I’ll have more questions for you. You know me and my after thoughts.
    Kind Regards,

    • Joel Cunningham

      Hey JR!

      SI strikes me as more of a high cruising speed horse. A train that’s hard to catch once he gets rolling strongly in his rhythm. He’s longer and bigger than Bodemeister and covers more ground with his stride. I think Bode was just exceptionally quick and athletic…he had a much better turn of foot / quick acceleration. I don’t think Bodemeister was a need-the-lead type..I just think Baffert likes to use speed if his horses have it because it’s usually an advantage. Bode was definitely brilliant, but I think he could have stalked and pounced just as easily if they wanted to..he didn’t strike me as a horse that needed to be in a rhythm to run well. I think he was more push-button and could quicken at the rider’s command.

      SI is not that kind of horse as far as what I can tell. He appears like one that needs to get into his cruising speed and a good rhythm to run well. He doesn’t strike me as the type that can rate at the rider’s will and then hit several gears when asked to stretch out and quicken. He’s a cruiser IMO.

      Depending on how well of a doer a horse is, one that lays his ir her body down and gives everything they have in a race can easily lose 25-50 pounds, or even more in drastic cases. It sounds like a lot, but when you factor in that many of these horses weigh 1200 lbs then you realize losing 2-3% isn’t a big deal. It would be like you or I losing 3-5 lbs after a hard marathon. Not a huge deal, but it’s evidence that you’ve exerted yourself significantly. Particularly important when you have to ship again and run on 2 weeks rest. And when he’s been so sharp for as many months as he has, it makes you wonder if he’s finally going over the top, which is a real possibility. By the speed figures, the Derby appears to be possible evidence of Chrome not being as sharp as he was at 1 1/8 miles and after 2 or 3 big races in California this spring. So now that he lost weight after the Derby, could it all be culminating to a regression? Or does he have more in the tank? We’ll see tomorrow how he performs. I will say that they seemed concerned about his weight loss after the Derby, so much so that they felt they had to get someone to analyze him. It is encouraging that they found that he’s regained it all and them some in the last 2 weeks.

  • JR

    Hi Joel,
    Well, are you going to Belmont? I’m hearing good reports about Chrome. We will see how he is getting over the track, I think tomorrow.

    You know Joel, there comes a time in racing where you might have the opportunity to see a very special horse, I think Bob Baffert summed it up after the Preakness, when he was interviewed by HRTV. He said this horse is the super real deal. He praised Art Sherman, and Victor. He also said he never wanted to be in a race against him.

    The one thing as handicappers and people who give excellent analysis which by the way means you, who I highly respect, we can’t calculate his heart, his determination to win. All we can at this point is hope he stays healthy and safe, and enjoy the ride CC is taking us on. I hope the racing Gods will shine on him, in his last effort for immortality.

    Take care my friend,
    Kind Regards,

    • Joel Cunningham

      Hey JR!

      Yes I will be there, and what a great card of racing MYRA will have. In my opinion, it could be the second best day of racing in North America aside from Breeders’ Cup Saturday. It’s going to be that good.

      JR, I agree completely that Chrome is a very very nice colt. He’s been #1 on our list since he proved his salt in the SA Derby. I just have picked against him for a multitude of reasons, mainly because I liked one horse better in each of the Derby and Preakness. But trust me, it’s been evident that his form has been too good, he’s looked too good, and his tactical ability is so much of an advantage that it was clear to me that it would be improbable to keep off the board. And, no, I promise you that I don’t normally feel that way about favorites like him.

      I may have some shocking stats and commentary in our Belmont show. Hope you tune in, and you can give me your thoughts on what I have to say then. We study all year to try and get it right, and Chrome has been great and has not done anything that has surprised me necessarily. I have one more prediction in the bag about him coming soon!

      All the best my friend! -Joel

      • JR

        You know I will stay tuned.

        Now Joel, you certainly know how to build up the anticipation of your show:) I”m going to be thinking hummmmmm what does he know!! When will you post the show?

        It will be a great day of racing, and I am going to be watching.
        You and Jon have a great time, I wish I could be there, why don’t you take some pictures and share them with us.
        Take care Joel,

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