MONDAY (5-18-2015) Preakness – Post Race Analysis
Restating what we all know – a torrential rainstorm hit Pimlico approximately 15 minutes before they loaded to run the Preakness. Certainly, bad timing! This rainstorm diminished the chances of several horses, but the problem was knowing exactly who. There certainly were some handicapping clues both positive and negative but with a better class of horses, as theses are supposed to be, I am inclined to expect better performances – even from the ones that don’t have the most perfect wet track breeding. Earlier, I suggested this crop of 3 years olds might in fact be as good and competitive as the 1978 crop. For those of you who are new to the game, 1978 featured Affirmed, Alydar, Believe It, Darby Creek Road, Sensitive Prince and several other world class race horses. The 1978 crop of colts and geldings competed, no matter the track condition and they always outran their “breeding”. So the first obvious conclusion is that American Pharoah, is the only one of the current group that can run his race, no matter the track condition.
Another aspect of American Pharoah’s qualities, is he is not restricted by style, he can show early lick, take the lead or he can cruise up to track the leaders — take his time — before he turns it up. Either way, he responds well to the signals of his jockey and when it’s time to turn it up a notch, he can really step it up….
This Preakness was a run in a very slow time of 1:58 ++, but that is definitely a result of the track changing with the weather. The track was sealed shortly before and the torrents of rain started — all in a short period of time. It’s likely that they could not get the “seal” they wanted or the rain was so powerful it “broke the seal” — I never really know what occurs at that level — but it’s CLEAR the end resuls was the track became extremely slow for the final two races. As for my variant, I have to make my best guess, but to my advantage the last race give me a really good clue as to the actual proper variant. But truth be told, this is still “an educated guess”. In the end, the look and feel of this years Preakness is — that it was won in a slow time and a slow number for this class of horses, and the only one of this group that can handle these difficulties is American Pharoah — so far!
So while there might be tremendous talent in this crop of colts and gelding, there doesn’t appear to bet the competitiveness or the hardiness that has been previously shown – and was especially shown in the great crop of 1978…