canada africa partner reservation Selecting an upset contender to defeat Mystic Dan and Muth in Preakness Stakes

Selecting an upset contender to defeat Mystic Dan and Muth in Preakness Stakes


The 149e execution of the $2 million, grade 1 Preakness bet Nine three-year-old colts will come together on Saturday at the Pimlico Race Course, three of which will score exciting victories in top company. The field for the 1 3/16 mile Preakness is led by Mystik Dan, who won a thrilling edition of the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve by a nose two weeks ago after a ride on the track, and returns to trying to ride the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Muth won the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby when last seen on March 30, beating Mystik Dan by more than six lengths. Seize the Gray won the Grade 2 Pat Day Mile Stakes presented by SAP on the Kentucky Derby undercard. Others in the field also have top performances, including Grade 2 Louisiana Derby winner Catching Freedom, who finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby. Tuscan Gold finished third behind Catching Freedom in the Louisiana Derby and hopes to improve on that effort. Uncle Heavy won the Grade 3 Withers Stakes in February before finishing fifth in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial Stakes presented by Resorts World Casino. Similarly, Just Steel finished second to Muth in the Arkansas Derby, but got caught up on a high, early pace in the 1 ¼ mile Kentucky Derby and faded to 17.e. Imagination won the Grade 2 DK horse San Felipe Stakes in March before finishing second by a neck in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, and is another colt with high hopes of doing well in the Preakness this year. Mugatu, who finished fifth in the Grade 1 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes last month, completes the field.

Win Contenders:

Catching freedom was visually impressive in winning the Louisiana Derby on March 23, going eight paths wide into the stretch and moving up from 11e to fourth place before riding past the remaining three horses in front of him in the final eighth of a mile. Before that, Catching Freedom rallied for third in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes behind Sierra Leone, who went on to win the Blue Grass Stakes and then finished a nose second in the Kentucky Derby. In the Kentucky Derby, Catching Freedom rose from 15the in the early stages, but was defeated by Sierra Leone, third-place Forever Young and winner Mystik Dan, who had followed Catching Freedom down the track in the final stages of the race. I think the reason Catching Freedom didn’t perform as well as the top three in the Derby had to do with the extra week between the Louisiana Derby and the Kentucky Derby. As I wrote in my Derby analysis, for three-year-olds at this time of year, even a week or two between the last preparation race and the Derby can make just enough difference in fitness level to enable them to successfully tackle the Kentucky Derbies . miles and a quarter distance. Other Louisiana Derby horses include Honor Marie and Track Phantom, who finished eighth and 11the, respectively in the Kentucky Derby, also seem to prove this point. Now that Catching Freedom is fitter, and given that he has improved his Equibase Speed ​​Figures in his last three races from 96 to 98 and then to 107 in the Derby, I think he has a good chance of pulling off the mild upset in to process this race. year Preakness.

Mystical Dan has run consistently fast in each of his last three starts, earning an Equibase Speed ​​Figure of 110 in winning the Southwest Stakes in February, a figure of 106 when finishing third in the Arkansas Derby, and then a figure from 109 when winning the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago. The fact that he finished third in the Arkansas Derby was part of the reason he posted at odds of 18.61-1 in the Kentucky Derby. After getting a ground-saving drive from Brian Hernandez Jr. in the Kentucky Derby, Mystik Dan was able to duplicate his effort in the Southwest Stakes. A reduction of one-sixteenth of a mile in the Preakness could help him win the second jewel in the Triple Crown, as in the Derby he was two lengths ahead with an eighth of a mile to run, a margin that increased with every stride became smaller. from Sierra Leone and Forever Young to just a nose on the wire. He’ll likely finish third or fourth in the early stages of the Preakness, behind horses that tend to rush forward early like Muth and Imagination, and Mystik Dan could potentially gain ground again in the Preakness and then go past the early leaders before holding off the late kick of Catching Freedom.

Muth made his first start as a three-year-old in January, winning the San Vicente Stakes in one turn with an Equibase rating of 95, before returning nearly three months later to win the Arkansas Derby at 1 1/8 miles. That effort earned Muth a career-best 115 Equibase grade, the best of any horse in the Preakness field. Muth was also successful around two turns as a two-year-old, winning the American Pharoah Stakes (99 figures) before finishing second in the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Presented by TAA (100 figures). Being lightly raced, Muth can certainly improve on his last effort, and he won the Arkansas Derby after a longer break than the one he returns on Saturday, suggesting that on paper he could be the one to beat in this year’s Preakness. .

An honorable mention goes to Imagination, Tuscan goldAnd Uncle Heavy, which I might consider for minor awards. Imagination earned a grade of 104 by winning the San Felipe Stakes in March before suffering a neck defeat in the Santa Anita Derby, resulting in a grade of 98. The Santa Anita Derby winner, Stronghold, could compete in the Kentucky Derby only finishing seventh, and even if he were to improve on his performance in the San Felipe, Imagination could only manage third or fourth place in this area. . Tuscan Gold is the lightest ridden horse in the group, having been run only three times. He improved to a career high of 96 when he finished third in the Louisiana Derby, but has since been away compared to Catching Freedom who ran two weeks ago. It should be noted, however, that Antiquarian, ranked sixth in the Louisiana Derby, won the Peter Pan Stakes last week. With him unlikely to improve until his third start of the year, Tuscan Gold could impress. Uncle Heavy got on everyone’s radar with a very sharp victory by a nose in the Withers Stakes at 1 1/8 miles in February, earning a rating of 95. However, two months later he did not perform well at all when finishing fifth in the Wood Memorial Stakes. Still, that 95 rating from the Withers compares well with Tuscan Gold’s best effort to date and Imagination’s most recent effort, so Uncle Heavy is also a contender to consider.

The rest of the Preakness Stakes field (with the best Equibase speed rating): Just Steel (112), Mugatu (96) and Seize the Gray (93).

Win Contenders:

Catching freedom

Mystical Dan


  • Jockey /
    Lanfranco Dettori
  • Trainer /
    Bob Baffert
  • Owner /
    SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Bashor, Dianne, Masterson, Robert E., Waves Edge Capital LLC, Donovan, Catherine and Ryan, Tom
  • Breeder /
    Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds, LLC