Homeracing

2021 Preakness: Brisnet Speed Rating Report

Profile Picture: James Scully

May 13th, 2021

A 10-horse field is set for Saturday’s 146th running of the $1 million Preakness (G1) at Pimlico. Three Kentucky Derby runners will wheel back on two weeks rest, including Medina Spirit (9-5 morning line favorite) and Midnight Bourbon (5-1 third choice), who finished first and sixth, respectively, at Churchill Downs.

Rebel S. (G2) victor Concert Tour (5-2) is the only “new shooter” listed at single-digit odds on the morning line.

Brisnet Speed ratings are a handicapping tool for the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, and let’s preview the last three numbers for this year’s contenders.

Horses ranked by last-out Speed rating

Swiss Skydiver:
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104
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109
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100
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War of Will:
94
89
96
Justify:
102
114
104
Cloud Computing:
94
100
90
Exaggerator:
103
102
101
American Pharoah:
100
102
99
California Chrome:
103
106
102
Oxbow:
98
90
101
I�ll Have Another:
108
98
102
Shackleford:
101
101
77

Analysis

Medina Spirit received his first triple-digit Brisnet Speed rating (101) after leading all the way in the Kentucky Derby. He’s the lone member of the 2021 Preakness field to meet the last-out threshold, which isn’t flattering for the competition.

By comparison, six of the 11 runners in the 2020 Preakness had generated a triple-digit Speed number in their previous start.

Crowded Trade, who is listed as the 10-1 fourth choice following a third in the Wood Memorial (G2), is the only other Preakness entrant to register a triple-digit Speed figure, netting a field-best 104 for a runner-up effort in the Gotham S. (G3) two starts previously.

Rombauer, who exits a clear third in a Blue Grass S. (G2) lacking pace, ranks second by last-out Speed rating (96). The Blue Grass was one of the fastest Kentucky Derby prep races, and Rombauer appears likely to receive a more favorable setup in the Preakness. He's 15-1 on the morning line.

Concert Tour, who skipped the Kentucky Derby after weakening to third as the odds-on favorite in the Arkansas Derby (G1), is a candidate for improvement after pairing up 95 Speed ratings in his last two starts.

Speed ratings aren’t available for Japanese-based France Go de Ina, who was last seen finishing sixth in the UAE Derby (G2).

Brisnet Speed ratings for last 10 Preakness winners:

Medina Spirit:
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101
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98
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93
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Rombauer:
96
91
93
Concert Tour:
95
95
97
Crowded Trade:
92
104
92
Midnight Bourbon:
92
94
98
Unbridled Honor:
92
85
82
Keepmeinmind:
91
84
86
Ram:
88
81
63
Risk Taking:
86
92
98
France Go de Ina:
n/a
n/a
n/a

Analysis

Seven of the last 10 Preakness winners posted a triple-digit Brisnet Speed rating in their previous outing. Numbers appear to be trending downward, though, with two exceptions coming in the last four years.

War of Will rebounded from a troubled eighth in the Kentucky Derby to win the 2019 Preakness. His three previous Speed ratings (94-89-96) were far from overwhelming. In 2017, Cloud Computing had finished a well-beaten third in the Wood Memorial before upsetting the Preakness at 13-1 odds, but he had generated a triple-digit number (100) two starts previously.

Six of the last 10 Preakness winners, including four of the last six, were exiting a loss.

Triple Crown winners American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018), along with California Chrome (2014) and I’ll Have Another (2012), all captured the Kentucky Derby.

Conclusion

Triple-digit Brisnet Speed ratings still hold value, but other factors will play a role when handicapping the 2021 Preakness.

Bettors will gravitate to the top three choices on the morning line (Medina Spirit, Concert Tour, and Midnight Bourbon), but I’ll mention a couple of interesting prospects at longer odds.

Crowded Trade enters with Speed rating pattern similar to 2017 Preakness winner Cloud Computing, and both horses are trained by Chad Brown. If the 1 3/16-mile distance doesn’t prove an obstacle, Cloud Computing appears eligible to make an impact.

Rombauer possesses decent back class, finishing a close second in the American Pharoah (G1) and a rallying fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) last year, and his Speed ratings may be poised to keep rising after generating a career-best figure (96) in his final Preakness prep.

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