The 2021 Preakness Stakes Tipsheet
A cast of 10 sophomores will travel 1 3/16 miles in Saturday’s $1 million Preakness S. (G1) at Pimlico Race Course. Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Medina Spirit will attempt to make it two classic victories in succession for conditioner Bob Baffert, but the Florida-bred will have his work cut out for him in the second leg of the 2021 Triple Crown.
Preakness Stakes Picks
- #6 Rombauer
- #10 Concert Tour
- #3 Medina Spirit
- #5 Midnight Bourbon
Preakness Stakes Wagers
- $20 win and place 6
- $10 exacta box 6-10
- $1 trifecta 6 with 3,5,10 with all
Preakness Stakes Contenders
#1 RAM makes his stakes debut off of a pair of wins in succession for living legend D. Wayne Lukas. Improving son of American Pharoah is bred for the trip and is working well in preparation of his stakes debut, but he will need a major step forward to challenge this group late on Saturday.
#2 KEEPMEINMIND passed a lot of horses in the Kentucky Derby and could be sitting on a big effort for Diodoro. The one-run closer will have no trouble with the distance, and if the leaders go too fast early, then he will be charging home as a top-three contender under David Cohen.
#3 MEDINA SPIRIT showed heart and determination when fending off a trio of challengers at Churchill Downs two weeks prior for Baffert. The son of Protonico is consistently excellent and will be dead-fit for his Pimlico debut under John Velazquez. Florida-bred is the inside pace of the field and should be sent from the start.
#4 CROWDED TRADE is one of two in the cast for top conditioner Chad Brown. The lightly raced chestnut was a smart third in the Wood Memorial S. (G2) which was preceded by a nose second in the Gotham S. (G3). By More Than Ready, the colt has hung a bit late in his last two outings, but he wouldn’t surprise with a top-three finish in the Preakness with Castellano in the controls.
#5 MIDNIGHT BOURBON missed the break before rallying for a respectable sixth-place result in the Derby for Asmussen. The Grade 3 victor has run well this season against the best of his generation, and a top performance from him could result in a fine result on Saturday. Irad Ortiz Jr. taking the reins is a major plus.
#6 ROMBAUER gets the upset nod for trainer Mike McCarthy. The Grade 1-placed bay has run a pair of very good races this campaign, including a solid third in the Bluegrass S. (G2) last time out, and I expect him to peak in his third assignment of 2021. The Twirling Candy homebred will stalk the early tempo from near midpack with Prat signed on.
#7 FRANCE GO DE INA makes his stateside debut following an unplaced effort in the UAE Derby (G2) at Meydan most recently. Japanese invader had excellent form prior to his trip to the desert, and he also gets Rosario to ride, but the wildcard is hard to back with confidence in my opinion. The Kentucky-bred will be coming from off the pace in the Preakness.
#8 UNBRIDLED HONOR made a fine late run to be runner-up in the Lexington S. (G3) at Keeneland in his latest endeavor for Pletcher. Gray son of Honor Code took a nice step forward over a sloppy surface last out, but he will need additional improvement to be a threat in the lane on Saturday. Luis Saez will be in the silks.
#9 RISK TAKING romped home in the Withers S. (G3) two back, but he failed to fire his best shot when flat in the Wood Memorial for Brown. The late-running son of Medaglia d’Oro has trained well in the interim, however, and he deserves another chance in a race where the tempo is expected to be sharp. Jose Ortiz has the call.
#10 CONCERT TOUR looked like a star in his Rebel S. (G2) tour-de-force two back before regressing some when third in the Arkansas Derby (G1) for Baffert. The ultra-talented son of Street Sense might have the most raw ability in the cast, and the outside draw is a good slot to match his running style, as well. The homebred will have Mike Smith up for the first time in the Preakness.