Our Best Longshots for the 2015 Preakness
In addition to our top selections, the team has pegged a few outsiders worth a look…
Kellie Reilly: It's tough to see past the top three from the Kentucky Derby, but the upwardly mobile Divining Rod could make his presence felt at odds of 12-1. A royally bred son of Tapit and multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Precious Kitten (herself a half-sister to turf champ and leading sire Kitten's Joy), Divining Rod has been learning on the job all spring. While the Arnaud Delacour pupil argued the pace before being nailed late in the Sam F. Davis (G3) and again tiring to third in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), he successfully changed to stalk-and-pounce tactics to post a new career high in the April 11 Lexington S. (G3). Divining Rod won handily by three lengths, with speed to spare as the old charts might say. Connections resisted the temptation of trying to get into the Derby, and often that kind of wise restraint pays off. Those connections are Roy and Gretchen Jackson of Barbaro fame. If anyone deserves a change of fortune in the Preakness, it's the Jacksons.
Jennifer Caldwell: My Preakness longshot may not go off at his 20-1 morning-line odds thanks to his local supporters, but Bodhisattva is still likely to be pretty high on the tote-board come post time Saturday. The chestnut colt is ridden by local jockey Trevor McCarthy, who will celebrate his 21st birthday on Saturday, and is campaigned by trainer Jose Corrales. Bodhisattva is the only runner in Saturday’s Preakness with experience over the track, having captured the Federico Tesio S. on April 18 by 1 1/2 lengths. That winning effort could prove just what the colt needs to get the better of his more highly regarded rivals. Nonetheless, Bodhisattva’s connections are compelling enough reason in my opinion to thrown down a couple of bucks on the California-bred sophomore.
Vance Hanson: On paper this Preakness figures to be dominated by the favorites -- the top three finishers from the Kentucky Derby. The most logical of the five remaining candidates in my mind is Divining Rod, who sports the colors of Lael Stables, which campaigned the ill-fated 2006 Preakness favorite Barbaro. Besides the sentimental factor, the Tapit colt has been a consistent player throughout his career and has been spotted conservatively during that time. I think that handling has and will work to his benefit as he faces his most difficult task on Saturday, and I can envision him sneaking into the trifecta in the event one of the big bears have an off day. He’s 12-1 in the morning line and finished five lengths clear of Danzig Moon, the other claimant to this designation, in the Tampa Bay Derby back in March.
James Scully: Danzig Moon registered century-topping BRIS Late Pace ratings breaking his maiden in February and finishing second in the Blue Grass two starts later, but the late runner was too keyed up during the early stages of the Kentucky Derby, forcing jockey Julien Leparoux to fight his mount through the opening quarter-mile. I thought he turned in a courageous effort to finish fifth despite those early antics and the Preakness could set up much better for a colt with potentially a huge upside. He’s bred to relish classic distances and has bounced back well from the Derby experience, according to reports, and I’m expecting a contested pace with more legitimate early splits than we witnessed at Churchill Downs. Danzig Moon can come charging late if he settles after the break and rates the best chance at an upset -- I’ll spread with my longshot play in some multi-race bets, using him prominently underneath in vertical wagers.