Our best longshots for the 2016 Preakness

Profile Picture:

TwinSpires Staff

May 20th, 2016

The team offers more variety in this department than in the top selection

James Scully: I give Cherry Wine a chance to suck up for a placing given the expected hot pace scenario, but Uncle Lino is my longshot pick in this year’s Preakness. After keeping excellent company in the San Felipe (G2) and Santa Anita Derby (G1), the Uncle Mo colt received a nice confidence-builder at Los Alamitos, leading wire to wire in the 1 1/16-mile California Chrome. Uncle Lino repulsed a stiff challenge in upper stretch to win comfortably in track record time, registering an outstanding 109 BRIS Speed rating, and he’s inside speed from post 2 in the Preakness. Mario Gutierrez will try to get outside and settle just off the pace with Nyquist, and I’ll utilize the “speed of the speed” handicapping angle with Uncle Lino.

Vance Hanson: Everyone, including his trainer Bob Baffert, expects Collected to be engaged from the start of Saturday's Preakness (G1). That might turn out to be bad news with so much other speed in the field, but on paper he's not quite the need-the-lead type. Depending on fast the pace is, he can certainly find himself in a favorable outside stalking position, waiting to pick up some of the pieces from less talented foes. Performances like the Sham (G3) and Lexington (G3) aren't going to win this race -- Nyquist and Exaggerator are simply too good -- but they're good enough to suggest this colt has been somewhat overlooked as a longshot capable of making the frame or, in the unlikely event the favorites run dull, of being in the mix to upset.

Kellie Reilly: Although “new shooters” rarely overturn Derby form and win the Preakness, they’re quite capable of hitting the board, and the 20-1 Cherry Wine should get a perfect set-up on the sloppy surface he loves. A scant head was the difference between making it into the Derby field and getting excluded, when he was just nailed for second in the Blue Grass (G1). The Dale Romans pupil was an intriguing prospect before he had a minor illness that reshuffled his Derby prep plans. A 9 1/4-length maiden romper in the Churchill slop, he came back to dominate a Gulfstream allowance. A fever ruled him out of the Fountain of Youth (G2), but he resumed with an encouraging fourth in the Rebel (G2). In the tortuous what-might-have-been category, if Cherry Wine had taken up his Wood option instead of the Blue Grass, the mudlark might well have punched his Derby ticket. By Romans’ classy turf horse Paddy O’Prado, third in the 2010 Derby in the slop, Cherry Wine will get an abundance of early speed to pave the way for his late kick.