Our top selections for the 2016 Preakness

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TwinSpires Staff

May 20th, 2016

The team is on the same page…

James Scully: Ten of the last 19 Kentucky Derby winners came back to capture the Preakness two weeks later and Nyquist should follow suit. Granted, he needs to break well from post 3 and avoid any other unforeseen circumstances during the early stages, but the Uncle Mo colt towers over the competition. He’s not worth a straight bet at odds-on but I’ll play a couple of straight exactas over longshots Uncle Lino and Cherry Wine. And the potential exists for value in the multi-race wagers, with the $1 Pick 4 into Nyquist paying $11,447 and the .50-cent Pick 5 returning $24,152 on Derby Day.

Vance Hanson: As the result of the Kentucky Derby (G1) began to sink in, these thoughts spilled over from my brain to my laptop screen via my fingers on the keyboard. In a nutshell, I proclaimed that I had (finally) been won over by Nyquist. Two weeks later, I'm not about to change my mind for Saturday's Preakness (G1). Is Nyquist unbeatable? So far yes, but for eternity not likely. There's certainly a case to be made that the strong chance of a sloppy track at Pimlico combined with the possibility of a pace duel could conspire against Nyquist, with the likely beneficiary being Exaggerator. As a betting proposition, a win wager on a mudlark like Exaggerator might make the most sense as Nyquist figures to be even-money or less. However, Nyquist has done everything right to this point, and he's simply time and again to be more talented than the rest of these. That includes Exaggerator, whom he has defeated four times in as many meetings. If I'm wrong I'm wrong, but the race again goes through the undefeated champion.

Kellie Reilly: I can understand the theories behind trying to beat Nyquist, between value-seeking, envisioning the potential downside from post 3, hedging in case the two-week turnaround does turn out to be too quick, and forecasting a sea of slop that moves Exaggerator up. But he’s simply the best horse who figures out how to win, no matter the constellation of factors (or obstacles) thrown at him. While his unbeaten skein will probably come to an end at some point, this doesn’t look like the place. Either the Preakness sets up like the Florida Derby (G1), with Nyquist breathing fire in a contested pace before drawing off, or jockey Mario Gutierrez will maneuver him out of a developing pocket. He’s got the gears to do that on command. I won’t overthink the Preakness – saving that for the Belmont.