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Homeracing

Preakness Stakes New Shooters 2018

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TwinSpires Staff

May 17th, 2018


Quip arrives at Pimlico Park for the Preakness Stakes (Horsephotos.com)

2018 Preakness Stakes New Shooters

by John Mucciolo

What can we learn about new contenders on the Triple Crown series and how could they perform in the Preakness to possibly defeat Kentucky Derby winner Justify?

Since the turn of the century, four horses have won the Preakness Stakes after bypassing the Kentucky Derby. Red Bullet (2000), Bernardini (2006), Rachel Alexandra (2009) and Cloud Computing (2017) are the ones who have pulled off the feat.

On Saturday, a quartet of sophomores will hope to make it five over the past 19 runnings to find glory in Baltimore after skipping the Run for the Roses. With such a strong top pair to upend, my opinion is that it seems unlikely in 2018. But I will take a look at the intriguing foursome, nonetheless.

#1 QUIP (12-1) – Rodolphe Brisset trainee drew the rail and could be an exotics player with a lifetime-best showing. Talented son of Distorted Humor was a winner of the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) in his seasonal debut and finished gamely to hold second in the Arkansas Derby (G1) behind Magnum Moon.

While the latter race has not yet turned out to be a productive one going forward, Quip did hold off some accomplished foes through the stretch and figures to move forward on Saturday in a third race off the layoff. Florent Geroux will aim to earn his first Classic win aboard Quip.

#3 SPORTING CHANCE (30-1) – Grade-1 winner is one of two for conditioner D. Wayne Lukas, who has saddled six Preakness winners to date. Tiznow colt did run on Derby weekend when fourth in the Pat Day Mile Stakes (G3) and fitness will not be an issue for the dark bay.

Kentucky-bred is a quirky one who has bolted late in a pair of his races. Sporting Chance was in a nice spot throughout the Blue Grass Stakes two prior, but came out violently late and was disqualified to fourth, costing him a Kentucky Derby berth.

I think Sporting Chance has a lot of talent and could be sneaky in the Preakness for a top-four p-lacing. But his lack of consistency makes it impossible to back him with any confidence.

#4 DIAMOND KING (30-1) – Quality Road colt earned his way into the Preakness with a driving tally in the Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel Park. John Servis pupil has shown a lot of ability with a four-for-six lifetime mark, including a third in the Swale Stakes (G3) in a 2018 debut.

Speedy sort posted a 95 Late Pace figure at nine panels to give hope that he will endure the 1 3/16-miles trip with success. Colt has a big class obstacle to overcome, however. Javier Castellano will search for a second straight Preakness tally atop Diamond King.

#6 TENFOLD (20-1) – Interesting youngster from the Steve Asmussen barn won his first pair of races prior to finishing fifth in the Arkansas Derby. Like Justify, Tenfold was unraced as a two-year-old and didn’t start his career until February.

The Oaklawn performance was an encouraging one considering that Tenfold was part of a four-horse contingent separated by a half-length for second at the wire. Son of Curlin shows lacks seasoning, though he has as much room for improvement as any sophomore in the field.

And it’s worth note that Cloud Computing won this race in a fourth career try in 2017 after being an unraced juvenile.

Asmussen has saddled two prior Preakness winners and has spoken highly of Tenfold all season. Victor Espinoza retains the assignment atop the gimmicks contender. 

Conclusion for Preakness New Shooter Contenders

I would be pretty surprised to see any of the new shooters win the Preakness. Justify is the real deal who was assigned a perfect post position, while Good Magic is no slouch who gets my billing to win the race.

Tenfold, though, is very intriguing to me. Lightly raced youngster will have a view of the top duo throughout, being in the gate in between them. His pedigree is the best in the field to handle the distance. And the price will be right. Tenfold could crash the exacta if one of the top two fails to bring its best to Baltimore.

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