Wet-track horses for Preakness Day
The Triple Crown has not caught a break from the weather this year. Two weeks after a rain-soaked Kentucky Derby Day, Saturday’s Preakness will be contested over a sloppy Pimlico track. And with the soggy conditions in mind, I’ve identified a quartet of horses who are eligible to relish it wet.
#7 Hill Shadow has run to his stellar wet-track pedigree (sire Macho Uno 19% mud, damsire Not for Love 18%), breaking his maiden by a widening 3 ¾-length margin at Pimlico last year. The gray gelding returned from an 8 ½-month layoff with a good second on a wet Laurel Park track three weeks ago and Hill Shadow drew well for a stalk-and-pounce trip in post 7.
#6 Happy Farm exits a sharp tally over a muddy track at Laurel Park, scoring by a widening 3 ¾-length margin in the first outing since September, and the son of Ghostzapper (19% mud) netted an excellent 94 BRIS Speed rating. He could back it up in this spot.
#5 Mitole is listed as the 3-5 favorite on the morning line following a pair of outstanding wins at Oaklawn Par and there probably would be no beating him on a fast track. But the fact remains he dropped the Gazebo three back at 2-5 odds over a sloppy track he didn’t appear as comfortable upon and supporters will be hoping history doesn’t repeat itself.
#7 Curly’s Rocket stepped forward over an off surface in his first start for Al Stall Jr. last time, rolling to a 2 ½-length decision at Oaklawn Park, and it will be no surprise to see the improving Into Mischief colt take to the sloppy track today. He drew well in post 7 in a speed-laden field and adds Jose Ortiz.
#5 Switzerland brings improving form into his stakes and will catch a wet surface he should relish. By Speightstown (21% mud), the 4-year-old colt has reeled off three straight since dropping his first seven attempts, including a pair over off tracks, and the Steve Asmussen-trained colt will show speed from the start with Ricardo Santana Jr.