#7 Bodemeister (VA) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 7.4
There is no reason to get fancy with this race. Bodemeister was incredible in the Kentucky Derby, and I expect a repeat performance in the Preakness, only this time he’ll finish the deal. There looks to be a complete lack of speed other than him in the race, so the lightning fast Bodemeister could be loose on the lead. If that happens you can shut the door on everyone else because the party will be over! Pimlico has favored speed horses in the past, and Bob Baffert has had plenty of recent success in this race. All signs are pointing to a huge race from Bodemeister, and I think that’s exactly what we are going to see.
#9 I’ll Have Another (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 7.5
I feel sorry for the total lack of respect being shown to I’ll Have Another coming into this race. After all, he won the Kentucky Derby in stylish fashion, and has been nothing short of brilliant in his last three starts. With that being said, the Preakness will be his toughest challenge yet. When speed horses Hansen and Trinniberg dropped out of the race, I’ll Have Another’s task become extremely tough. There is no question he’ll have to lay closer to the pace, which he can do, but he won’t be able to put pressure on Bodemesiter without burning himself out. So one of two things must happen for him to win: 1) Bodemeister bounces and runs poorly, or 2) I’ll Have Another proves to be a freak and runs down a loose on the lead speed horse. If either of those two things happens, I think we could be looking at a Triple Crown winner. Either way, you must respect this horse. He’s one of the better three-year olds we’ve seen in recent years.
#5 Went the Day Well (NY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 5.2
His trip in the Kentucky Derby was brutal yet he still was a fast closing fourth, and easily galloped out ahead of everyone else. So you have to respect him off that performance, and with a better trip he’ll be awfully dangerous. But the big question is: Can he repeat that effort? We’ve seen horses like Ice Box close like that in the Derby, and then never be heard from again. So what will it be from Went the Day Well? A flat performance, or a big move up the three-year old ladder? Hard to know for sure, but I’ll gladly spend a few extra bucks and have him on my exotic tickets!
#6 Creative Cause (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 7.4
How can you not respect this horse? He’s as classy as they come. There is never a doubt this horse will show up and give you all he’s got, but I felt as though he had every chance to win the Derby and didn’t do it. His post position was perfect, but he could only rally for a fifth place finish so I’ve backed off on him a little. He did have a wide trip, but he was beaten by others, especially Went the Day Way, that had worse trips. No way I can throw him out and would not be shocked if he wins, but it’s questionable if he is as talented as the top three.
#10 Optimizer (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 3.0
Old habits die hard, so here I am ONCE AGAIN over rating this horse. Bottom line is I think he’s better than most of the new shooters, and with a good trip maybe he can crash the superfecta party. I’m pretty high on my top four in this race though so I’m not real optimistic about his chances to make much of an impact.
#8 Daddy Nose Best (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 4.1
Hard to explain his Kentucky Derby flop, but I do believe he’s better than what he showed in that race. I put him in this spot because he’s the only wild card of this race in my eyes. An off the board finishes would certainly not come as any big surprise to me, but if he was to run back to his Sunland Derby form he’s got an outside chance in this one. It’s a race that you’ll be hard pressed to find a decent long shot, and I feel like Daddy Nose Best will be sitting around 15-1 or so. Wouldn’t be the worst play you could make at that price…
#1 Tiger Walk (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 2.9
This horse has always had a lot of buzz around him, but I can’t figure out why. He’s not a bad horse by any means, but I can’t see him competing against this group.
#2 Teeth of the Dog (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 4.5
Lightly raced horse has shown some class so far, and is probably the most likely of the new shooters to make an impact. He’s probably a cut below the top contenders, but with a little improvement and luck he could run an ok race.
#3 Pretension (NY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 3.4
This horse has shown some good signs in smaller races, but he’s in over his head in this spot. Easy toss out.
#4 Zetterholm (NY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 4.4
Has won three of five, but this is a rather large class jump. Could compete for a while, but don’t think he has what it takes to contend with the top group.
#11 Cozzetti (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 2.6
He was a distant fourth to Bodemeister in the Arkansas Derby, but was only a length off finishing second. He’s said to be training well leading up to this, but I still don’t think he belongs with this group. Maybe an outside chance at the Superfecta.