The Preakness Stakes is coming up on Saturday, May 15, 2021. The second jewel of the American Triple Crown drew a field of 10 top three-year-olds. Find out the top contenders in the race, and learn the best places to place your bets!
Breeders' Cup Mile: Liam's Map Looms Large
A good handicapper always plans ahead. With this in mind, its never too early to begin dissecting the Breeders Cup races – even weeks in advance of the official entries.
With news coming from Liam’s Map’s connections of their intent to run the speedy winner of the Grade 1 Woodward in the Breeders’Cup Mile instead of the Classic, the handicapping ripple is profound. The four year-old Todd Pletcher trainee figured to be the controlling speed of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, ensuring a lively pace for closers like Honor Code and forcing speedy horses like American Pharoah and Beholder to expend significant amounts of energy to keep pace early. While Liam’s Map’s ability to last a mile and a quarter was a dubious proposition – and surely the key factor for Pletcher and owner Viola Racing Stable not to run in the Classic – the colt’s top class early speed would have greatly changed the dynamics of the race.
Mile hits Map between the eyes
Instead of making life more difficult for horses like American Pharoah and Beholder, Liam’s Map will be a heavy favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. With the race run at a distance probably closer to a mile and seventy yards at Keeneland due to the configuration of the track and starting gate location, Liam’s Map will be deserving of all the wagering attention he is sure to garner in the race, and a single on the tickets of most multi-race exotic players. Two-turn races at a mile are often the greatest indicator of raw talent and no runner in the country has more of that commodity than Liam’s Map who possesses the rare mix of a sprinter’s speed with route endurance.
A horse well-spotted
In short, Pletcher and Viola racing made a sound decision – albeit a surprising one considering the inability of most owners and trainers to resist running a great miler further than their optimal distance. The 2015 Breeders’ Cup Mile is an ideal fit for a horse cutting back from a mile and an eighth with the skill set of Liam’s Map. The connections are to be applauded for realizing there’s nothing wrong with simply being the best miler in the country.
After all the drama of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, the racing scene shifts to Pimlico Race Course in anticipation of the running of the 2019 Preakness Stakes. A couple of the high-profile contenders from the Derby are expected in the field, as well as a number of new shooters that add to the handicapping puzzle and could provide good betting value.
The field has been established for the 2016 running of the Belmont Stakes and of the thirteen contenders, there are four horses who competed in the Preakness Stakes (G1) and are moving on to the third jewel of the Triple Crown.
Wise guys who liked Stradivari in the Preakness have every right to maintain their enthusiasm for the Todd Pletcher-trained colt in the Belmont Stakes where the intriguing runner will likely make his next start.