James W. Murphy Stakes 2021 Picks: Ward v. Cox v. Maker ... who will win?

Trainer Wesley Ward has the prohibitive favorite in the 100k Murphy S. @Pimlico on Saturday. However, Brad Cox might have something to say ... check out his mount in this preview from J.N. Campbell.
Trainer Wesley Ward has the prohibitive favorite in the 100k Murphy S. @Pimlico on Saturday. However, Brad Cox might have something to say ... check out his mount in this preview from J.N. Campbell.

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Preakness Weekend is finally upon us, and the run-up had its share of drama. Bob Baffert and his Kentucky Derby Champion, Medina Spirit, became the focal point. His hubris, mismanagement, and outright audacity taxed the sport in a way that has yet to be realized or understood. Now, as the scene shifts to the home of the Maryland Jockey Club at Pimlico, its oldest signature race takes center stage.

A Super Saturday arrives after what amounted to a rousing edition of Black-Eyed Susan Day. For the Preakness card, a full listing of contests appears on tap, and we at HorseRacing.net/us, have you covered with a bevy of selections, and our focused analysis. Both our turf-man and our in-house handicapper are on hand to offer their “expert” opinions. Stay tuned …

The team at HorseRacing.net put together slates of selections for most thoroughbred tracks racing in the US every single day. The Picks page (linked to below) is updated at 5AM ET every day with all the selections for the upcoming slate...

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Race 8: Turf, 1 Mile, James W. Murphy S., $100k, 3

This year’s Murphy S. normally has a written law that includes the name of trainer Chad Brown. This year he does not have an entry, so that leaves the door wide-open. Of course, whomever Irad Ortiz is riding will take significant money. Wesley Ward’s Outadore #2 is accomplished, with or without such an esteemed jock like Ortiz. His conditioner watched him circumnavigate the Turfway AW all on the engine last time out in the Animal Kingdom 100k. That is not easy to do on a surface like that one. Still, with such a short price like 7/5, you may want to look elsewhere.

If you are looking for what promises to be a slightly better bargain, why not try Brad Cox’s T D Dance #8? This colt out of Can the Man was solid in OC Co. back at the Fair Grounds. He tried admirably in the Black Gold 75k down in the Big Easy on the jump up, but that was against some tough foes like Royal Prince, Dyn O Mite, and Palazzi. Rested and ready, he is a member of what can now be considered an elite turf barn. Cox will have him ready to fire, and his bloodlines are par excellence.

One other to consider when you are handicapping is Mike Maker’s Kasim #3 who is owned by the excellent folks over at Paradise Farms. Most will overlook this one when they see that he has mainly been a grass sprinter for the Kentucky-based trainer. Even though some of his bloodlines speak to that through Munnings, I would not underestimate his abilities. The jockey who secures this mount isn’t one to forget either … Luis Saez is on fire after winning the Keeneland riding title. He should be competitive on this one for Maker.

Top Selection: T D Dance #8

Creative Wager: $1 Trifecta Cold, 8/3/2

You can bet on the race via the Race Card at the bottom of the page and please take advantage of special sign-up offers from our betting partners this Preakness weekend. Our Preakness hub page with all the latest information is linked to below via the gold button...

Preakness Stakes 2021
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