Skipat Stakes 2021 Picks: Santana is never Casual, until now ...

Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. rides for Steve Asmussen again ... check out what J.N. Campbell thinks of his mount and their chances in the Skipat S. @Pimlico.
Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. rides for Steve Asmussen again ... check out what J.N. Campbell thinks of his mount and their chances in the Skipat S. @Pimlico.

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, 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 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 9: Dirt, 6F, Runhappy Skipat S., $100k, F&M 3+

There is no reason to think that Brad Cox cannot take French Empire #8 from the barn of Cipriano Contreras, send her to the Skipat S. @PIM, thus delivering a win for Ten Strike Racing. If he can send this 6-yr-old mare out of Street Sense into this challenging situation and score, then it would be just another reason why he is the reigning Eclipse Award winning conditioner. I think it is entirely possible, especially since his numbers support such a claim.

Others will try to roadblock this ploy, and of course, one of the entries who has a great chance is Guadalupe Preciado’s Chub Wagon #5. A homebred, she is a young upstart filly who has never lost in 5 tries. That makes her pretty inviting to play against, because most of those fields were nowhere near as difficult as this one. Having Irad Ortiz ride her again, like he did back at Aqueduct is a brainy move. The real test may well come at the break. This runner has never been anywhere but on the lead in all of her starts, so suffice it to say, she better get out in front.

Steve Asmussen might have something to say as well about those that would just like to hand Cox the win. His filly, Casual #2, ran in what effectively was “G3” Co. at Oaklawn. The Spring Fever 200k and Carousel 250k might as well have received that rating since the likes of Kimari, Edgeway, and Frank’s Rockette were able foes. Ricardo Santana rides this one again, and he is tough as nails.

As for the rest of this lot, there are many price plays to consider. Ben Colebrook was a trainer who found some nice seams during the April Keeneland Meet. He sends Club Car #1 back to Maryland after a freshening in Lexington. The OC80k was a confidence builder after she missed in several “Non-G” affairs and in the Barb Fritchie (G3) @LRL. She has the ability to get this win with Jose Ortiz riding, and her price will be more than square at 8/1. Worth a hard look …

Top Selection: Casual #2

Creative Wager: $2 Exacta Wheel, 2 w 1/3/8

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Preakness Stakes 2021
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