By Sean Morris

Art Collector to collect G1 victory in the Preakness

By Sean Morris
We don't predict an Authentic repeat in the Preakness
We don't predict an Authentic repeat in the Preakness

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Our in-house handicapper has been rather busy this week with such a stunning weekend of Horse Racing across the USA with the focus for many being on the card here at Pimlico. Due to the fact there was a full slate of Graded States races on the card, he has covered every single race.

Below you'll see our racecard with all the Entries for the Preakness Stakes along with their Morning Line Odds, who is riding and who has trained the horse. You can bet with any of our betting partners by clicking on the M/L Odds of the horse you are interested in backing and with whichever company you want to join. They all have special special sign-up offers and Promo Codes for Preakness Day at Pimlico.

This preview was originally posted in the Pimlico Full Card Picks & Analysis for Preakness Day Column...

Preakness Stakes Racecard

9
PP 9

Authentic

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: J. Velazquez /
  • Trainer: B. Baffert /
Morning Line Odds
3
PP 3

Art Collector

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: B. Hernandez Jr. /
  • Trainer: T. Drury Jr. /
Morning Line Odds
4
PP 4

Swiss Skydiver

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: R. Albarado /
  • Trainer: K. McPeek /
Morning Line Odds
5
PP 5

Thousand Words

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: F. Geroux /
  • Trainer: B. Baffert /
Morning Line Odds
2
PP 2

Mr. Big News

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: G. Saez /
  • Trainer: W. Calhoun /
Morning Line Odds
7
PP 7

Ny Traffic

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: H. Karamanos /
  • Trainer: S. Joseph Jr. /
Morning Line Odds
8
PP 8

Max Player

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: P. Lopez /
  • Trainer: S. Asmussen /
Morning Line Odds
10
PP 10

Pneumatic

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: J. Bravo /
  • Trainer: S. Asmussen /
Morning Line Odds
1
PP 1

Excession

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: S. Russell /
  • Trainer: S. Asmussen /
Morning Line Odds
11
PP 11

Liveyourbeastlife

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: T. McCarthy /
  • Trainer: J. Abreu /
Morning Line Odds
Show All Runners

Race 11 (G1 Preakness)

No conversation of the G1 Preakness can begin without first discussing the merits (or lack thereof) of Authentic (#9). The biggest question I have with him is how does a horse go from being life and death to hold off Ny Traffic (#7) at a mile and an eighth in the G1 Haskell to one race later setting a much faster pace at a mile and a quarter in the G1 Kentucky Derby and turning back top 3-year-old Tiz the Law? It’s almost inconceivable to me and at first I suspected a track bias must have been at play, but after going back through the card I could find no such bias; it seems his Derby win is for real. The kicker is that if that trip doesn’t get him beat — setting a blistering pace at 10 furlongs against a better field — then what scenario needs to unfold in this race for him to lose? There is some more speed to potentially go with him and it remains to be seen if he actually needs the lead to be effective, however there’s no denying if the same horse we saw last month shows up again, he’s probably going to win.

The biggest threat to the new and improved Authentic, and my top pick in this race, is Art Collector (#3). His connections made a commendable decision to skip the Derby with him, and if he’s ready to fire his best shot in this race I think he has a very good chance to post the mild upset over Authentic. This horse has simply been a freight train in his two-turn races this year, rattling off three straight open-length victories at a trio of tracks in Kentucky. He has the speed to take the race to Authentic early, though he’s also capable of tracking the pace if need be. I don’t think he’s yet turned in a performance on the level of Authentic’s Derby win, but if that race proves to be an aberration or Authentic regresses at all, Art Collector is poised to capitalize.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for Swiss Skydiver (#4), who just keeps running good races regardless of venue. Her consistency should be lauded and is certainly a feather in her cap in a race in which the favorite’s backing stems largely from a solitary strong performance, but she’s likely going to need to improve to beat Authentic or Art Collector, the latter of which gave her a sound thrashing three starts ago in the G2 Blue Grass. It is encouraging that she was so dominant in the G1 Alabama at a mile and a quarter, but in retrospect I’m not sure that was a very good field and I’m not a big fan of Shedaresthedevil, who beat her last out in the G1 Kentucky Oaks. I have much admiration for Swiss Skydiver, but I can’t use her as a ‘main’ play in this race.

No one’s stock received a bigger boost out of the Derby than third-place finisher Mr. Big News (#2), mostly because he was a relative unknown prior to rounding out the trifecta in the ‘Run for the Roses’ with a legitimately good effort. Even more than Authentic, Mr. Big News improved by leaps and bounds in the Derby, albeit with a very good trip. He did get parked wide around the far turn and still came with a strong, sustained rally in the stretch, but before that he was in an ideal spot in midpack behind a swift pace. It was the kind of performance that’ll make you take notice as it seems he’s really starting to blossom in the second half of the year, however he never really threatened Authentic in that race and he’d need to take another step forward to win this race.

Thousand Words (#5) is going to get another crack at Triple Crown glory after flipping in the paddock of the Derby and being forced to scratch. I was dubious of his chances in that race, so of course I’m skeptical of him again here, except as a possible foil to his stablemate Authentic. He’s actually kind of similar to Authentic in that he has one race that appears to make him fast enough to be a contender, which came last out in the Shared Belief at Del Mar when he defeated Honor A. P., however he’ll be hard-pressed to make the lead again in this spot and is clearly the lesser of the two Baffert runners.

Pneumatic (#10) has received a bit of a buzz heading into this race following a pretty convincing win in the Pegasus at Monmouth Park, but I didn’t think much of the field he beat that day and I don’t think more ground is going to benefit him.

I suppose Ny Traffic and Max Player (#8) are fringe contenders, too, but the former, despite giving Authentic all he could handle two back in the Haskell, was dusted by him last out, and the latter is probably just exotics fodder again as he’ll likely come with his usual belated run to nab a minor award. Ultimately, I think there’s a pretty clear hierarchy of contenders in this race and the betting will more or less provide an accurate snapshot of that.

Main:  3,9     Backup (priority):  2,4

Order of preference:  3-9-4-2

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