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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

Preakness Stakes 2022 Analysis


Analysis updated below.

The Preakness is a race where more emphasis is based on PP's. Unlike the Derby and the Belmont, it has only a slight historical trackable reference to dosage. This is why I rarely work on this race because the most important factor (breeding) has minimal bearing. Most every contender entered will run this distance easily. Past winners run the full spectrum within each of the categories as well. There are a few certain factors within the configurations that do pertain to their past performances that correlate, however, not on the same scale as the other two Triple Crown races.

The Preakness is overwhelmingly won by front runners every year, however, based on the Derby, no assumptions can be made. Last year, Rombauer bucked the normal front running advantage and came from off the pace. Exaggerator did the same in 2016.

Superfecta Payouts are generally disappointing for this leg of Triple Crown, which is yet another reason why I don't get heavily involved. Only three times in 12 years did the superfecta make the hours of handicapping worthwhile, in 2019, 2017, and in 2010. The favorites faltered. For a $1.00 ticket, here are the super payouts for the last 12 years:

2021 - Rombauer, Midnight Bourbon, Medina Spirit, Keepmeinmind - $1,025.50

2020 - Swiss Skydiver, Authentic, Jesus' Team, Art Collector - $5,053.00

2019 - War of Will, Everfast, Owendale, Warrior's Charge - $51,924.00

2018 - Justify, Bravazo, Tenfold, Good Magic - $372.50

2017 - Cloud Computing, Classic Empire, Senior Investment, Lookin at Lee - $8,162.80

2016 - Exaggerator, Cherry Wine, Nyquist, Stradivari - $317.00

2015 - American Pharoah, Tale of Verve, Divining Rod, Dortmund - $1,906.90

2014 - California Chrome, Ride on Curlin, Social Inclusion, General A Rod - $173.80

2013 - Oxbow, Itsmyluckyday, Mylute, Orb - $1,817.80

2012 - I'll Have Another, Bodemeister, Creative Cause, Zetterholm - $424.30

2011 - Shackleford, Animal Kingdom, Astrology, Dialed In - $3,106.30

2010 - Lookin at Lee, First Dude, Jackson Bend, Yawanna Twist - $17,126.00

This is a race where moderation in betting is advised. Pick one or two for the top two spots, box them if you go with two. Pick a couple for the bottom slots and be done with it. Top two could either be based on odds (going for gold) or based on running style for pace. Again, this article will be updated with analysis throughout the week, but I will say, I do have my top two picks already and I highly doubt that it will change based on post positions.

This is not a race that I particularly care for, as I always felt that the track facility itself was not worthy of the caliber and quality of several of the thoroughbreds entered each year (especially this year). It appears to me that it caters more to the disrespectful frat party where they go to great lengths to massacre the infield, as opposed to catering to these animals. The track itself is at the bottom of the barrel and puts a major stain on the grandeur of the Triple Crown. This race at a track like Saratoga or Keeneland would be sensational and much more worthy than Pimlico. The betting pools would be much higher as well.

Here are the probable contenders with their numbers listed from Highest inbred Chef Speed to Highest inbred Chef Stamina.


DP = 3-16-5-0-0 (24) DI = 8.60 CD = 0.92

Mare Profile = 7-5-3-7-8 Speed = 12 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.85 Triads = 15-15-18

It is no secret that I have a very hard time handicapping fillies and usually steer clear of it. My norm is to throw them into the mix just in case and move on. There are a few things that stand out here that should be addressed. In the Kentucky Oaks, the lead speed, Yuugi, pulled a "Summer is Tomorrow" move out front with a 22.45 and 46.51 opening on a wet fast track and handed the advantage and win to this rear runner who was off the pace. The Derby played out exactly the same. Does that make this filly a super horse against the males at 1-3/16th's with a moderate and rational pace? I don't think so. She is a Grade One winner who always gains position and takes advantage of faltering lead speed though. The extra distance should be no problem even with the 8.60 chef index but she can't rely on all from the top tier taking a dive this time. This leaves her a great candidate for a board hit under but I'm betting against a win here. Her reliance is too great on others retreating and this time, there are a couple who won't.


DP = 3-5-8-0-0 (16) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.69

Mare Profile = 8-2-3-11-5 Speed = 10 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.88 Triads = 13-16-19

This colt ran into a monster in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes with Simplification and completely gave in. Since then, he has hit the board in each of his three races, with a fantastic OC performance and also showed ample late speed in the Wood Memorial against Early Voting. His class falls short but the speed that he exhibited, coupled with the balance in his configurations is pointing to a colt who has every shot at competing in the late stages of this race. Does he have enough to grab a piece? Absolutely, just like 4 others who showed prowess in their last. Something about a 20-1 colt who posted a 111 beyer in a Grade 2 race last out is saying that he should be kept for a superfecta longshot party crasher. I'll take that shot.


DP = 2-8-11-0-1 (22) DI = 2.38 CD = 0.45

Mare Profile = 7-2-3-11-4 Speed = 9 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.86 Triads = 12-16-18

Happy Jack had every opportunity to go with Rich Strike and make a sustained run into that fast pace passing dying horses, but he remained stagnant. He went from 20th position to 14th only because the front tier retreated behind him. This colt has no determination on a speedy track. He has the improper configurations for the distance and there is no reason for him to be entered into this race. If their strategy is to get him a bit closer in the early stages, they need to hope that he is willing to actually get involved and spar with his competitors. He did that one time, in his first race as a baby back in January. If he wakes up on Saturday and realizes that he is a race horse, he could rally and grab a slight piece of the bottom of a super ticket. He has the ingredients to do it, it is just a matter of if he feels like it. Could be that the guy is simply lazy but by his breeding, he doesn't like speed tracks and wants longer distances to meander his way to the front. This guy should have skipped this race and the Derby and waited for the 3rd leg of the Triple Crown. He really would have better potential taking a stab in the Belmont but it appears that O'Neill wants to try the "Rich Strike" maneuver in hopes of a fast pace. If he gets his wish, Happy Jack could break the barrier for a slight mention down low. At the very least, he certainly has the endurance if he decides to actually run.


DP = 6-6-16-0-0 (28) DI = 2.50 CD = 0.64

Mare Profile = 7-2-1-9-9 Speed = 9 Stamina = 18 Index = 0.61 Triads = 10-12-19

The only time this horse produced an ample performance was when he surprisingly went gate to wire in his 5th maiden attempt at Tampa. The connections may have reason to attempt the same strategy in the Preakness. The fractional times were slow and highly doubtful that Early Voting or Armagnac would allow it. The configurations of this horse would have put him in a much better position in the Belmont Stakes as his stamina disproportionately tilts that scale through his mares. Even then, the balance is slightly incorrect but much more suited for potential success than the Preakness. The speed is lacking, the class is lacking and he really doesn't belong here.


DP = 1-4-11-0-0 (16) DI = 1.91 CD = 0.38

Mare Profile = 11-4-3-6-5 Speed = 15 Stamina = 11 Index = 1.53 Triads = 18-13-14 (Tapit)

Second generation Tapit colt who has become the "Buzz Horse" of the Preakness. Three excellent performances on three separate tracks since March. Competing for three months in two maidens and Optional Claiming race. While every horse has to start somewhere, we do get to see if they take off or if they don't once they step up in class - with him here, it's anyone's guess how he will react. He has very good configurations to compete at this distance with Tapit by his side and absolutely has shown that he is highly capable and competitive so far, but nobody could ever have full faith in such a gigantic leap in class. In the Derby, I gave too much faith with Charge It, however, at least he had a Grade 1 successful race under his belt before hitting a Triple Crown race. The potential for greatness is with both of them being Tapit descendants, but the class of the 3 career races with Minister is dismal. Since the Preakness is realistically on par with a Grade One race like the Florida Derby, Creative Minister could easily come out like gangbusters and work this race just like Charge It did in Florida. So he can't be discounted based on class. This is not the Kentucky Derby, it is a glorified 1-3/16th race at Pimlico so there isnt as much chaos that could affect him like the Derby. The owners supplemented to get him in and paid $150,000 to race him here. The purse is only 1 million with first place taking 600,000 and 2nd place taking 200,000. Third pays 110,000. 4th pays 60,000 and 5th pays 30,000. This means they expect to either beat Epicenter or at least come in second. That shows alot of faith in this horse. With the distance well within his reach and the strong possibility of continuing along with his stellar performances, he appears to be a very good addition here and seems to tower over a few of the names on this list even with their heftier resumes. He should be used based on his PP's and his potential, but not relied on based on class.


DP = 4-2-10-2-0 (18) DI = 1.57 CD = 0.44

Mare Profile = 11-4-2-5-12 Speed = 15 Stamina = 17 Index = 0.90 Triads = 17-11-19

In his only two graded stakes performances, the San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby, Armagnac lost by a combined 39 lengths. His gate to wire win in the OC race at Santa Anita last out was a nice little performance but laughable against the caliber and class in this race. The puppeteer just can't help himself and needs to be in that spotlight by any means necessary, I guess. They will be shipping this horse 2654 miles to Pimlico so that Bob Baffert can hear his name on the television and then they will cart him back another 2654 miles with his participation trophy. What a mess.


DP = 1-0-9-0-0 (10) DI = 1.22 CD = 0.20

Mare Profile = 2-11-4-11-3 Speed = 13 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.90 Triads = 17-26-18

This guy is so gifted and his determination is through the roof. Like Epicenter, the distance of 1-3/16th is a great fit for him and also the extra speed that both of them have from their sire melds perfectly with their endurance. His performance in the Preakness will be highly influenced by how that rail is playing on Saturday. If it's dead, I will still use Simpli on the superfecta bet because of his will to perform, and if the rail is alive, I will box him with Epicenter in a much larger exacta wager and scream for both of them. His odds demand it. This is a spectacular horse who now has a jockey who is hungry for a Preakness trophy. Take a look at Johnny V's face as he was sitting on the ground in front of the gates after Bodexpress bucked and threw him back in 2019. Last year, he was denied a win on the then Kentucky Derby winner, Medina Spirit. He had to settle for second on yet another Derby winner, Authentic in 2020, beaten by a neck behind the filly Swiss Skydiver. This jockey has seen some bad beats and will do everything he can to grab this trophy. He boards a potential freight train with Simplification this time. The rail is the key. I'm climbing onboard that train with this horse with Epicenter if that rail is fair on the undercard.


DP = 0-0-4-0-0 (4) DI = 1.00 CD = 0.00

Mare Profile = 5-3-6-8-3 Speed = 8 Stamina = 11 Index = 0.95 Triads = 14-17-17

You can't knock the handling of this horse and the course that they chose to ensure this guy had a reasonable shot at a Triple Crown race. EV was not equipped properly for the Derby and it turns out, he too would have been the victim of a brutal pace. Does his stock rise so high based on good handling and luck along with the fact that Cloud Computing won this race taking basically the same route for the same connection?. To me, the two points do not coincide at all. Two different horses and quite the opposite in their breeding and the way they are built. The two also with different running styles. Cloud Computing stalked a speed duel between Always Dreaming and Classic Empire and capitalized off of a very favorable fast pace scenario. If they attempt the same scenario here, they need to rely on Armagnac finding a worthy competitor to fight against. I don't see that here, especially since Early Voting will probably want to be out front himself. He is no match for Epicenter. I'll use him down underneath, not on top, because Cloud Computing, Always Dreaming and Classic Empire are not entered in this race - Early Voting, Epicenter and Simplification are.


DP = 0-0-9-1-2 (12) DI = 0.60 CD = -0.42

Mare Profile = 1-10-5-8-5 Speed = 11 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.74 Triads = 16-23-18

The most consistent and talented horse of the crop. Sire Not This Time is a major speed influence on this horse. Epicenter broke the track record in the Louisiana Derby traveling this same distance by sitting off of a rational 23.27 opening quarter led by Pioneer of Medina and Zozos. The extra 1/16th of this race is perfectly suited for this speedy contender while it will affect a few of the others. His ability, stamina and perseverance allowed him to avert catastrophe running into a 45.36 in the Derby and shows the brilliant versatility of this colt. The addition of extra determination in seeking revenge for the upset in Kentucky will see to it that Rosario rides this horse with only one thing in mind, crossing that finish line first. He is obviously the easy single on top but two things are apparent; Payouts will be non-existent because even the casual bettor knows he's the best, and two, as we saw in Kentucky, the best doesn't always prevail. That's horse-racing. Plan of attack can go several ways here. You could place a very cheap superfecta wager and single him on top. You could lay off the super bet and try your luck betting against him with a hefty win bet on your second choice. Or you can match him and box the two on top and hope for another upset. There is no other way. Epicenter was the one to beat in the Derby and he is the one to beat here and he will be the one to beat in every race he enters throughout his career. His combination of excess stamina and the speed influence from his mares and Not This Time is exceptional, making the others pale in comparison. I will single Epicenter on top of a very sparse $10.00 superfecta ticket. I will also place a hefty boxed exacta on the side (depending on odds) using Epicenter and Simplification. Of course, loving both of those guys makes it easy to back both. This exacta bet is contingent on how the rail is playing on the day when it comes to Simplification coming out of Post #1.

Win: Epicenter

Exacta Box: Epicenter and Simplification

Superfecta #1- Conducive Rational Pace: $1.00 ticket = $12.00

1st: Epicenter

2nd: Simplification, Creative Minister

3rd: Simplification, Creative Minister, Early Voting

4th: Simplification, Creative Minister, Early Voting, Secret Oath, Skippylongstocking,

Superfecta #2- Pace Meltdown: $1.00 ticket = $12.00

1st: Epicenter

2nd: Secret Oath, Simplification

3rd: Secret Oath, Simplification, Skippylongstocking

4th: Secret Oath, Simplification, Skippylongstocking, Creative Minister, Happy Jack

Superfecta #3 - Upset ticket $1.00 ticket = $12.00

1st: Epicenter, Simplification

2nd: Epicenter, Simplification

3rd: Creative Minister, Skippylongstocking, Secret Oath

4th: Creative Minister, Skippylongstocking, Secret Oath

For the "Upset Ticket" I may throw a couple more to the bottom if the rail is playing. But other than that, no more updates.

Thats it.


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