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Recent Preakness Trends

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 5/17/2010 12:54:58 PM
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The Preakness Stakes must feel the horror of middle child syndrome as those children often have the sense of not belonging, they fight to receive attention from anybody and they feel like they are being ignored, which drives their insecurity.

But the second jewel of the Triple Crown has come out of that phobia in the last few years and has become a true gem.

In the last several seasons, the Preakness has been an inspirational race of courage, agility, joy, triumph and loss and it has also become quite an attraction.

Last year Rachel Alexandra, coming off a 20 and a quarter length win in the Kentucky Oaks, set :46 /35 and 1:11 splits on way to a 108 winning Beyer in the 2nd jewel just holding off Derby hero Mine That Bird.

Two years ago Big Brown won by a larger margin in the Preakness but his Beyer figure was 8 points less at 100.

In 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin had his coming out party. Bernardini played the villain and got the money the day Barbaro was fatally injured on that infamous May Day in 2006.

Agility was the order of the day in 2005. A rose by any other name could not have been sweeter than the athleticism shown by Jeremy Rose staying on Afleet Alex. Reminiscent of when Alysheba almost fell at the top of the lane in the 1987 Kentucky Derby, Rose almost was catapulted from his saddle when eventual 2nd finisher ducked out badly from a left-handed whip.

The visual reminded of a move Baltimore Bullet Earl Monroe used to make in his heyday and Alex was so close to hitting the track, he had to have dirt up his nostrils.

Smarty Jones continued his amazing streak in 2004 and the year before Funny Cide had the masses singing ‘New York, New York’ in 2003.

The quick turn on the investment War Emblem burst on to the Baltimore scene fresh off his Derby score while Red Bullet and Point Given cashed in the first 2 renewals of the decade.

Stats are stats, and they have their place but instead of recounting every little obscure thing about the 2nd jewel of the Triple Crown, like the fact that only 7 started in the first Preakness in 1873 or that the Preakness has been run at 7 different distances from a mile, to a mile and a half but at the current 1 and 3 sixteenths of a mile since 1925, let’s look at a recent history of where the winners have come from geographically and literally and what type of wager has been successful in recent years.

Beware of wedding crashers in the Preakness and we’re talking new shooters here.

There will undoubtedly be fresh faces this year in the Preakness, runners who did not run in the Derby but fresh faces really do not really fare well. Only 7 Preakness winners since 1972 have skipped the Derby but three of those winners Red Bullet and Bernardini and last year’s winner cashed in the last 10 years.

The reality is that the Derby winner has dominated in the Preakness the last 12 years as 7 took the 2nd jewel; two ran second, one ran third, one ran 6th and Barbaro, of course, did not finish.

Dine on these stats.

Since 1960 only 5 Preakness winners went flagfall to that’s all.

The déjà vu thing has not happened all that often in the Preakness as the last Derby exactas to be duplicated was in 1999 and the last trifecta duplicated the year Affirmed won the Triple Crown, 1978.

The race has NOT been a gold mine for prices as favorites have won over 50% of the time in the history of the Preakness and only 10 have paid higher than 11-1 all time.

Last, but not least, speed kills in Baltimore.

Of the last 13 Preakness Stakes run, the half-mile leader has only won once, and that was by the superior filly last year.

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