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Lo Duca: My Card for the Preakness Stakes

Lo Duca: My Card for the Preakness Stakes article feature image

Happy Preakness Day! We took it on the chin Friday with the sloppy conditions, but I’ve always been a clutch player. It’s time to get back to work.

The weather is supposed to be the same in the Baltimore area on Saturday, but I do believe they will leave the important races on the grass. They ran a couple of Thursday races on it to my surprise.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me to handicap the rest of the races instead of the stakes races after the Derby preview, so I’ll give you my selections on non-stakes races today just because I’m a people person. I’ll also give you multiple numbers in some races if you want to play doubles, pick 3s, pick 4s, etc.

I have picks and analysis for 13 races below. Good luck!


Non-Stakes Race

Race 1 (10:30 a.m. ET)

I’ll keep this first one quick: No. 1 Autostrade +120 and No. 4 Flash Attack +200 to finish first and second.

Race 2 (11:05 a.m. ET)

This is a turf race at the moment. If it does come off, No. 4 Contrarian (+450) should be tough. If not, I would stay away.

Race 3 (11:41 a.m. ET)

No. 6 Happy Farm (+350), No. 7 Forge (+160) and No. 8 Pop Keenan (+250) are really tough to separate.

Race 4 (12:16 p.m. ET)

I like No. 5 Square Shooter (+400) on both surfaces. No. 3 Mai Ty One On (+250) is obviously the horse to beat, and I give No. 1 Uncle Youdge (+1200) an outside shot.


Stakes Races

Race 5: The 9th Running of the James Murphy Stakes (12:51 p.m. ET)

I think this one will stay on the turf. I have the race 4,6,7,9 (Black Stetson +450, Say The Word +250, Threes Over Deuces +600Coltandmississippi +300). I’m going to box them in trifectas and exactas.

Race 6 (1:28 p.m. ET)

I make this one 1,3,6,7,10 (Hollywood Strike +450, Bo Vuk +600, Belfour +500, Uncle Mojo + 120, Deal Driven +800). I do not trust the favorite (No. 7 Uncle Mojo). I think No. 6 Belfour will be a win bet for me, too. He has some value at +500.

Race 7: The 117th Running of the Dixie (2:07 p.m. ET)

This race should stay on the turf. I don’t like the price of No. 7 World Approval (Even) to win, but single him in exotics.

Race 8: The 9th Running of the Chick Lang (2:45 p.m. ET)

No. 5 Mitole (-167) is a deserving odds-on, coming off two monster wins his last two times out. No. 7 Curly’s Rocket (+600) and No. 9 Soutache (+800) would be my alternates. Maybe play exactas here — 5 over 79.

Race 9: The 67th Running of the Gallorette (3:25 p.m. ET)

This race is completely wide open, but I’m going to place a small bet on No. 6 Blessed Silence (+1200) to win.


Race 10: The 32nd Running of the Maryland Sprint (4:05 p.m. ET)

This is a good group of sprinters. No. 9 Long Haul Bay is the favorite at +200, but he drew a wide post. So I’ll take my shot with No. 7 Laki (+1500) here. You get some good value at that number. No. 4 Lewisfield (+350) and No. 5 Switzerland (+250) should be flying early to set up Laki’s late kick. I’d suggest a small bet on the longshot and to box all four horses in exactas.

Race 11: The 18th Running of the Very One (4:42 p.m. ET)

I expect No. 7 Girls Know Best (+300) to lay over this field. I also like No. 11, Smiling Causeway (+350). If this race stays on the turf, I would box the 7 and 11 in exactas and play another one with the 7 on top.

Race 12: The 21st Running of the Larc Sir Barton (5:42 p.m. ET)

Take the short price with No. 8 Ax Man (+160). I don’t see how he loses. I’d also single in muti-race combos.

Race 13: The 143rd Running of The Preakness (6:48 p.m. ET)

No. 7 Justify (-200) showed he was the best two weeks ago, and with the foot issues behind him, he really looks tough to beat. No. 5 Good Magic (+300) is his main rival and gave him a good fight, but I truly think Good Magic bounces. He’s a smaller type of horse, and you can argue he was more exhausted than Justify at the end of the Derby.

Good Magic has an amazing trainer in Chad Brown, but the only way to make money in this race is to chuck Good Magic and hope he throws in a clunker. No. 8 Bravazo (+2000) is a trendy pick to finish second, assuming you concede the race to Justify. I’m not interested. No. 1 Quip (+1200) and No. 2 Lone Sailor  (+1500) are getting some talk, but I’m shooting for the moon. I like No. 4 Diamond King (+3000) to run second or third here. He has tactical speed, and he gets last year’s winning jockey, Javier Castellano, in the irons. Put Justify on top and Diamond King underneath in exactas and trifectas.

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