There’s no bigger preference in the 2016 Preakness Stakes than Nyquist, who wolds a 3/5 number heading in to Saturday evening’s biggest event. The favorite jogged out over Pimlico on Friday and everything went smoothly. If all continues to trend in that direction on Saturday, trainer Doug O’Neill will have plenty to be happy about.
“It was designed to be a nice, easy day,” said O’Neill. “He jogged two miles and looked really composed.”
Threatening Nyquist’s hope for a Triple Crown bid will be ten other horses.
Exaggerator stands as the preferred choice to beat Nyquist at the 2016 Preakness Stakes. What a lot of commenters forget to mention is that Exaggerator has lost to Nyquist four times already. They debuted together in 2015 at an allowance where Exaggerator placed fifth, and he also came fourth at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at the end of the year in a race that essentially put Nyquist on the map. The speedy Exaggerator was also no match for Nyquist at the San Vicente Stakes, a 7-furlong sprint, and put forth his best effort in standing as the runner-up at the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago.
If this is a rivalry in the making, I’m not seeing it. You can make the argument that Exaggerator is getting better by the day – which is staunchly true – but the very same can be said about Nyquist in the same breath.
Stradivari is a newcomer to the Triple Crown scene and is perhaps the biggest mystersy of the entire weekend. Is he a real threat to win the 2016 Preakness Stakes? The oddsmakers certainly seem to think so. He won an allowance this year over a distance of 1 1/8th miles in a time of 1:44.00, which is a blistering time. By comparison, Nyquist ran the Florida Derby in a time of 1:49.11, though its worth mentioning that Mario Gutierrez let up in the homestretch.
There is perhaps no gamble more fun than Stradivari at the 2016 Preakness Stakes because of his unknown quality but the preference should be to box him with whomever you prefer between Nyquist and Exaggerator.
The rest of the field is a complete toss up. Creator slides in as a 10/1 fourth choice, but only because the field feels really weak. Uncle Lino, Abiding Star and Fellowship are all sons of Uncle Mo but they’re also all posting longshot odds. There is absolutely value in a chipshot on a longshot to win, and Laoban seems like the best of them all despite posting 30/1 odds of his own.
2016 Preakness Stakes – Pimlico Race Course (Saturday, May 21st at 6:45pm EST)
(1 3/16th miles, $1.5 Million Purse)
|1||Cherry Wine||Corey Lanerie||Dale Romans||20-1|
|2||Uncle Lino||Fernando Perez||Gary Sherlock||20-1|
|3||Nyquist||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O’Neill||3-5|
|4||Awesome Speed||Jevian Toledo||Alan Goldberg||30-1|
|5||Exaggerator||Kent Desormeaux||Keith Desormeaux||3-1|
|6||Lani||Yutaka Take||Mikio Matsunaga||30-1|
|7||Collected||Javier Castellano||Bob Baffert||10-1|
|8||Laoban||Florent Geroux||Eric Guillot||30-1|
|9||Abiding Star||J.D. Acosta||Ned Allar||30-1|
|10||Fellowship||Jose Lezcano||Mark Casse||30-1|
|11||Stradivari||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher||8-1|