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2013 Preakness Handicapping, Analysis & Picks From

This Saturday is the Preakness at the Pimlico race track in Maryland, the 2nd leg of Horse Racing's Triple Crown. Orb took home the Kentucky Derby on a sloppy track. A big longshot, Golden Soul at 32-1, came in 2nd in the Derby, which messed up our projections a bit … as did the performance uncertainty of young horses on that muddy wet day - but still Price did have 2 of the Top 4 finishers, while Moby had 3 of the Top 4.

Currently, the weather projection for Baltimore on Saturday at race time is around a 50% chance of rain showers - hopefully it shouldn't be a major impact.

Here are our Preakness picks:

Price Headley, President & Founder of and long association with the horse business:

Orb (Post Position 1) could well be the first Triple Crown winner in 35 years here especially in a fairly non-descript batch of 3 year olds this season. However, at even money, I think you have to wonder if perhaps he may not like the tighter turns at Pimlico and would prefer the extra distance at the Belmont in 3 more weeks. So if there's a race to play against him, this is it But I'll still include him in exotic boxes, and hope that the longer odds horses manage to get up for a better pay day.

MyLute (PP 5: 5-to-1) has shown some powerful speed ratings in his past 2 races and while 5th in the Derby was only beaten less than 4 total lengths in a sloppy track. On a fast surface at Pimlico he could prosper, especially under the guiding hands of jockey Rosie Napravnik. Rosie knows Pimlico well, having been a leading rider there. Should be coming on strong at the wire.

Will Take Charge (PP 7: 12-1) was way wide and had to check meaning he lost a lot of ground in the Derby. I think under jockey Mike Smith, he can get a piece of the exotics. A wildcard, but probably the best value bet in the race.

Departing (PP 4: 6-1) is a winner in 4 of his 5 starts, and should also like the fast track. Has a good closing kick so expect him to get up for a piece of the action as well.

Bets to consider:

$20 win on #5
$10 win on #7
$4 Exacta Box on 1,5,7
$2 Trifecta Box on 1,4,5,7

Moby Waller, Portfolio Manager at and former CBOE Market Maker:

Orb seemed one of the 2 or 3 best horses going into the Derby, and he basically proved it convincingly in the Derby. The Preakness is the shortest race of the Triple Crown and normally is won by the best horses that can get to the front or stay near/a bit off the pace - the Derby and upcoming Belmont can provide more surprises and often better wagering opportunities than the Preakness.

We've seen many horses win the first 2 legs of the Triple Crown in the last 35 years since Affirmed was the last winner in 1978, and I think Orb will continue that trend in the Preakness. Also note that at least 1 "fresh" horse (one who didn't run in the Derby) has finished in the Top 3 in the Preakness consistently in recent years.

The battle is for 2nd, 3rd and 4th in my view - and as a likely even-money (or less) favorite, if Orb does come out on top the parimutual payouts won't be huge (especially when compared to the Derby). The likeliest longshot that can hit the board is Govenor Charlie in my analysis.

Here is my Top 4:

1st Orb (Post Position 1, 1-1 Morning Line Odds)
2nd Departing (PP 4, 6-1)
3rd Govenor Charlie (PP 8, 12-1)
4th MyLute (PP 5, 5-1)

Theoretical Bets:

$2 Exacta Box (1,4,5,8) = $24
$1 Trifecta Box (1,4,5,8) = $24
$10 Win/Place/Show on #8 = $30

Best of luck and enjoy the weekend!