American Pharoah takes the next step in the Triple Crown
American Pharoah and jockey Victor Espinoza proved to us how tough the three year old really is with his hard fought one-length margin victory in the Kentucky Derby. After running wide for most the trip, he attacked his rivals Dortmund and Firing Line, with a torrid burst of energy running extremely wide on the final turn before taking over down the stretch while pulling away. It was good to see him challenged after cruising to easy victories before the Derby. The race was basically a merry-go-round between these three battlers after displaying the early speed and departing from the rest of the field. I don’t see much difference in the Preakness to be honest. These three are head and shoulders above the rest of the group and well could be a Derby image. Here are your main contenders with trifecta tickets. Good Luck and enjoy the Preakness Stakes.
American Pharoah: Drawing the rail should not be a problem in seeking his six consecutive blue ribbon. I expect jockey Espinoza to gun it from the gate and shoot to the front with a ground saving gate-to-wire second jewel victory. AP ran much farther than his two main rivals in the Derby, so the inside pole position will only help him for a shorter route to the wire. If it rains and the track is a sloppy mess, no worries, AP galloped to a 6 length margin victory three back in the slop after a contaminated start in the Rebel Stakes.
Dortmund: Stablemate of American Pharoah, suffered his first lost in the Derby after trying to lead the field from front to finish. He should enjoy the shorter distance and the Pimlico track that usually favors speed horses. I don’t think trainer Bob Baffert would have entered him if he didn’t think this big three-year colt wasn’t ready to fire after the two weeks rest. The concern for me, he was able to control moderate fractions in the Derby with perfect ground saving trip, but failed to hold lead while settling for the bronze medal.
Firing Line - Ran lights out in the Derby with his first start after six weeks rest and earning the runner-up award. Gets the perfect outside post for jockey Gary Stevens to escort the inside speed for first attack while pressing the pace. The concern for me, had the picture perfect trip in the Derby but wasn’t able to fend off AP, who as I said earlier, took the long way home. Also, the two week rest might come into effect after being so well rested before the Derby.
Divining Rod - New shooter who seems to be on the upswing, possibility of getting up for show money at a big price.
$7 Trifecta (1 with 2,8 with All) $84 $1 (1 with All with 2,8) $12 $96 Total