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JOHNNY LOVE'S PREAKNESS PICKS

Johnny Love's Preakness picks

  • May 19, 2012 - 12:43 AM

I'd have to imagine most fans want to see the rematch between I'll Have Another and Bodemeister, and this race shouldn't disappoint. It's really hard to select another horse other than these two. The Preakness, in general, is usually predictable with a few selected horses, and this year is no different. Bodemeister was the best horse in the Kentucky Derby in running those remarkable fractions and holding on for second money. I'll Have Another ran the perfect trip in winning the race and has a legitimate shot in winning the Triple Crown if he wins this race.

No. 7 BODEMEISTER will be extremely dangerous to catch with his speed, especially with no true horse pressing him up at the lead. Front speed has been a good prescription in winning the Preakness. The fractions should be much softer than two weeks ago, and you have to think that jockey Mike Smith is going to ration and control some of that speed without Trinniberg or Hansen in this race. The concern is how much is left in the tank with running for the sixth time in four months. All that said, I still don't believe trainer Bob Baffert would have run him if he didn't think his horse would be ready to fire once again.

No. 9 I'LL HAVE ANOTHER is lightly raced, has great tactical speed and can run forever. He definitely will sit up closer in the Preakness to pounce on Bodemeister if the chance occurs. My slight problem, and I mean slight, is that I don't think he will get the perfect trip as he did in the Derby. This field should be more tightly bunched while stalking our frontrunner. He has yet to have a bad trip in his brief career and that could change Saturday.

No. 5 WENT THE DAY WELL (above) closed better than any horse in the Derby and might of won if the race was longer. No horse was running stronger than him in the last 100 yards. He should improve and be sitting up closer to the front. The main concern is the shorter distance.

No. 6 CREATIVE CAUSE also closed very well and had traffic congestion to get through, but was still able to grab fifth place. Definitely a horse to include in your underneath tickets and you should get a decent price with him. The concern is that he's always there at the end but has trouble closing the deal.

BETS

$1 trifecta: 7, 9 with 7, 9 with 2, 5, 6, 8, 11 and 7, 9 with 2, 5, 6, 8, 11 with 7, 9 ($20 total)

$4 exacta: 7, 9 with 2, 5, 6, 8, 11 ($40 total)

$20 exacta box: 7 and 9 ($40 total)

Total wager: $100

Johnny Love is the horse racing handicapper for the Star Tribune.

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