Johnny Love's Preakness picks

  • Updated: May 17, 2014 - 9:19 AM

California Chrome, winner of the 140th Kentucky Derby, will once again have the bull’s-eye on his tail as he will try to win the middle jewel of the Triple Crown. He has dominated his opposition in his past five stakes races, and my prediction is he should dominate once again. Only two of his defeated rivals in the Derby made the trip to Baltimore, and many of the new shooters are loaded with early speed, setting up the perfect trip for the favorite. Keying Chrome on top and finding some value underneath will be my strategy. Here are my top contenders for this year’s Preakness Stakes and my wagers:

CALIFORNIA CHROME has proven that he doesn’t need the lead and can sit back in the wind tunnel behind the expected gut-wrenching pace. Jockey Victor Espinoza can save the colt’s energy before pushing the go button. This 3-year-old is the most talented runner in the field and looks to be head and shoulders above the rest. His having never run on a muddy track would be my lone concern.

SOCIAL INCLUSION is all about speed and could be the “now” horse as the major threat to pull off the upset. He’s been stabled longer at Pimlico than the other hopefuls and has been training extremely well, including a bullet drill last workout. Slight cause for concern is coming off a bruised hoof, so time will tell if it has healed. Expect him to have company in a scrappy pace duel.

KID CRUZ keeps improving, and his last win was at Pimlico, giving him a slight edge over his rivals. With another step forward, look for him to roll late. This is his toughest test to date in the huge class move up.

RIDE ON CURLIN had a horrible trip and a not-so-great ride in the Derby. Positive jockey switch to Joel Rosario gives the colt another chance. Expect Rosario to sit closer to the pace with a much better trip. Would enjoy a sloppy track.

 

Bets: $20 exacta with 3 over 7, 8, 10 ($60); $1 trifecta 3/7, 8, 10/all, $1 trifecta 3/all/7, 8, 10 ($24 each, $108 total).

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Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:05 PM
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Minnesota - T. May 6:05 PM
Baltimore - M. Gonzalez
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Toronto - M. Buehrle
Philadelphia - D. Buchanan 6:10 PM
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(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
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Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
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Vanderbilt 7
BYU 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 6:30 PM
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Houston
Colorado State 8:00 PM
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UNLV 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
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UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
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Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
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(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
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Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
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Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
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Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Houston 7:00 PM
Sporting Kansas City
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix

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