Justify will attempt to continue his journey to become the 13th Triple Crown winner as the heavy favorite in The Preakness Stakes.
His impressive victory on the sloppy track in the Kentucky Derby was eye popping. The snappy fractions he set, some of the fastest in Derby history, were simply unbelievable as he glided along in the mud.
Justify is a special horse. He gets better with each race. His early speed will make him tough to catch once he takes the lead, so expect odds at around 1-5 at post time. Baltimore is also expecting more rain. As we watched two weeks ago, Justify loves a muddy track. Another thing to consider, in case you plan on playing against him: trainer Bob Baffert is undefeated in four starts in the Preakness when bringing in a Kentucky Derby winner.
Anything can happen, but I’m not playing against him now. I said two weeks ago there was only one horse that could win the Triple Crown in the Derby field, and that was Justify.
Justify is going to be extremely tough to beat. Expect slower fractions with less competition in this small eight-horse field. Baffert was pleased with how his 3-year old colt came out of the Derby, and the colt has been breezing great in the morning. His four wins have come by a total of 21 lengths. If there is a slight concern, it’s his fifth race in 90 days. That’s a lot to ask for, but he looks as fresh as he did after his first career start. The task for bettors, who also like Justify, is to find a few runners underneath to use on their exacta and trifecta tickets. I don’t see Justify losing, so I’m keying him on top in both my tickets.
Good Magic held on for second in the Kentucky Derby, fending off a hard-charging third-place runner in Bolt D’Oro. Trainer Chad Brown says he has an idea on how he’s going to send Good Magic for this race. I don’t believe Brown would wheel back Good Magic from two weeks ago if he didn’t think he had a chance. That’s not his style. Good Magic also enjoys the mud, and appears to be better than most of today’s rivals. Chad Brown won this race last year with Cloud Computing for the upset at 13-1. Merits respect as the main threat to the favorite.
Bravazo and Lone Sailor also enjoy a sloppy track. Both had troubled trips in the Kentucky Derby but finished strong. They love to come rolling late, so they wouldn’t mind a snappy-pace scenario. Traffic congestion shouldn’t be a problem in this small field, but things will need to work out perfectly for them to make a dent. Double-digit prices when the gates open.
$100 Wagering Menu
• $70 Exacta (Justify over Good Magic)
• $5 Trifecta (Justify with Good Magic with All)