Table of Contents
By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast
Mage on Stage
Step two of three in Horse Racing’s Triple Crown follows quickly on the heels of a phrenetic Kentucky Derby, and it was one of those races where you know NOBODY who had the winner. Now, we all know that Mage has the target on his back and seven other horses are trying to spoil the party this Saturday in Maryland.
The inevitable hype train commences – the draw was announced and leading up to Saturday’s race the attention is obviously around the Derby winner, but this rest of the field oatThe Preakness has some eye-catching horses that could easily spoil the Mage party. Let’s dive into the field of eight horses that have their chance at a massive payday at Pimlico this Saturday.
Repeat the Feat
Is Mage a horse that gives off Triple Crown vibes? Absolutely not…but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Mage was a rookie horse by all accounts. He had four races under his belt and came into the Derby notably for one thing – coming close to beating the Derby favorite Forte, who scratched hours before the race began. I guess that scratch was all Mage needed to know he and Javier Castellano could have a clear path win for the first time on the biggest stage. It wasn’t the most glamorous trip around Churchill Downs but it got the job done in a packed finish down the home stretch. So who can topple Mage at The Preakness? Let’s break down the field of ponies.
The Preakness Field
#1 – National Treasure
A Bob Baffert horse and a winning jockey get the inside pole position, so undoubtedly there’s a lot of steam on this horse as race week goes on. Most notably had a couple of impressive showings, one head to head against pre-Derby favorite Forte in recent months. Definitely a horse to bet on.
#2 – Chase The Chaos
The horse’s name lives up to your gameplan if you like a bomb to do the unthinkable. So if you’re feeling randy, chase some chaos and buy a lottery ticket on a horse that does have a decent history of closing…
#3 – Mage
A friendly set of circumstances has the 2nd and 3rd place finishers at the Kentucky Derby OUT at Pimlico, so the adversity is limited for age to get leg two of three in the Triple Crown. With the other favorites being cast towards an outside draw it only makes you want to lean into the derby champ a little harder.
#4 – Coffee with Chris
This horse is giving off “surprise early leader” vibes and will look to push the pace of the race. Coffee with Chris sounds like a tinder date itinerary, so proceed with caution and hope for picture perfect conditions for this horse’s speed to shine through.
#5 – Red Route One
This horse’s career arch has been a slow crescendo, but this could be the peak on Saturday. At frisky 10-1 odds and the legend Joel Rosario riding, here’s your trendy pick to score big at Pimlico.
#6 – Perform
The name is self-explanatory and straight to the point, and the horse comes from a good lineage… but we’ve yet to see the breakout performance yet. This horse is not the direction i’m headed with my play this race.
#7 – Blazing Sevens
At solid odds and a history of showing, this horse could be a prime pick to couple with the actual winner. Not to say Blazing Sevens can’t close, but the horse’s record reeks of a 3rd place finish incoming.
#8 – First Mission
It is (slightly?) an unfortunate draw on the outside for the second favorite in this race, but with only 8 in the field it shouldn’t be too crowded if the opening quarter is properly run. Luis Saez is a jockey I’ve backed many times as well, so First Mission could be the play of the day here.
Pickin’ Em’ Straight
#8 First Mission
#8 First Mission – #5 Red Route One
Where to watch: Coverage on NBC Saturday afternoon, with the second leg of the Triple Crown scheduled to post at or around 6:50pm ET.
Why to watch: The Triple Crown watch is on for Mage, and with this being a smaller field – here’s to making it easier for us to cash a winner!
Purse: $1.5 million, $990k to the winner
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