Here’s Why: Preakness Edition — Horses Trending Up and Down
By Candice Hare
The second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, is this weekend and while that race is the star of the show with four of the top five in the Kentucky Derby entered, there are plenty of horses who are trending either upwards or downwards formwise who are running Friday or on the Saturday undercard and we’ve got you covered with a few of those here.
1.Brenda’s Way (5/15, Race 10, M/L 20/1)
This will be her toughest test to date, by far, but she’s done nothing wrong this season having won an allowance by over five lengths at Laurel in March and backing that up when defeating state-breds locally by ten and a quarter lengths. The mile and an eighth distance is a slight concern, but she knows Pimlico well and her early speed is a vital weapon. She’s likely lone speed here and everyone will be playing “catch me if you can.” Whether they can catch her remains to be seen, but entering here in good form with the chance of being clear lone speed at a big price is an easy way to make it onto my tickets.
2.Top Billing (5/15, Race 14, M/L 12/1)
Unfortunately a few scratches will hurt his price, but at 9/2 to better he looks one who could benefit from some speed out front thanks to the presence of Cat Burglar, Commissioner, and Vyjack in particular. He clearly improved second time off the layoff at Keeneland when nosed out by Noble Bird, who has since flattered that form.
3.Aquinnah (5/16, Race 11, M/L 12/1)
A winner of two of her past three, Aquinnah raced down at Gulfstream often where the best turf form in the winter/early spring tends to be found. She took plenty of money in both of her wins, which she won well considering these are five furlong turf sprints we’re talking about. Sure, this is a bit of a class test, but she beat a few of these last time out, including Tizgale who is listed at the same morning line price as Aquinnah. Aquinnah has answered every call from claimers to $60k stakes in these turf dashes recently and the seven-year-old mare fits right in with these, as well.
1.Enchanting Lady (5/15, Race 8, M/L 3/1)
Showed some promise on the West Coast as a two-year-old, but she’s really never lived up to the hype this season. Her one win was over a speed favoring surface, over which she was also given an easy time up front to boot. Her race in the Eight Belles was really too bad to be true. She’s better than that, but not one who I’d be itching to bet off that performance and a quick turnaround at a short price.
2.Commute (5/16, Race 4, M/L 7/2)
Enters here having lost two straight — a nine lengths back third behind One Lucky Dane and a second two and one half lengths behind Cyrus Alexander, not to mention he’s had trouble out of the gate in two of his four starts.
3.Happy My Way (5/16, Race 5, M/L 5/2)
Happy My Way is as consistent as they come, but he’s lost his five most recent starts and hasn’t won since the G3 Maryland Sprint Handicap, which was nearly one year ago. That was the last three races he won in a row while rising up the ranks and perhaps he’s just hit his mark. Good horse, but one who I’d be looking to play against as the potential favorite in this field, especially considering there’s another horse with plenty of early speed entered.
She handicaps races on her website ‘Capping with Candice and is the co-host of a weekly YouTube race preview show entitled “Down to the Wire.”
You can follow Candice on Twitter @Chare889.