Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

Altering the Picture

Posted by Brian Appleton on May 15, 2011

It’s hard to believe that the Preakness Stakes (Gr.1) is only six days away from being run already. The Derby feels like it was just yesterday and now everything has shifted to Baltimore and the second jewel in the Triple Crown. On Monday I will be leaving for Ireland until Saturday night so I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to stay on top of the Preakness updates and news but I’ll try my best to get at least one post in before the weekend. Also I’ll be posting over on Horse Racing Nation about the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes probably sometime around Wednesday so keep an eye out there and I hope to hear some of your thoughts on the races.

The 2011 Peter Pan Stakes had one of the best fields I have seen in a number of years and produced an end result that was worthy of high-class billing. As the best known non-Triple Crown prep race for the Belmont Stakes, the Peter Pan often seems to fill with colts that were unable to make the Kentucky Derby cut or just weren’t good enough to compete there, thus giving the race a distinctive second-tier quality feel. Not so this year as a strong field of ten sophomore colts lined up to make their mark at Belmont Park with Alternation putting in a terrific rally to defeat Adios Charlie by a nose in the 9 furlong test. Alternation finished fifth in the Arkansas Derby in his last start while Adios Charlie was coming off an impressive score in the Jerome. Both colts ran great races and I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of them throughout the year. Prime Cut ran on for third.

I wish I had more time to recap some of the weekend races but I have a ton of things to finish up before I head out for my trip tomorrow. Until next time!

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5 Responses to “Altering the Picture”

  1. Susan said

    Have a GREAT trip!

  2. B,

    Enjoy your trip…for fun or business?

    ALTERNATION and ADIOS CHARLIE really put on a good show. They both have bright futures but neither looks like a Belmont horse to me.

    Thoughts on the Preakness?

    • Thanks Rob,

      Fun! I’m in Ireland with a friend, hoping to see The Curragh or Leopardstown while I’m here but time is already running short.
      I don’t think Adios Charlie is a Belmont type horse but I think Alternation has some potential.

      The Preakness looks like an evenly matched field to me with Mucho Macho Man, Dialed In, Animal Kingdom and Shackleford all getting the nod from me (in that order). I really, really like Sway Away but I really haven’t had any time to handicap or study the field since I’ve been overseas so I’m just going by instinct here.
      How about you?

      • I, too, am really interested in SWAY AWAY. After his Rebel disaster (hit gate, knocked out teeth, checked twice into/on the clubhouse turn), the Arkansas Derby was a really positive move forward. The shorter Preakness and more time to get him fit plays into Bonde’s cagey hands. The pace Sat. figures contested and honest which will put SWAY AWAY in the ideal position to make the winning bid down the lane before AK and the other closers can get in gear.

        ANIMAL KINGDOM must be respected as the Derby winner. Since 1991, the Derby winner has a record of 19-7-4-2 giving the sample a 37% win rate and a 58% chance to be in the exacta. While I worry that the slow Derby played into his grassy hooves, he’ll be catching lots of tiring speed down the lane if John V. doesn’t get too impatient/close to hot splits on Saturday. But, if he drops too far back he’ll be runnin’ against the winning stalking style. At a short price, it’s too risky to expect him to win when he’s gonna need a perfect trip. His 11 post assures he can stay away from the ample kick back like in the Derby.

        Greg at Power Cap reminded me that ASTROLOGY is making 3rd start in the cycle. He was on my R2R stable and the son of A.P. INDY is absolutely bred for this trip. Note that Mike Smith gives up Shirreffs-trained MR. COMMONS for ASTROLOGY. It may be that it’s political because he wants to keep the mount on MACLEAN’S MUSIC for the same connections, but considering the posts (ASTROLOGY,1; MR. COMMONS, 14) this may prove fruitful for Smith on Saturday as well.

        FLASHPOINT is one who will probably set the pace…it’s possible that he’ll be too fast for them from the 4 hole and the other speed will fear testing him until it’s too late. His Kee works at 5f should have him very fit. Stamina is the big question with him, by POMEROY out of a TWO PUNCH dam…I believe the quality is there but he’ll need an uncontested lead for him to finish in contention.

        Have a great time in Ireland…hope you make it to the races!

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