In this Preakness Profile edition, we narrow our focus to the Chad Brown trainee RISK TAKING. He's the three-year-old son of MEDAGLIA D'ORO who gathered 2 wins from 5 starts, with earnings of $200,030. Several major betting websites have him listed as a 15-1 shot to win. But are those odds too short, too long, or just right? That answer is to be gleaned from this discussion.
First of all, RISK TAKING rose to prominence after a smart, maiden-breaking score back in December 2020 at Aqueduct. It was a Maiden 80K route race, and he achieved an impressive late speed figure that exceeded the late speed required, on paper, to win the Preakness Stakes (G1).
RISK TAKING then went off as the $1.90 to win favorite in the Withers Stakes (G3) next time out. He won stylishly with Eric Cancel aboard. He broke well and took a tracking trip in mid pack, before swinging to the outside and motoring home down the stretch for the win. The replay is shown below.
Predictably, RISK TAKING went off as the favorite in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G1), getting bet down to $2.35 to win. But he finished a well-beaten seventh after taking a tracking in mid pack and flattening out in the stretch. This was a total head scratcher.
Sure, he was coming off a two-month layoff and was piloted by Jose Ortiz for the first time, but he did not flash his characteristic late kick. What happened?
There is an interesting development at hand. What if we cross out RISK TAKING's loss and chalk it up to him having an "off" day. We would then have a similar scenario to MANDALOUN leading up to the Kentucky Derby. We all saw what a tremendous rebound effort he gave!
Trainer Chad Brown seemed ready to forget about the RISK TAKING's Wood Memorial blunder.
"Our optimism is really based on being able to confidently draw a line through the Wood," Brown said. "If we do that, and if he [RISK TAKING] was to move forward off his previous two races, another step forward, finishing strong at a mile and three-sixteenths, it could potentially put him in the trifecta or maybe better." (SportsNaut)
To RISK TAKING's credit, he returned off this poor showing in the Wood with a sharp 4F work just two weeks later. He ran :47.4 as the 5th fastest of 63 works at that distance at Belmont Park. Since then, he's been submitting sharp workout after sharp workout. He's been training really well, and he'll get Jose Ortiz back on the saddle. Note that Jose Ortiz and Chad Brown are currently winning at a 38% rate when they team up. RISK TAKING at 15-1 could prove very generous price for anyone backing this horse.