The Players Edge Podcast Preakness Plays

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Rich Bieglmeier is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Saturday, May 15, 2021

Technology can be your best friend and worst enemy, it was our worst enemy this week. Unfortunately, our podcast with jockey Jose Ortiz was sabotaged by tiny transformers, at least that's how our voices sounded at times. Our sounds were converted to mini-robots sucking on helium balloons and it was not publishable.

Jose was a great guest and says he'll be back to help out with the Belmont Stakes.

Here are the crew's picks for Saturday at the Preakness.

Terry "Hollywood" Hay's Handicapping

Race 11

Race scenario:  #7 Breezy Gust and #8 Special Reserve will go to the front. #4 Frosted Grace and #2 Yodel E. A. will stay close to the pace and try to catch the leaders down the stretch. I think #8 Special Reserve will be able to deal with the pressure from Breexy Gust and stay in front to the finish line.

#8- Special Reserve likes the distance finishing in the money 77% of time, winning 33% of those entries. He is trained by Michael Maker and Irad Ortiz, JR. is in the irons.

#7 - Breezy Gust has finished in the money in four out of four races this year, winning three of them. Joel Rosario rides him and shorter distance than his last race should help him.

#4 – Frosted Grace comes in from Gulfstream Park where he ran a good second in a Grade 3 sprint. He has never finished out the money at today's distance.

#2 – Yodel E. A. has the highest last race speed rating of these entries. He has won eight of his twenty-six starts.

Race 12

Race scenario: #1 Somelikeithotbrown will rush to the lead and try to go all the way. # 3 Kuramata will be in mid pack and close and catch the leaders at the end. I think #5 Sacred Life and #8 Bye Bye Melvin will close from deep and get into the exotics.

#3 – Kuramata performed well at today's distance winning easily. He is trained by Chad Brown who horses trained by him have finished in the money in turf races 59% of the time, winning 26% of those starts and Irad Ortiz, JR. is in the irons whose mounts on the turf have finished in the money 49% of the time, winning 19% of those starts.

#5 – Sacred Life has finished in the money 100% of the time at today's distance. He is trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Javier Castellano. He travels well as he has competed at five different tracks in graded stakes in his last five races.

#1 – Somelikeithotbrown has the highest speed figure at today's distance and his best turf speed is fastest among today's starters. He has a sharp 5 furlong workout may 8th, the 2nd best of 22 workouts.

#8 – Bye Bye Melvin always seems to be in the mix with a furious closing rush. He should be used in the exoctics.

Race 13

Race scenario:  #3 Medina Spirit and #5 Midnight Bourbon will go to the front. Mike Smith will have #10- Midnight Bourbon close to the leaders and let them set a furious pace and will move coming into the stretch.  #6-Rombauer will stay back during most of the race and close from deep with a rush to win!

#6 – Rombauer has rested since April 3rd but has been working out steadily pointed for the Preakness. He won the El Camino Real Stakes at Golden Gate and ran a good third to Highly Motivated and Essential Quality in the Blue Grass at Keenland.

#3- Medina Spirit just won the Kentucky Derby and is trying for the second jewel in the Triple Crown. During his career he has raced six times winning three and finishing second in the other three races.

#10 – Concert Tour ran a disappointing 3rd in the Arkansas Derby but gets a new jockey Mike Smith who has plenty of experience in the big races.

 #5 – Midnight Bourbon ran a disappointing race in the Kentucky Derby but got a terrible start, bumped at the start and was 4-wide in the turns.

Play: $.50 Pick 3-Cost: $32.00

·         Race 3:   2, 4, 7, 8

·         Race 4:   1, 3, 5, 8

·         Race 5:   3, 5, 6, 10

Race 11-$.50 Trifecta Box #2-4-7-8=Cost: $12.00

Race 12-$.50 Trifecta Box #1-3-5-8=Cost: $12.00

Race 12-$2.00 Exacta Box #3-5-6-10=Cost: $12.00

Race 12-$16.00 Win & Place # 6=Cost: $32.00

Swiss Army Shawn's Selections


Race Summary: A lot of speed in this race. I could see as many as 4 horses trying for the lead #5 Strike Power, #7 Breezy Gust, #8 Special Reserve, and #10 Lebda. A bunch of others will try and stay close to the lead. I think the race sets up perfect for the #11 Seven Nation Army who will be on the outside of all the dueling leaders and go by them when they all tire.

#11 Seven Nation Army – Gets a good post for this race and should be able to pounce on the leaders when they get tired. He likes the distance finishing in the exacta 11 of 22 races. He was the favorite 2 starts ago when he lost to the ML favorite in this race #5 Strike Power. He had trouble in that race as he was last out of the gate and then had to go 4 wide in the turn.

#1 Laki- Should get a nice pace to run at. 2nd start after a couple month layoff he won his first start back.  He has won 2 of 4 career races at Pimlico. On a fast dirt track has finished in the exacta 15 of 25 career races.

#5 Strike Power- Will be on the lead or near it from the beginning.  Doesn't need the lead to win just would better his chances.  Beat the horse I like #11 Seven Nation Army 2 starts back.


$20 win #11
$2 ex 1,11/1,5,11
$1 pk 3 1,11/1,5/2,5,10


Race Summary: Not a lot of speed in this race. Looks to me like the #1 Somelikeithotbrown or #7 Flying Scotsman will get the lead with #8 Bye Bye Melvin right off the pace.  If the #7 Flying Scotsman does get the lead he will come back to them. There will be a bunch of horses flying including ML favorite #5 Sacred Life I think the #1 Somelikeithotbrown gets the perfect trip from the rail and wins the race.

#1 Somelikeithotbrown- His 2nd race back after a 4 month layoff. He should get the perfect trip from the rail either on the lead or sitting 2nd. He loves this distance on the turf finishing in the exacta in all 5 of his career races on the turf at this distance.

#5 Sacred Life- It will be his 2nd start back after a 7 month layoff. Always comes flying at the end finishing in the exacta 12 of 17 starts. Don't think he will get the pace he prefers in this race but will still be in exotics.

#3 Kuramata- 2 for 2 in the US and has plenty of potential. Has been very impressive in those 2 races will be there at the end.


$20 win #1
$4 EX 1,5/3


Race Summary: I see 3 horses going for the lead #3 Medina Spirit #5 Midnight Bourbon and #10 Concert Tour. The only question is would both Baffert horses both go or is one going to sit off the pace? I think if allowed the #10 Concert Tour gets the lead. I do think the pace will be good for some closers to close into like #2 Keemmeinmind and #6 Rombauer. I will go with #10 Concert Tour holding off the other 2 just mentioned for the victory.

#10 Concert Tour - Back in March this horse was going to be maybe the 3rd to 5th choice to win the Kentucky Derby. Then he blew everybody away in the Rebel and then after Life is Good's setback looked to be the favorite. I said going into the Arkansas Derby that everybody might be overreacting after the performance in the Rebel.  He then laid an egg in the Arkansas derby and Baffert didn't think he was ready for the Derby. I think people might overreacted the other way now and gave up on this horse.  Now with the time off I think he comes back and is the best horse in this race. Outside post shouldn't be too big of a deal as I think he has to go to the lead from the beginning of the race  anyway and should be able to get over.

#2 Keepmeinmind- Came out last at the start of the Kentucky Derby and gained ground when no one else was to finish 7th. I think the 2 hole is a perfect post for him he can save the ground pick his spot and come at the end.  With only 9 other horses in the race instead of 18 like the derby and plenty of speed there will be less traffic issues and he will be there at the end.

#6 Rombauer- He's another one that will be there if he gets the pace. He's another fresh horse that keeps improving. He might be able to be closer to the pace than the other closers.


$20 win #10
$1 exb 2,6,10
$1 Tri 10/2,5,6/2,5,6

22 to 1 Tom's (I need to find a winner) Tips

Race 11 – Maryland Sprint Grade 3

Lebda, Frosted Grace, Special Reserve and Strike Power go for the lead with Mucho, Laki, and the rest of the field wait for their opportunity to move up. As Lebda and Special Reserve pull away a bit with Laki and Threes Over Deuces getting more interested. Move to the top of the stretch, Special Reserve takes over and Laki closing.

Who wins?

#1 Laki ran a great race last out beating Lebda even with drifting out in the stretch. Laki has won or placed in grade 3 races at Maryland track races and is 2 wins out of 4 races at Pimlico. Lifetime, he has 23 starts at 6 furlongs and won 7 times. Pace and position will be the key to victory here. The trainer, Damon Dilodovico has places horses in grade stakes race 5 times over the past year and won 20% of the times and his runners have been in the money 80% of the time. He's record at second off layoff 23% wins and 53% in the money finishes.

#6 Threes Over Deuces needed his first start after layoff. With a slow start, he raced 3 to 4 wide most of backstretch. Moving better on the turn, he was moved inside making up some ground. This is a horse that likes to finish second and has done this 12 times in his racing career with 25 wins, place or show finishes from 33 starts. He has won 4 times at 6 furlongs with 8 starts and now has 2 races over the Pimlico track. I see a money finish here.

#8 Special Reserve was claimed at Oaklawn for $40k on February 6th of this year. Mike Maker ran him back at 6 furlongs at Oaklawn to win at roughly the same level and won. Then he ran at Keeneland in a grade 3 event at 7 furlongs and placed behind Flagstaff. Special Reserve set the pace in that race and was caught at the mid-stretch. Dropping back to 6 furlongs make more sense to me and with Irad Oritz Jr in the saddle will help set a proper pace.

Race 12 - Dinner Party Grade 2

I had to look at the running style notations to find that the rail horse, Somelikeithotbrown should be the leader with Flying Scotsman, Midnight Tea Time and Bye Bye Mevin right on his heels. The tucked in horses like English Bee and Kuramata behind with Tslk Or Listen and Sacred Life behind the balance of the field. Moving towards the top of the stretch, Kuramata moves up with the 4 front runners giving way.

Who Wins?

#3 Kuramata will get his first-grade stakes win here. He has speed and pace to stay up then close in for the win. He is move up in class, but Chad Brown is selecting a good spot for his 4th start. He's not run a bad race yet and his first start was at Kempton (UK) on the all-weather but that was back in 2019. They have been very, very patience with this horse and now he is 2 for 2 in 2021.

#1 Somelikeithotbrown is the class of the race and has run against much better horses in the past. He should show speed from the 1 post and may never look back, but my top choice will be closing in quickly. He will be the favorite.

#4 Midnight Tea Time is one of my favorite horses because he always tries and has finished in the money 21 time from 31 starts. A nice win last out at Keeneland in an allowance races, show me his fit to run a good race here.

The Preakness

The forecast the running of the race.

On the lead, Medina Spirit, Midnight Bourbon and from the outside Concert Tour. The balance will tuck in behind with Unbridled Honor last. As they move to the back stretch, the front runners will be battling it and Midnight Bourbon will be taken back a little behind. The moves will be Risk Taking, Crowd Trade and Ram. As they turn for the money, Medina Spirit will give way to Concert Tour with Midnight Bourbon closing in. Both Risk Taking and Crowd Trade move closer with Unbridled Honor and Ram trying to close on the leaders.

Who Wins?

#5 - Midnight Bourbon race in the KY Derby was eventful. Bumped around, wide and never appear to be in running his race. Now with better post position and a better trip, he will be the winner. Down at the Fairgrounds, he won the Risen Star then lost to Hot Rod Charlie (3rd in the KY Derby) and Mandaloun (2nd in the KY Derby), so he has been facing very good 3-year-old horses. With the right trip and the speed backing up, he will win. Midnight Bourbon has done at 14 day turnaround before and finished second at Churchill in a $200k stakes race. The switch from Mike Smith, who rides Concert Tour to Irad Oritz Jr. Irad is not a jockey that Steve Asmussen normally uses but big races call for the best jockey and Irad was available.

#8 - Unbridled Honor is one of those horses that appears to be getting better but will need pace up front to be in the money. In the sloppy last time in the Lexington, King Fury got the jump on the field to win with Unbridled Honor moving late along the rail. He didn't have enough points to get into the KY Derby, so the next best option was to wait for the Preakness. His 2 maiden races at Aqueduct, he ran against Risk Taking and Weyburn who are both graded stakes winners. Shipped to Tampa for the winter, he won his maiden and then ran an ok race in the Tampa Bay Derby. He looks primed for a good effort here.

#10 - Concert Tour was undefeated until the Arkansas Derby and ran a game race battling with Caddo River. They ran out of gas to finish and the closer sitting off the pace won. Now, passing the KY Derby to prepare for this race. Mike Smith takes the mount with Joel Rosario riding the unknown horse, France-Go-De-Ina for the second time. Concert Tour will be around to finish stronger than in the previous race.

Newbury Pick

The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes Group 1 at 1 mile (8 furlongs) running at Newbury.

Race off at 9:35am Central Time. Current track condition is good to soft. There is a chance of rain.

The favorite in the race is Palace Pier, trained by John Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori. Palace Pier has been beaten once out of his 7 races. This season, he won his first race at Sandown very easily. This was a group 2 race over a good surface. This colt is a true miler, and this race will be his prep for the Royal Ascot meeting in June. He won last year at Royal Ascot in the St. James Palace. Right now, the odds are 4/5.

Who's got a chance?

Lope Y Fernandez has race 13 times and won 3 times with 5 placings. He won his first start of the year at Leopardstown at 1 mile in April. He ran at Keeneland in the Breeder's Cup turf mile and finished 3rd. This is his 4 attempts at a mile with only 1 win last out in a lesser race. His main running's in his past races are at 7 furlongs or less in the past. Odds maybe around 7/2.

Century Dream is 7-year-old making his first start of the season. He won last year's first race out in a group 3 at Newbury. His record is 28 times with 9 wins and has raced in England, Ireland, France, United States and Dubai. If ready, he should make a good account of himself with James Doyle riding. If you decide to make a play on this horse, don't take anything less than 15-1.

Rich's Ranks

Race 11

7 – Breezy Gust – has made his win look easy

1 – Laki – a candidate to improve in second start off the bench

8 – Special Reserve – early speed with late pace numbers to hold on

2 – Yodel E. A. Who – has romped in his last pair of third starts after a layoff

Race 12

5 – Sacred Life – has been facing tougher

3 – Kuramata – Brown and Ortiz, Jr are dynamic Duo

1 – Somelikeithotbrown – could be on the front all the way around

2 – English Bee – isn't far from winning four in a row

Race 13 – Preakness

10 – Concert Tour – wire to wire candidate

3 – Medina Spirit – how much did KD take out of him?

4 – Crowded Trade – if he can handle two-turns...

5 – Midnight Bourbon – could be overlooked

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