The addition of the filly makes the Preakness a very cool race for bettors. The big races tend to be the easiest to handicap for value especially, because the flow of information is out there, the odds are known early and it is discussed to death. The way I play these races, as you folks know, is to simply look for a talented horse who is being overlooked by the masses. Then I group him deep on exotics tickets for a hopeful overlaid score. The Preakness is much more formful than the Derby, so I can not use the all button on top as much as I did in the Derby. The button simply does not have as much value in a shorter field, two weeks off the Derby, but still should be used in the two and three slots, in my opinion.
This weekend I have gone through what I think is correct to do, and feel pretty good about my value plays.
Rachel - She's the fastest horse, but she has been the fastest horse while running against sub par fields. It is not a secret that taxed horses do not run their best. There is inside speed in this race and it might be safe to factor-in she does not run back to her Oaks figure. Alternatively, 14 days off for a race she was not pointed to a week ago has to be a negative. I hope she wins, but I think she won't, and her fair odds are way above board odds for me. Many sharp handicappers think she has a super shot, however, and I respect that opinion.
POTN - Everyone seems to like him. He is as good or better than a few contenders in there for certain, but I don't want a horse everyone seems to like on the ticket.
Big Drama - Is this years wise guy horse. I don't want to take a stand with a wise-guy horse.
Mine That Bird - Perhaps the most forgotten Derby winner in history. He has had less press than Charismatic did when he won and paid $18. People all think he won because of Borel, and extreme luck. That might or might not be the case; however, there is some value with him because of that public opinion, I think.
Musket Man - A horse I played pretty heavily in exotics in the Derby, simply because he was overlooked. He is not this time, but everything says he has a shot.
Friesan Fire - Ever see a horse get a troubled trip in the lane, where everyone sees it? Notice the next race where he opens at 4-5 and ends up 8-5, when he should be 4-1? My no-brainer play, by the opposite logic, is Friesan Fire. He is fast, he was the favorite in the Derby, he had no chance to run, and wanted nothing to do with that race. He is going to be 4th choice. There is no way a Derby chalk with an excuse should be 4th choice in the wagering. Give me a fast overlooked horse with negatives seen on a big stage that the public overreacts to, and I will bet him every time.
Exotic gut shots:
FF-Musket Man, Mine That Bird-ALL
Ex box: FF, MM, MTB
Ex box: FF, MTB, Big Drama
Ex Box: FF, MTB, Papa Clem
Good luck everyone.
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