Friday, May 18, 2007
Analyzing the Preakness is much easier, and just as difficult, as the Kentucky Derby was. There are a whole lot fewer horses, but the only contenders still have varied factors that can affect how things play out. The biggest factor at this point is the possibility (again) of an off-track, and how that could temper any closing move Circular Quay could make. Honestly, I do not see Street Sense winning, but would be pleased to be wrong. I’m playing Hard Spun here for the win, with Street Sense in second and Xchanger staying on for third. Curlin is the wildcard for me. I love his physical appearance, and his Tomlinson number is over 400 so he should do well if there is an off-track, but his workout between the Derby and this race was not good (4f ft :51 B 51/54). I don’t know…he did an equally-unimpressive workout before the Arkansas Derby, and won by 10 lengths.
Also on the Preakness Day card is the Maryland BC Sprint, where I’m picking Talent Search, over Semaphore Man and Fleet Valid. The Dixie Handicap should see Cosmonaut defeat Einstein, with Mending Fences for show, while in the Schaefer Handicap I’m going with the chalky Hesanoldsalt over Flashy Bull and Two Sixty Four.
Finally, in the Hirsch Jacobs Stakes, let me reiterate my unwavering support for Southwestern Heat, despite undefeated (polytrack) Canadian invader Like Mom Like Sons and another Street Cry offspring, Street Magician. With a morning line of 15-1, Southwestern Heat is the longest shot in the field. Sports Town is scratched, having won the Ogygian Stakes at Belmont on May 16.
Tim Salzman, trainer of Southwestern Heat, says the colt may race at Belmont during the current meet. Yay! Salzman also has a two-year-old Storm Cat colt from Xtra Heat named X Rated Cat. “He’s a big, broad colt,” Salzman said. “He’s already bigger than Southwestern Heat. He’s still pretty far from his first start, but I think he’s got a lot of promise. Having a horse like him makes you get up in the morning.”
Xtra Heat is an amazing broodmare, having successfully produced four foals in four tries. In addition to Southwestern Heat (Gone West) and X Rated Cat (Storm Cat), there are two unnamed fillies, by Elusive Quality in 2006 and by Unbridled’s Song, born April 24, 2007. She’s being bred back to Songandaprayer next.