The Second Jewel of the Triple Crown takes place this Saturday on May 18. Last week, most horseplayers looked towards either War of Will or Improbable as their key horse. It made sense because those two horses ran decent enough in the Kentucky Derby to warrant Preakness consideration.
War of Will might have won the Run for the Roses if he hadn’t been affected by Maximum Security. He was in a good position to overtake that one at the top of the stretch. Improbable was covered up for much of the race. He might have gotten into the Top 4 with a better trip.
Although many liked War of Will and Improbable last week, opinions appear to be changing this week. Neither War of Will nor Improbable gets into the Top 3. Who does? Check out my 2019 Preakness Stakes picks!
Building All Preakness Tickets Around Alwaysmining
First – Alwaysmining
The Kelley Rubley trainee has won 6 races in a row. What’s really impressive is that Alwaysmining has won from 7 furlongs all the way up to 1 1/8 miles. His sire, Stay Thirsty, won both the Travers Stakes and the Cigar Mile.
Alwaysmining should get an excellent trip either on the lead or right off of Warrior’s Charge. Unless they go guns blazing upfront, it will be difficult for any horse to catch this Laurel Park runner once he takes the lead. He sure looks like a solid key horse to me.
Second – Owendale
Lexington Stakes winner Owendale hasn’t gotten the love Improbable, War of Will, and even Alwaysmining have. No worries. The way he blitzed by horses around the turn in the Lexington implies he can take the Preakness Stakes on May 18.
Owendale looks to be one of those late-blooming three-year-olds. He didn’t get enough points with the Lexington victory to get into the Derby starting gate. That might be a blessing. Not only that, but he can track the pace-setters if he must, come from the clouds, or even run a length off the lead. Owendale has a real shot to make it to the winner’s circle.
Third – Warrior’s Charge
There doesn’t appear to be a ton of speed in the 2019 Preakness Stakes. Brad Cox also trains Warrior’s Charge. It’s fairly obvious that Brad will want this guy to take the lead and then go as far as he can. Here’s the thing, he might not give up the lead.
Sired by Munnings, Warrior’s Charge has won his last couple of races by a combined 12 ½ lengths. This is a step up. It’s not a leap up, though. Warrior’s charge must be taken very seriously to win the Preakness Stakes on Saturday. Javier Castellano will ensure he has a chance. If he’s good enough, he can get the job done.
Fourth – Improbable
Improbable didn’t fire in the Kentucky Derby. He’s trained by the greatest three-year-old trainer in history, Bob Baffert. That alone means he will go off at underlay odds on Saturday. Although Improbable can win the Preakness Stakes, he doesn’t tower over the field. Not only that, but in 3 races this year, he’s failed to notch a victory. There’s a good chance he’s tired after the tough Derby run. The best Improbable might do is fourth.
Fifth – War of Will
War of Will appeared to be in a great position in the Kentucky Derby turning for home. Maximum Security shifting lanes affected him, no doubt. However, he didn’t really pick his feet up after bumping with other horses. The reason that’s important is because he ran a 94 Brisnet speed rating. A 94 is pretty much what War of Will always runs. 94, 96…in that area.
Like Improbable, War of Will could win the 2019 Preakness Stakes. But also just like Improbable, he figures to offer underlay odds to beat some very talented horses. I must pass on both as my key horse.
Good luck with your 2019 Preakness Stakes wagers!