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PaceAdvantage
05-21-2011, 02:17 AM
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/images/SCNums/5.jpg Shackleford (3-1)
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/images/SCNums/11.jpg Animal Kingdom (5-2)
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/images/SCNums/8.jpg Dance City (7-1)
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/images/SCNums/6.jpg Sway Away (10-1)
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/images/SCNums/9.jpg Mucho Macho Man (23-1)

I'm going to make things very simple on myself for the Preakness. Shackleford is going to be the best bet in the race.

"But hold on a minute," you say. "Didn't Shackleford coast on the front end, setting slow-as-molasses fractions in the Kentucky Derby, only to tire late and finish three and a half lengths behind Animal Kingdom?" Yes.

"Then how can you pick him to win the Preakness? After all, if he can't win going 10 furlongs after getting such a dream trip in the Derby, how is he going to be able to win the Preakness going only a half-furlong shorter? It's not as if there isn't any speed in the Preakness to go with him (Flashpoint + Dance City)"

I can pick him to win the Preakness because I believe there was a strong bias against speed at Churchill Downs on Derby day. A cursory glance at the charts that day bears this out . . . let's look at where the winners were on dirt after a half-mile in each race:

Fifth, Second, First, Sixth, Fifth, Eighth, Twelfth, Third, Eighth

Out of nine races, only two had winners that were sitting either first or second after four furlongs.

A look at the Derby chart reveals where the speed finished after setting or sitting close to what has been referred to as "turtle-like" fractions:

Shackleford - Fourth
Comma to the Top - Nineteenth
Decisive Moment - Fourteenth
Soldat - Eleventh
Pants On Fire - Ninth

If it was so advantageous to be sitting on or near those slow fractions, one would have expected at least one of the above horses besides Shackleford to put in a respectable finish. But that was clearly not the case.

Plus, word has it (and the charts back this up), that speed is winning more than its fair share at Pimlico these days. Let's look at where the winners were on dirt after a half-mile in each race at Pimlico yesterday:

First, First, First, Second, Second, Fourth, Fourth

Quite a difference from the example above on Derby day, wouldn't you say?

So I am going to make it easy on myself. I'm going to take a talented, speedy horse who has shown tenacity, at a very square price in today's Preakness.

It's as simple as that.