2015 Preakness Cheat Sheet
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder
2015 Preakness Replay
Did you watch the Kentucky Derby? Of course you did. Did you feel unprepared? We tried to help! Here it is two weeks later and you’re still in the same boat. Well, fret not, we’re here for you… again! Although we strongly suggest that you sign up for our Derby Prep Alert so you’re not so unprepared next year.
Here’s a little something about the 2015 Preakness field by post position. Be sure to check out our 2015 Kentucky Derby Cheat Sheet for more back story on the starters coming from the Derby.
Here’s a thumbnail sketch of this year’s field by post position including the morning line odds.
1. American Pharoah (4-5) – WINNER – The Kentucky Derby winner passed his remaining test, having to gut out a win, and gut it out he did. While it wasn’t the prettiest effort, it was impressive that he was wide coming into the stretch and ran further than Firing Line and Dortmund. It’s his race to lose, and given his romp in slop in the Rebel, a rainy Preakness day might give him even more of an advantage.
2. Dortmund (7-2) – Considering that he set a relatively easy and uncontested pace in the Derby, he should’ve shown his usual fight when Firing Line came to him. Instead, he suffered his first career loss while turning in his first less than stellar performance to finish third. All in all it wasn’t a horrible effort and you might get a nice price if you like him.
3. Mr. Z (20-1) – Fourth – A last minute sale to the owners of the 2013 Preakness winner put this hard-knocking contender in the field. A rough trip in the Derby, that included almost clipping heels with former stablemate American Pharoah, kept him from getting his preferred stalking trip. Given the small field and his post position he has a good chance to at least be in contention this time around, and might be worth considering for your exotics.
4. Danzig Moon (15-1) – After a bumpy start in the Derby that included getting squeezed and steadying the first time by stands, he managed to put in a decent effort to hold on for 5th. Given that it’s a much smaller field, and he’s one of the two off-the-pace runners in the field, he could pick up a few pieces if there’s a pace meltdown.
5. Tale of Verve (30-1) – Place (2nd) – Trainer Dallas Stewart has pulled some sneaky Derby moves, finishing 2nd in the last two renditions with longshots. He didn’t make this year’s field, but his crazy 2015 longshot has some appeal, especially for the Belmont. While using the Preakness as a prep for the Belmont is unconventional, what this maiden winning entrant lacks in experience he makes up for with a favorable running style and a win at the distance. He could be useful in your exotics.
6. Bodhisattva (20-1) – The local entry picked a bad year to be a front-runner trying to upset the Preakness. Last out the Federico Tesio winner set a moderate pace and gamely fought the length of the stretch for the win, albeit against a state-bred allowance winner. The last Tesio winner to win the Preakness was in 1983, and while that doesn’t seem likely to change, he could figure in the pace scenario.
7. Divining Rod (12-1) – Show (3rd) – The third time was a charm for the Lexington Stakes winner as a switch in tactics from his two prior graded stakes efforts produced a graded victory and his best effort to date. Instead of setting the pace, he sat off the pace and drew away when asked. While his new found skill will be handy in this spot, he’ll have a LOT more work to do to get past this crowd.
8. Firing Line (4-1) – He looked like the winner halfway through the stretch but could not match strides with American Pharoah, finishing second by only a length. The shorter distance may help his chances, but it also helps his rivals. By all accounts he came out of the Derby no worse for wear. It’s been a long time since since the Derby runner-up has won the Preakness, but he’s definitely got a shot.