by Jeremy Plonk
May 16, 2018
No major surprises rocked Old Hilltop today. It continued to rain and the eight expected entrants for Preakness 143 all made their way to the entry box. When the pills were pulled, Kentucky Derby winner Justify drew the 7-hole and was installed the 1-2 favorite by track oddsmaker Keith Feustle. It’s the same draw Justify had in the Derby, though the significance there was more than here. Today, there really wasn’t a deal-breaking kind of spot for him to land.
The draw did cause some interesting moments as Quip, who shares some ownership with Justify as well as a front-running style, wound up on the rail. He will be sent for speed by Florent Geroux most likely and the band of other pace and pressers will flank him past the wire the first time. Sporting Chance in post 3 isn’t good news for many in there as his tendency to bear out in races could rear its head at any time and you’d feel more comfortable finding your way inside of him sooner than later.
Good Magic in post 5 is kind of stuck between fast horses inside of him and the key players outside of him. That could get a bit pinch-worthy and tight in there, but he seems so tactical and Eclipse Award-winning jockey Jose Ortiz is at the top of his profession. It’s not a terrible draw, but Good Magic probably would have been better further outside. And if Sporting Chance does anything odd to his inside, Good Magic might be among the first to be affected. But that’s a lot of speculation.
With Quip, Sporting Chance and Diamond King all inside of Justify, the tempo of the Preakness may have picked up a length or two based on this draw. The beneficiary to any quicker pace and subsequent chase almost has to be Lone Sailor, who will save ground from post 2 and spot these 15 lengths down the backstretch.