2011 Preakness Odds Likely to Overvalue Kentucky Derby Horses

Although morning line odds will be drawn on Wednesday, the odds on race day for the 2011 Preakness Stakes, the one-hundred-thirty-sixth time that the second jewel of the Triple Crown will be run, is likely to produce an overvaluing of the Kentucky Derby runners and an undervaluing of the new shooters.

Leading the overvalue parade will be Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom who was the only horse to showcase the excellent kick needed to win the Run for the Roses.  Chasing a somewhat dawdling pace, the Graham Motion trainee produced a 2:02 final time in the 1 ¼ mile Derby.  The horse’s closing kick was extremely impressive as jockey John Velasquez put Animal Kingdom only 2 ¾ lengths off of the pace at the second call.

The Derby winner figures to go off no better than 2 to 1 in the Preakness, the 1 3/16 second jewel of the Triple Crown, and most likely will offer 8/5 odds to win the race on May 21.  The second choice on the wagering on Saturday will in all likelihood be the Nick Zito trained Dialed In who was too far off of the pace on May 7 to showcase his terrific kick.  Dialed In will likely go off around 5 to 2 or 3 to 1 presenting another overvalued pick to win the second jewel of the Triple Crown.  Both Mucho Macho Man, the third place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, and Shackleford, the front-runner who ended up fourth in the Run for the Roses, will garner plenty of attention.  Neither figures to go off at odds north of 4 to 5 to 1 on Saturday.

One Kentucky Derby runner that figures to offer plenty of value on May 21 is the Bob Baffert trained Midnight Interlude.  The Santa Anita Derby winner took a huge step back on the first Saturday in May, but the gutsy son of War Chant has good early speed and could be very tough running around Pimlico’s tight turns.  Midnight Interlude’s odds figure to be at least 6 to 1 and possibly higher on May 21.

Horseplayers searching for value in the 136 Preakness Stakes should find it in most of the new shooters for the race.  If early betting is any indication, the only new horse that will go off at less than double-digits on Saturday is the Todd Pletcher trained, front-running, Dance City, the second place finisher in the Arkansas Derby.  Dance City is at 8 to 1 in the early betting.

The Steve Asmussen trained Astrology, who saddled Nehro to a second place finish in the Kentucky Derby, Richard Dutrow’s Flashpoint, fourth place Wood Memorial winner Norman Asbjornson, Sway Away, whose father Afleet Alex won the Preakness Stakes earlier this century, the John Shirreff’s trained Mr. Commons and the third place finisher in the Bluegrass Stakes, King Congie, all figure to offer odds from 10 to 1 to 20 to 1 or higher on race day. 

The likely biggest mover out of the new shooters on May 21 off of its morning line will almost assuredly be Astrology.  The Asmussen trainee finished second in the Jerome Handicap to Adios Charlie and is bred to be a very good runner.  Astrology’s sire, A.P. Indy is considered one of the top sires in the world while Astrology’s grandfather on his mother’s side, Quiet American, sired Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Real Quiet.  Astrology’s odds could drop all the way down to 6 to 1 or less on race day and figures as the “wise guy’s” choice to win the second jewel of the Triple Crown.