There’s little argument that Exaggerator is one of the best 3-year-old horses in North America. He finished a close second to Nyquist in the Kentucky Derby. Now beaten four times by Nyquist, his connections are hoping the Curlin colt can finally turn the tables at next Saturday’s 141st running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore. And currently Exaggerator is the +450 second-favorite on betting odds.
A Quick Analysis on Why to Not Choose or Bet Exaggerator To Win Preakness Stakes
Exaggerator came from approximately 16 1/2 lengths back to win the Santa Anita Derby earlier this year. He came from approximately 17 3/4 lengths back to get within 1 1/4 of unbeaten winner Nyquist in the Kentucky Derby while finishing second. The Preakness will be Exaggerator’s fifth try to take down Nyquist, following their maiden special weight debuts in June of 2015 at Santa Anita Park, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I), the San Vicente (gr. II), and the Derby.
But know this: no horse that has been the runner-up in the Kentucky Derby has come back to win in the Preakness Stakes since Prairie Bayou in 1993. Twelve since then have tried. Only two horses in that stretch won the Belmont after running second in the Derby.
Last year it was Firing Line. Winner of the Sunland Derby in 2015, Firing Line surprised many when he pulled ahead of Dortmund in last year’s Kentucky Derby to finish second to American Pharoah. Just before the Preakness ran, storms blew in and a heavy downpour came over the horses. Firing Line was grouchy in the post parade and his ears were pinned flat against his head because of the weather. He went off as the second favorite, but ran second-to-last in the field of eight. He has not raced since then.
One horse I like this week as good long-shot value is Awesome Speed at +3300. The colt won a fees-paid entry into the middle leg of the Triple Crown in the “Win & You’re In” Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel Park in April. The son of Awesome Again was placed first in the $100,000 Preakness prep race, in which he came up a nose short after being bumped by the first-place finisher in deep stretch.
Awesome Speed lost a head bob at the wire to Governor Malibu, but the first-place finisher drifted in and bumped the front-running Awesome Speed in the final sixteenth. An inquiry was posted soon after the finish and an objection was also filed by jockey Jevian Toledo, which was followed by Governor Malibu’s disqualification.
Awesome Speed broke his maiden in his second career start. He then won the James F. Lewis III Stakes at Laurel last November. In his 2016 debut, the Kentucky-bred colt won his third race in a row, capturing the $100,000 Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream Park as the betting favorite. He was bumped at the start and finished fourth in the Feb. 27 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream before earning a Preakness berth in the Federico Tesio Stakes.
Bred in Kentucky by Allen Poindexter and Adena Springs out of the Aptitude mare Speedy Escape, Awesome Speed now has a four wins from six starts and earnings of $223,660. The longest odds on a Preakness winner were when Master Derby won in 1975. He paid $48.80 for a $2 win ticket.
Post positions for the Preakness will be May 18, with a maximum field of 14.