(WHAS11) - The Preakness should be the most logical of the Triple Crown races. The Derby produces a lot of surprises with its 20 horse field and the Belmont's long stretch is the place of shattered Triple Crown dreams.
But the Preakness with a shorter distance and a smaller field seems to produce a more predictable outcome. In some ways, it seems a fairer test of the top 3-year-olds.
Last year, Lookin at Lucky was clearly the best horse in his age group. But his Derby was ruined by drawing the number one post and with no Triple Crown at stake, he passed on the Belmont.
But in the Preakness, on a level playing field, Lookin at Lucky was the best. Now we ask, who is the best horse who had a bad Derby, that can bounce back. The answer is Dialed In.
If Dialed In fires down the stretch at Pimlico, he'll go by this modest field like a runaway train. And his uninspiring Derby may have been just the race to prepare him for the Preakness.
This race also sets up better for Dialed In. Flashpoint and Shackleford seem ready to dual for the lead and set a faster pace that will help a closer.
Of course, all of this goes out the window if Animal Kingdom runs a second great race in a period of two weeks. But I still think he's an unproven commodity and this time with a closely bunched field, Nick Zito's horse gets the final jump.
If you’re looking for a fresh horse who might spring an upset in Maryland, well Astrology might have you reaching for the stars. He was second in the Jerome in New York and this will be his third start off a winter layoff. Mike Smith has been known to win big races.
And if you’re looking for a stalker, who will be around at the end of the race, don't dismiss Mucho Macho Man. Kathy Ritvo is going to train this horse to the winners circle sometime this spring.
Of the 14 horses in the Preakness, 9 of them did not run in the Kentucky Derby. That means they probably didn't have enough graded stakes money.
Will a horse not good enough to run in the Derby, jump up and win the Preakness? Not likely.
I'm Dialed In for the Preakness and I think a horse who ran in the Derby will prevail.