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Exaggerator vs. Stradivari
We picked Exaggerator against Creator in the Kentucky Derby, and we called it a no-contest. We were right. Exaggerator was definitively the second-best horse in that field, and that distinction hasn't changed for the Preakness Stakes.
There's a lot of hype right now on Stradivari after he burned through his last two races, winning by 11 and 14 lengths, but we just don't see him taking well to racing against the big boys, especially knowing that he's drawn an outside post and will want to get into a good position before the first turn. He's pretty much guaranteed to win at least four-wide, if not five- or six-wide, and that's already setting up for a disaster.
Exaggerator is worth laying the lumber against Stradivari for sure.
Laoban vs. Lani
These are two of the craziest horses to try to handicap in this race. Laoban wants to run at the head of the pack, and he's probably going to make a bolt for it out of the gate like Danzing Candy did at the Kentucky Derby, and no one is quite sure what in the heck Lani is going to do.
Lani acted out before going into the gate at the Kentucky Derby, and it showed with his poor start. He should be better-equipped to run against the big boys now, but we're still not sure he's capable of finishing in the top half of this field. We're banking on Laoban to be able to cover the distance, something that Danzing Candy wasn't able to do before him.
Uncle Lino vs. Abiding Star
This really is more about positioning on the track than anything else. Though starting posts don't necessarily matter as much at Pimlico as they do at Churchill Downs, they do for horses who are starters by nature. Uncle Lino has nothing to his left which worries us in terms of speed, and we have to think he's going to break faster than Nyquist lined up directly to his right.
From that standpoint alone, Uncle Lino – so long as he doesn't get completely boxed on the rail – should have the cleaner start versus Abiding Star, who is going to have to run from the far outside to get to the rail early.
In all likelihood, Uncle Lino will be able to run this race without getting dirt kicked in his face, and that suits him just fine. Abiding Star? Not so much. Every time that horse hasn't started first or second, he's finished with a disastrous result against significantly lesser fields than this.
Can either of these horses really win the Preakness Stakes? No, probably not. But we trust that Uncle Lino can at least run his race and finish in the top half. Abiding Star is our favorite to finish last of the 11 runners.
Preakness Stakes odds at BookMaker.eu