The final leg of the Triple Crown is upon us on Saturday, as the $1,000,000 (Gr. 1) is set at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Authentic will be looking for back-to-back wins for Bob Baffert. A win for Authentic and he captures the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 2020. I was looking forward to a rematch in this race between Tiz the Law and Authentic, but Tiz bowed out and will focus on preparing for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
We’ll see Tiz the Law up against some quality opponents in that race, likely including Authentic, Tom’s d’Etat, Improbable, and Maximum Security. That is shaping up to be one epic race with Race of the Year written all over it. The Preakness Stakes is considered a prep race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, so there are far reaching implications in this event. Art Collector, Max Player, Ny Traffic, and Thousand Words are on the bubble and need good runs today.
We are going to get an indication to whether Authentic is for real on Saturday. He sure played the part when he pulled away from Tiz the Law in the stretch at Churchill Downs. By all reports, Authentic has looked sharp in workouts leading up to Saturday. He will have to deal with Art Collector, who was garnering attention going into the Kentucky Derby, but received a scratch because of a minor foot problem.
The Preakness Stakes isn’t the only notable race at Pimlico on Saturday. There are ten other stakes races, including the $250,000 Black Eyed Susan Stakes (Gr. 2) and $250,000 Dinner Party Stakes (Gr. 2). Head below for our free Preakness Stakes pick and Pimlico selections for October 3, 2020.
Here’s #KyDerby winner Authentic the 2nd time around in a spirited gallop this morning @PimlicoRC. The favorite for @PreaknessStakes 145 really is showing great energy, as HOF trainer Bob Baffert keeps saying. Final jewel of the 2020 Triple Crown is set for 5:36 ET Saturday. pic.twitter.com/8XCltsiuzz
— Marty McGee (@DRFMcGee) October 1, 2020
Post Time: 2:01 p.m. EST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
The $250,000 Dinner Party Stakes (Gr. 1) is one of the biggest races of the day at Pimlico. After the Preakness Stakes, there are two $250,000 events at Pimlico under the Preakness Stakes. The Dinner Party Stakes is the biggest stakes race of the day on the turf on Saturday at Pimlico.
This will feature an eight-horse field on the grass. I’m looking at Somelikeithotbrown and Factor This in Race 6. Somelightithotbrown might catch some value at post time from the No. 2 post position.
The morning-line has some value anyway at 5/1. Somelikeithotbrown is 5 for 14 in his career with his most recent win on July 26 in the $150,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (Gr. 2) by a length. That’s his biggest win since the Jeff Ruby Steaks (Gr. 3) on March 19, 2019.
Following the win in the Bernard Baruch Handicap, Somelikeithotbrown tried his luck in a tougher event in the $1,000,000 Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (Gr .1) at Churchill Downs on September 5. He didn’t have much to show in that one, as Somelikeithotbrown finished 9th.
Back down in class, I like Somelikeithotbrown to hang around and maybe threaten for a win. This is a much easier assignment than the $1,000,000 Grade 1 race, and the difference in class should be evident on the track. I see Somelikeithotbrown as a better horse than the 5/1 odds indicate.
Factor This ran in the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic with Somelikeithotbrown, kind of. Factor This was close and finished just ¾ lengths behind for a win. Digital Age edged Factor This out for the win, but what an effort it was. Factor This had a 1 ½ length lead at the top of the stretch before regressing just enough for Digital Age to take advantage.
Prior to that race, Factor This was on a four-race win streak. Factor This was a winner in the Fair Ground Stakes (Gr. 3), Muniz Memorial Classic Stakes (Gr. 2), Wise Dan Stakes (Gr. 2), and Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Cup Stakes (Listed) leading up to the $1,000,000 Grade 1 race. Note that he’s finished in the top-3 in 11 of his previous 13 outings. He should be the best horse here.
Race 10 – Black-Eyed Susan Stakes
Post Time: 4:41 p.m. EST
Distance:1 ⅛ Miles
The Black-Eyed Susan Stakes is the second $250,000 Grade 2 event of the day on Preakness Day at Pimlico. This race will be on the dirt across 1 ⅛ miles. 11 horses are scheduled to run in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes.
Hopeful Growth is getting value on the morning-line at 8/1. I think she holds a better chance of winning Race 10 than the odds indicate. Hopeful Growth is 3 for 6 in her career with a marquee win in the $212,000 Monmouth Oaks (Gr. 3) by 4 lengths on August 1.
Since then, Hopeful Growth has gone 1st, 2nd, 1st, 5th, 1st, 6th in her career. After winning the Monmouth Oaks, Hopeful Growth had a disappointing follow up run in the $1,250,000 Longines Kentucky Oaks (Gr. 1) on September 4.
She finished 6th in that race, though up against Swiss Skydiver and Gamine, Hopeful Growth was up against it. Hopeful Growth was a sizable underdog in that race and didn’t stand much of a chance. Against this field, I don’t believe we can take Hopeful Growth too lightly.
Her and Bonny South should battle strongly in the stretch. Bonny South is 3 for 6 in her career as well, though she has a bigger win on her resume, and came close in the $500,000 Alabama Stakes (Gr. 1) to finish 3 ½ lengths behind Swiss Skydiver.
Bonny South was a 2 ¼ length winner in the Fair Ground Oaks (Gr. 2) in March. She was on a four-race win streak before attempting the Grade 1 trail. Down in class on Saturday, expect Bonny South to thrive.
Race 11 – Preakness Stakes
Post Time: 5:36 p.m. EST
Distance:1 3/16 Miles
The final leg of the Triple Crown is here, as the gate will open on the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore. Unfortunately, there will not be an opportunity for a Triple Crown win, but we’ll see how good Authentic really is.
I had a future wager on Authentic way back in March to win the Kentucky Derby. I bought into the hype of Tiz the Law and hedged the Authentic bet, but still can’t complain. Yes, Authentic is good, and we saw that much on display at Churchill Downs a month ago.
Art Collector and Swiss Skydiver might provide Authentic with the biggest challenge. Swiss Skydiver is trying to do it for the girls today, as the talented filly will attempt to keep up with the boys.
Swiss Skydiver has finished in the top-2 in six straight races. She is a one-time Grade 1 winner with a win in the $500,000 Alabama Stakes on August 15 by 3 ½ lengths. Two Grade 2 wins include the Gulfstream Park Oaks on March 28 and Blue Grass Stakes on July 11.
She’s winning at a 50% clip with wins in 5 of 10 career races. In her most recent performance, she and Gamine were upset by 1 ½ lengths against Shedaresthedevil in the Kentucky Oaks (Gr. 1). I think Swiss Skydiver will be close in the stretch and then fade off.
I held Art Collector in high esteem going into the Kentucky Derby, but he was scratched due to a minor foot injury. Art Collector is back and healthy for the Preakness Stakes. This colt is on a five-race win streak since May 17. He’s coming off a win in the $200,000 Runhappy Ellis Park Derby (Listed) by 3 ¼ lengths on August 9.
The only concern for Art Collector is that he only has one Grade 2 win. A 3 ½ length win over Swiss Skydiver in the $600,000 Blue Grass Stakes (Gr. 2) is the biggest win of his career. His three other wins were two allowance and maiden event. Art Collector has been in good form in the morning, with recorded times of 48.10 and 48 seconds at 4 furlongs and 59.40 seconds at 5 furlongs.
Authentic has finished 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st in his career. His only loss was by 2 ¾ lengths against Honor A. P. in the $400,000 Santa Anita Derby (Gr. 1) on June 6. Authentic followed up to win the $1,005,000 Haskell Stakes (Gr. 1) by a nose, and then the Kentucky Derby over Tiz the Law by 1 ¼ lengths. That was the most impressive effort of his career.
He continues to run in good form in prep work for the Preakness Stakes. Authentic completed 5 furlongs in 59.20 seconds and 4 furlongs in 47.60 seconds. There were no indications that Authentic lost any of his sizzle from the Kentucky Derby. Consider a look at Bob Baffert’s Authentic to respond with a win in the Preakness Stakes to complete back-to-back wins.