Grupp's picks for the 139th Preakness Stakes
Picks by the Trib's John Grupp for the 139th Preakness Stakes:
1. DYNAMIC IMPACT: He'll be part of the early pace, but don't think this son of Offlee Wild will be around at the end.
2. GENERAL A ROD: Toss out his Derby fiasco, and he's primed to run his best race yet. Remember: The top three finishers in last year's Preakness lost in the Derby by a combined 36 1⁄4 lengths. Factor.
3. CALIFORNIA CHROME: He's the horse to beat, but with the throat and gate issues and short rest, is he worth odds that would make Fusaichi Pegasus blush? Leaning elsewhere for win ticket.
4. RING WEEKEND: His biggest feat to date is beating Vinceremos by three lengths at Tampa.
5. BAYERN: Baffert trainee is a wild card. He seems poised to run a good one. He's got early speed and blinkers off might make a difference. But think the extra furlong will undo him.
6. RIA ANTONIA: This filly is the most overmatched runner in any Triple Crown race in a long time.
7. KID CRUZ: He's the only true closer in the field. He will be flying late. Must use in all exotics.
8. SOCIAL INCLUSION: He's the fastest horse in the race. Will his speed carry? Thinking it will.
9. PABLO DEL MONTE: Unless they install Polytrack at Pimlico on Saturday, toss.
10. RIDE ON CURLIN: This will be his sixth race in the past 18 weeks. That is asking a lot for a colt that has one win since last July — and that was a $56K allowance race.
Preakness capsule analysis
No. 8 Social Inclusion is fast, rested and he will offer decent value on the top of a ticket. No. 2 General A Rod will become the latest Derby also-ran to turn it around with a strong effort in the Preakness. No. 3 California Chrome easily could win by daylight, but his two-week turnaround and the likely fast pace scenario make him a strong candidate to regress. Much more appealing on the bottom of exotics. Much more appealing on the bottom of exotics. No. 7 Kid Cruz has a local trainer who knows the track, and the race should set up perfectly for a deep closer.
Exacta Key: 8/2-3-7
Exacta Part-wheel: 2-3- 7⁄8
Exacta Box: 2-3-7-8
Trifecta/superfecta Key: 8/2-3-7
Trifecta/superfecta Box: 2-3-7-8
Trifecta Wheel: 8/2-3-7/all and 8/all/2-3-7