Friday, May 18, 2012

The Nomination Is In: The 137th Preakness Stakes Super High Five

A good day of handicapping on Black Eyed Susan Day, with similar track conditions tomorrow, makes this Ol' Turk feel good about Preakness Day. With a strong handicap powering a Pimlico Special Superfecta win, I'm also alive in the Pimlico Special-Preakness Double, as I settled on only Alternation and Cherokee Artist today, and I went with my big four minus Bodemeister, or Creative Cause, Went the Day Well and I'll Have Another.

The Turk is really torn on not just picking I'll Have Another outright. I'd gladly piss away my bets for a Triple Crown, but I'm backing Bodemeister who looks like a special horse even if he doesn't win the Triple Crown. The horse fan-gambler dichotomy, ever present, it needs to be managed, and luckily I'm an emotionally shallow creature who can compartmentalize.

Let's get after this!

The Super High Five is my designer drug of choice. I've hit a few and the buzz that comes from hitting it is incredible. I mean, I felt like the King of the World meets Andy Beyer meets Gregory Peck, all rolled into one. I love the chase, the dance, I even love the close calls. What I really like is the bet construction, as simple and stream lined as possible, because winning with style is just as important as winning at all.

With a single on the top, and a layer of quality that is three or four horses deep as well as a decent sized divide between the top horses and the horses expected to finish up the track, the makings of a Super High Five win are present, but like lion taming, completely unpredictable variables are at work.

As I've said already I like Bodemeister, and I know Trainer Baffert said all the right things about how he ran the Derby, but I don't understand not trying to rate him back a bit after the first turn. I'm not a trainer and I generally avoid these types of discussions, but it just seemed foolish smoking out those red hot fractions, especially :45 2/5ths half followed by a :24.4, :25.4, only to get gulped up turning a :27 sec final 1/4 mile. Feast or famine, pretender or contender, we'll find out.

I think that I'll Have Another, Creative Cause and Went the Day Well are blanket finishing competitors, all about the same and all a cut above the rest of the field. With my slot handicapping, I'm indifferent to where they finish, I just need Went the Day Well and Creative Cause to finish second, third or fourth.

As assembled I'm at $132. Would I prefer to cover Went the Day Well and I'll Have Another all the way to fifth? Absolutely, but at some point you have to stop the madness or the bet size spirals and then we lose the style points we crave as well.

I'm going to roll with this and see what happens.

Have fun friends, Turk out!

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