Maryland racing analyst Gabby Gaudet has thoughts on today’s Grade 1 Preakness and Grade Dixie at Pimlico!
With the biggest day on the Maryland racing calendar upon us, we’re going to change things up a bit. Instead of a multi-race wager, we asked her to focus on the day’s two biggest races: the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes and the Grade 1 Preakness.
GRADE 2 DIXIE STAKES
The day’s top turf event is also one of the great, historic races on the Maryland racing calendar. For 2014, the distance has been shortened slightly, from 1 1/8 miles to 1 1/16.
The race has drawn an interesting field, including recent Grade 3 Appleton winner Hey Leroy, and Up With the Birds, who won last year’s Grade 1 Jamaica. In addition, the top three finishers — Hamp, Roadhog, and Nutello — from last month’s Henry S. Clark Stakes over this track are here, all bidding to follow in the footsteps of Mr. O’Brien, who parlayed a win in the Henry S. Clark into an 11-1 upset score in the 2004 Dixie.
Gabby’s choices (check the video for her analysis): Fredericksburg (12-1), Charming Kitten (9-2), Up With the Birds (5-1).
GRADE 1 PREAKNESS STAKES
The day’s headliner, of course, is the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes.
Only two runners from the Kentucky Derby have returned to challenge Derby winner, and heavy favorite, California Chrome. Both Ride on Curlin and General a Rod will have some ground to make up. But the race has also drawn an intriguing cast of new shooters to challenge the champ, including Social Inclusion, Illinois Derby winner Dynamic Impact, and Kid Cruz, who won the Federico Tesio and is the only runner here with a win over the surface.
Gabby’s choice (check the video for analysis): It’s all California Chrome, who heads to the Belmont with a chance to win the Triple Crown.
(Featured image, of Ben’s Cat, by Laurie Asseo.)