Preakness 2009 Prediction: Craig's Exacta Winning Play

ctsports picksAnalyst IMay 14, 2009

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 01:  Rachel Alexandra, riden by Calvin Borel, crosses the finish line to win the 135th Kentucky Oaks at churchill Downs May 1, 2009 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The 134th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course should be one for the ages. With no filly winning this race in over 20 years and zero even running in almost 10 years, it would be a huge story for Rachel Alexandra to run away with an easy win.

Handicapper Craig Trapp of CT Sports Picks is not going to overanalyze this race. Rachel Alexandra is a super horse and will win easily. Instead, let’s try to find some value underneath her to play a nice winning exacta.

Rachel Alexandra is a front-running horse but can rate just off the lead, and it sounds like jockey Calvin Borel would love to sit just off the early leaders. But he will not be afraid, if it’s a really slow pace early, to put her on the lead and run away and hide at the end. Either way, she will beat this average group of three-year-old colts easily.

The bigger question is which horse can pick up the pieces after the front-runners falter, trying to keep up with the swift-of-foot filly. Craig is going to play two large exactas, keying Rachel Alexandra on top with the two below.

Papa Clem

Assuming they go very fast early, trying to run Rachel Alexandra off her feet, let’s take a closer with great odds. Papa Clem was closing down the stretch of the Kentucky Derby and will be coming late again. His camp thought that he did not love the slop but ran well anyway, so if the track is fast, Papa Clem should be even better in the Preakness. Winning exacta would pay well over 25-1 if these two go 1-2!

Mine That Bird

What a story it would be if the long shot Derby winner could get up and run second. I actually think if Rachel Alexandra has to take the lead that Mine That Bird has a slim chance of running her down at the wire. But more likely is that Mine That Bird picks off the tiring front-runners and finishes back five lengths of the super horse, Rachel Alexandra. Exacta will not be life-changing but will get at least 15-1!


We can't take the odds on a winning bet on Rachel Alexandra, but playing her on top with a few horses underneath in an exacta or trifecta wheel could be very profitable.

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