BALTIMORE (AP) Midnight Bourdon hopes to take a path to the winner’s circle on the Preakness that has efficiently been run earlier than – 30 years in the past.
Hansel was the horse hyped to win the Kentucky Derby three many years in the past however struggled within the first leg of the Triple Crown. He was an afterthought going into the Preakness earlier than profitable it.
Hansel’s jockey Jerry Bailey sees comparable potential in Midnight Bourbon.
“He had been so constant – he had by no means been out of the highest three,” Bailey, now an NBC Sports activities analyst, mentioned of Midnight Bourbon. “He’s the probably of these sort of horses which have at all times been constant and wasn’t there within the Derby and now all people’s writing him off.”
Whereas Derby winner Medina Spirit will doubtless be the Preakness favourite if drug assessments clear him to run, fellow Bob Baffert-trained Live performance Tour and usually front-running Midnight Bourbon are the highest challengers in Saturday’s race.
Midnight Bourbon was put in on the morning line because the third betting selection at 5-1 behind 9-5 favourite Medina Spirit and 5-2 Live performance Tour. The oddsmakers actually suppose Midnight Bourbon stands an excellent likelihood of dealing with the 10-horse discipline within the Preakness higher than he did 19 within the Derby, when he completed sixth.
“I’m very assured due to who he’s bodily,” coach Steve Asmussen mentioned. “He’s very sturdy bodily and his vitality stage’s been very excessive because the Derby, so I do suppose that it’s useful with him.”
Jockey Mike Smith, who jumped ship to Live performance Tour, mentioned Midnight Bourbon stumbled out of the beginning gate within the Derby. A cleaner begin would permit the colt to raised run the race he’s accustomed to from nearer to the lead.
If Medina Spirit isn’t scratched for an issue stemming from further assessments agreed to by Baffert’s camp and Maryland racing officers, he’s anticipated to be on the lead once more with stablemate Live performance Tour. Bailey identified trainers have run a number of horses with totally different house owners within the Preakness earlier than, however this one is extra sophisticated as a result of they’ve the identical working type and will put on one another down.
“The one factor I’d fear about is that if they get in one another’s manner in a race,” assistant coach Jimmy Barnes mentioned. “You’ve received to offer all of them a good shot, and the very best horse will win.”
A pace duel on the lead might arrange nicely for Chad Brown’s two entries, 10-1 Crowded Commerce or 15-1 Danger Taking, Michael McCarthy’s 12-1 Rombauer or Robertino Diodoro’s 15-1 Keepmeinmind, who completed seventh within the Derby.
“On paper I believe there’s undoubtedly sufficient tempo, and the smaller discipline helps,” Diodoro mentioned. “We’re going to remain on the rail so long as we will this time.”
Or Baffert’s horses might run gradual sufficient early to arrange one thing of a match race down the stretch.
“He’s undoubtedly not going to ship two (horses to the lead), however on the similar time there’s a priority that they might management the tempo, his two horses,” Diodoro mentioned. “We’re not going to alter our working type.”
Bailey is aware of that philosophy nicely from the 1991 Triple Crown, when Hansel completed tenth within the Kentucky Derby after going off as the favourite. That’s why he doesn’t suppose Midnight Bourbon must be dismissed as a Preakness contender.
However there’s far more discuss Live performance Tour, who seems primed to enhance on a disappointing third-place end within the Arkansas Derby on April 10. Barnes mentioned, “Live performance Tour didn’t get his likelihood within the Derby, so that is his likelihood to shine.”
Rivals across the barn at Pimlico Race Course suppose so, too. Irad Ortiz shall be aboard Midnight Bourbon solely as a result of Smith selected Live performance Tour as a substitute.
“I might counsel that Mike thought he had a greater likelihood to win on Live performance Tour than Midnight Bourbon and that’s why he selected it,” Asmussen mentioned. “Live performance Tour’s as quick as you will be. He’s clearly a formidable horse.”