UPDATED 2018 Preakness Stakes Day Stakes picks

3646bd6e677e4bffb3ccd2f127424f1aAs noted below, the picks for the Preakness Stakes are in a previous post, to which a link is provided.

Well, the Great Baltimore Flood continues, so all turf races except the Gallorette are off the turf.

Race 5 | James W. Murphy Stakes | 1 1/16 miles DIRT

1. Threes Over Deuces
2. Tap Daddy
3. California Night
4. Takedown

Comment: A wide open affair. Threes Over Deuces can go to the lead or rate just off it and has yet to try turf so the surface switch should be a non-issue. Remains the top pick. Tap Daddy definitely moves up among the remaining contenders on dirt.

Race 7 | Grade II Dixie Stakes | 1 1/16 miles DIRT

1. Unbridled Juan
2. O Dionysus
3. Fire Away
4. Just Howard

Comment: Sad to see this off the turf. All of Unbridled Juan’s wins are on dirt and, as an Unbridled’s Son, he should be able to handle the surface. All but one of O Dionysus’ wins are on dirt and he was second in the slop in last year’s Federico Tesio.

Race 8 | Chick Lang Stakes | 6 furlongs 

1. Mitole
2. Still Having Fun
3. Curly’s Rocket
4. Soutache

Comment: Mitole is another possible single in multi-race bets. He’s shown great speed and has a second on an off track. Still Having Fun could round out the exacta at a price, benefitting from the inside post.

Race 9 | Grade III Gallorette Handicap | 1 1/16 miles turf

1. Blessed Silence
2. Stallion Heiress
3. Elysea’s World
4. Brooks House

Comment: The soft going should help the former European runner Blessed Silence. Stallion Heiress could steal on the front end at a price. Elysea’s World looks at least as good as she did last year when she finished third in this race.

Race 10 |Maryland Sprint Handicap | 6 furlongs

1. Long Haul Bay
2. Lewisfield
3. Heartland
4. Red Dragon Tattoo

Comment: If Long Haul Bay improves in his second start of the year after winning his first, he could win here easily. Lewisfield is the most likely to be quick enough to catch Long Haul Bay, particularly on the chance that Long Haul Bay gets impeded from the outside post.

Race 11 | The Very One Stakes | 5 furlongs DIRT 

1. Girls Know Best
2. Smiling Causeway
3. Chanteline
4. Pretty Perfection

Comment: Girls Know Best is consistent in breaking well, which should help her chances as she shortens in distance from her last. Smiling Causeway has shown versatility going to the lead or coming from a little off the lead — which may be a necessary trait from an outside post position (less of an issue now with the scratches). Chanteline benefits from the switch to dirt, having won her last on dirt last out at Oaklawn Park.

Race 12 | LARC Sir Barton Stakes | 1 1/16 miles 

1. Pony Up
2. Ax Man
3. Dream Baby Dream
4. Title Ready

Comment: Pony Up finished third in the Grade III Lexington and second in the Grade III Jeff Ruby Steaks Stakes — both of which have had runners go on to run well. That distinguishes Pony Up in this field. Ax Man must be used on multi-race bets and would not surprise. Dream Baby Dream can benefit from the drop in class.

Race 13 | Grade I Preakness Stakes | 1 3/16 miles 

See previous post — here

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