Preakness Picks 2023 Plus Big Stakes from Pimlico
One of the very softest Preakness Stakes fields in memory in on tap at Pimlico on Saturday, May 20. This is the 148th edition (old photo), and I chip-in with horse racing coverage in Forbes with Preakness Day picks from some of my colleagues and horse racing handicappers. I also add more Preakness Picks 2023 coverage and horse racing insight for FanDuel Racing and affiliates.
The Preakness is not a good betting race, and especially after top win contender First Mission was scratched Friday. But Kentucky Derby winner Mage now has a clear path, but I’m still not convinced. A key race insider, insightful horse handicapper and colleague passes along many racing tips and insights. Not surprised if Mage wins, but National Treasure can challenge him head on for the win, and Blazing Sevens and Red Route One are in the mix.
Full stakes day races at Pimlico with picks from Horse Racing Nation in my Preakness Day coverage for Forbes.
I also get asked to chip-in more horse racing coverage and biggest race days for PlayUSA and other media outlets like NJ.com. My Play Maryland coverage includes insight and information you can bet on for each horse in the Preakness Stakes 2023. That includes six ‘new shooters’ to challenge Kentucky Derby winner Mage, who is the only horse from the Derby running in the Preakness – the first time that’s happened in 75 years. Added NJ.com Preakness coverage includes picks and insight before First Mission was scratched.
Preakness Picks 2023
Mage was unraced as a 2-year-old and has blossomed and improved during his sophomore season. He’s finished second in the 1 1/8 mile Florida Derby and then won the 1 1/4 mile Kentucky Derby at 15/1 odds getting a faster-than-expected pace. Mage unleased a powerful drive down the lane to capture the Run for the Roses with the best speed figure of any horse he’ll face in the Preakness. The obvious favorite but their is no value on Mage as jockey Javier Castellano rides him for the third time looking for a little better break but using his closing style to win again.
First Mission was the best of the “new shooters” but scratched Friday. The lightly-raced son of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense is a very viable threat to win the 2023 Preakness. He won the 1 1/16 mile Lexington Stakes last month with an improved triple-digit speed figure as the favorite in his third start. Top jockey Luis Saez rides again for leading trainer Brad Cox, and First Mission owns the desired balanced and best Energy Distribution Profile in this field.
National Treasure has already raced in four graded stakes, but is winless in those starts. He did finish in-the-money in three and was fourth last month in the 1 1/8 mile Santa Anita Derby. Hall of Fame jockey Velazquez rides again for trainer Bob Baffert, who shares the Preakness record with seven victories. National Treasure’s speed and energy reserve index ratings are favorable when compared with the numbers put up by Mage and First Mission, and he will offer greater value in the process.
Blazing Sevens is trained by Chad Brown, whose horses won this race last year and in 2017. Blazing Sevens did win a Grade 1 race last October, but he’s winless in two starts as a 3-year-old this year with a best finish of a distant third in the weaker edition of the 1 1/8 mile Blue Grass Stakes last month.
Red Route One has already raced nine times, but has not won any of his six graded stakes starts. He’s a son of the great Gun Runner, and Red Route One did win a 1 1/8 mile minor stakes last month in a photo finish at Oaklawn Park after finishing sixth the previous race in the 1 1/8 mile Arkansas Derby. Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen watched top stretch rider and jockey Joel Rosario bring him home from off the pace with his best speed figure yet in winning the minor Bath House Stakes last month. He could move forward again as he’s done in his recent starts, but there is a critical mid-race speed figure that’s lacking to consider him the winner.