The Preakness Stakes 2023

Saturday they will run the second jewel of The Triple Crown. The Preakness at a mile and three sixteenths is always an interesting race and there have been some classics. Afleet Alex almost falling and still winning comes to mind. Who can forget Sunday Silence and Easy Goer throwing it all down throughout the stretch. There are just so many.

This year looks like an intriguing race to me. Most are calling it a four-horse race narrowing t down to Mage, First Mission, Blazing Sevens and National Treasure. I’m a wee bit narrower than that. I have it narrowed down to two but lean to one.

Let’s see what we got.

National Treasure is back in the Bob Baffert barn after spending some time under the care of Tim Yakteen. Bob knows the horse, adds blinkers, shows the patented 1:11 six-furlong work and it would appear all systems are go. I think he gets the lead from the rail and says come and catch me if you can.

Chase the Chaos ships in and gets a hot local rider but looks too slow and in over his head. He’d be a shocker.

Mage has gone forward every start and his connections have made every and I mean every right move. Lightly raced, off a hard race and back in two weeks is no easy ask. That said historically these horses have fared well on the quick turn around from that first jewel and I think he shows up again. He doesn’t get the set-up he did last out however.

Coffeewithchris is a local hopeful one for one over the track. I’d call him a hopeful with little hope of winning this. Too slow for me.

Red Route One may get some play. Not mine, at least not on the win end. He too looks too slow and although he appears to be sitting on a forward move or improved race, his style doesn’t play well with the pace scenario I envision.

Perform is interesting. He comes off a visually interesting race albeit a tad slow to win this. That said it is Shug, and he is improving at the right time and has been good since they stretched him out and started taking him back. If a longshot sneaks int the exotics this would be the one who gets my vote.

Blazing Sevens must be respected if for no other reason than Chad Brown is two for two with horses, he could have run in the first dance but opted for The Preakness, Cloud Computing and Early Voting. I bet both of those and Early Voting hard, I’m not betting Blazing Sevens. He just hasn’t shown me enough and as much as I respect Chad, he isn’t whose running.

First Mission will be a close second choice, on most people’s tickets and frankly, and yes, I am crazy I won’t be shocked if he is co-favorite when they go int the gate. After all he brings a lot of hype with his impressive Lexington win. Brad Cox said prior to the big one this could be his best three-year-old. Interesting comment considering his lineup. He has a perfect stalking style, impeccable breeding and a rider that just won’t quit. He can win, and he will beat me if he does, I just don’t think chasing National Treasure which is where I see him is ideal and I suspect Treasure can slip away enough to not get caught.

I’ll either be very discouraged or pretty confident relatively early in this race. If Johnny V is clear, I think he gets his first Preakness win. If not it will be a long race for me.

Enjoy the races.

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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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