Chat with Pat Forde
Forde will talk about how the Preakness is a tradition in turmoil, how riding Rachel Alexandra a no-brainer for Calvin Borel, and which horse has the best chance of winning the second stop on the Triple Crown trail.
Send your questions for Pat now and join The Show Saturday at 2 p.m. ET!
Pat Forde (1:59 PM)
Happy Preakness day! Greetings from overcast and potentially rainy Pimlico, where crowds are down but excitement is up for an intriguing race. Let's go to the questions.
Matthew Kronzek, Potomac Maryland [via mobile]
With the new restrictions on alcholic beverages, what effect do you believe it will have on the venue, and should the Preakness be broadcast by a channel avaliable to the geneal public?
Pat Forde (2:01 PM)
Matthew: The venue is MUCH less crowded -- and, presumably, more sedate. One Preakness veteran was estimating as many as 30-40,000 fewer people here, which will hit Pimilico hard in the pocketbook. Maybe people are planning on coming late as opposed to drinking in the infield all day.
cb816 Quincy, Ill
Pat Forde (2:02 PM)
CB: Dry and fast ... for now. I'm told there is a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms around 4 p.m., which could change things dramatically. Mine That Bird's peeps sure wouldn't mind if we have a downpour.
Mike Santa monica [via mobile]
What are the current odds
Pat Forde (2:03 PM)
Mike: As of 1:15, Rachel is 9-5, Pioneer of the Nile and Mine that Bird are 6-1, Friesan Fire is 8-1 and Big Drama is 10-1. Honestly, I think as many as nine horses have a chance to hit the board.
B. Curry, Lexington, KY
What do you think of Big Drama?
Pat Forde (2:05 PM)
B: I like him. Opinions are all over the board on Big Drama -- a lot of the Daily Racing Form guys are picking him, while others think he doesn't have the breeding or base to go this far. I've got him second right now to Rachel but haven't placed any bets yet, waiting to see what track condition will be.
kev albuquerque nm
so whos your money on!!!!!
Pat Forde (2:06 PM)
Kev: Right now my trifecta is 1. Rachel, 2. Big Drama, 3. Either Friesan Fire, Mine That Bird or Musket Man.
Will Borel moving to Rachel A. effect his standing among trainers and owners?
Pat Forde (2:09 PM)
Scotty: I don't think it will affect his rep at all. Jockeys are faced with these kinds of dilemmas all the time -- just not with the Derby winner involved. I don't blame him for riding the filly, and neither do most people. Borel and his agent were very honest with MTB's people, telling them all along if there were a conflict he'd ride Rachel. It's unheard-of to bail on the Derby winner during the Triple Crown, but these are unusual circumstances.
Do you think Mine that Bird has a shot at the triple crown if he wins today?
Pat Forde (2:10 PM)
Chris: No. If Smarty Jones, Big Brown, Point Given, Spectacular Bid and Silver Charm couldn't do it, neither than Mine That Bird. I've seen the Big Tease fall apart in the third leg too many times.
lawrence, Washington D.C. [via mobile]
once a year i seen to find myself actually loving the storylines for horse racing and i try to really get into it and see the races, but i dont know what time the actual race starts. Can you please let me know? also i am rooting for a horse named luv gov. Do you think he has a shot in hell to win?
Pat Forde (2:11 PM)
wrence: Post time is 6:15 p.m. ET. As for Luv Gov: not a shot in hell, no.
lex salisbury, maryland [via mobile]
will the 13 hole hurt rachel?
Pat Forde (2:14 PM)
Lex: I don't think so. Most people think it's actually a good spot for her, because she'll be able to avoid traffice coming out of the gate and her tactical speed should allow her to get out ahead of the pack and tuck in no more than 3 wide going into the first turn. The only thing that could really hurt would be a stumble leaving the gate, but I don't believe she's ever had a bad start. She's always broken cleanly.
Whats the word on Terrain? Is he one of the 9 that you think can hit the board? Thanks
Pat Forde (2:15 PM)
Adam: Terrain is one of my four tosses, along with Luv Gov, Flying Private and Tone It Down.
If you had to take one long shot who would you take?
Pat Forde (2:17 PM)
Mark: Well, I like Big Drama at 10-1. After that, Musket Man, Papa Clem and Take The Points at 14-1 all have some merits. Don't like anybody at longer odds than that.
Dave (Baton Rouge)
Pat: none of the experts even had MTB on their radar at the Derby. Why I trust their picks this time around??
Pat Forde (2:19 PM)
Dave: Good, legitimate question. My answer: the Derby was a fluky race this year. Track condition played a part, and a lot of horses had traffic problems early. Borel found the ONLY fast part of the track (the rail) in the stretch. I just don't see all those factors adding up again this time. The Preakness is historically a pretty formful race and I expect this one to be as well. But feel free to disagree and go your own way at the windows.
No Pioneer in your trifecta? Why not?
Pat Forde (2:21 PM)
Malph: Trust me, he'll be on some of my tickets in the second and third sports. But I thought he was really all-out to hold on for second and almost could have been taken down from that spot for interference, as he was lugging out into other horses in the lane. That tells me he was a very tired horse. He might rebound -- and he's a really tough competitor -- but he's not naturally very fast and I think the filly and Big Drama can run away from him.
TJ (Vero Beach, FL)
Hey Pat, does your ticket change if the track turns into a quagmire between now and post time? Would you key on MTB instead?
Pat Forde (2:23 PM)
TJ: I don't think I'd key MTB, but I'd play him more prominently. Both Rachel and Friesan Fire have strong wins in slop on their resume, so they'd theoretically benefit from an off track as well. Big Drama would be the potential toss, since he's never run on a wet track.
This is the first time I am betting on a horse race. So....I bet on 8 of 13 horses. Hopefully I do something. The thing i get confused on is the payout/odds. So I bet $2, and the odds are 8-5....What would I win, if she comes in first?????
Pat Forde (2:27 PM)
Sorry folks, Pimlico press-box wireless slowing to a crawl. But to answer your question: You'd get $3.60 back on a $2 bet ... I think. I was not a math major. Good luck!
If Rachel Alexandra wins, who would Borel ride at the Belmont? And why?
Pat Forde (2:30 PM)
Jim: Calvin has cast his lot with Rachel. If she wins here and they run her in the Belmont, I am absolutely certain he'd be riding her there. Likewise, if Mike Smith wins today on MTB, he'll certainly stay in the saddle at the Belmont no matter whether Borel comes available or not.
craig, perryville, md
Pat, got to meet you last year up in the press box as i was interning, whats the feeling like up their this year?
Pat Forde (2:35 PM)
Craig: Everyone up here is amazed at the light attendance in the infield, and how easy it was to drive to the track. The alcohol ban has had a definite effect. Otherwise, there's a lot of anticipation for this race. Most of the prominent racing writers/columnists are here: Andrew Beyer of the Wash Post, Tim Layden of SI, George Vecsey from the NY Times, Rick Bozich of the Courier-Journal, John Clay from the Lexington Herald-Leader. The one person I haven't seen is the kingpin of racing writers, William Nack.
Pat Forde (2:36 PM)
2:15 odds just handed out. No appreciable changes, other than Friesan Fire up from 8-1 to 9 and General Quarters down from 16-1 to 15. I'll tell you this: if the filly runs off the board, this race will pay very handsomely.
Where does rachel fit in the big scope? Do you think she would have taken the derby and is she as great as some think?
Pat Forde (2:38 PM)
Petoskey: We don't know yet where she fits in the big scope, but we'll have a much better idea around 6:20 today. If she'd run in the Derby I would have bet her with both hands.
Jeremy (Washington, DC)
Pat, 8-5 means either $5.20 or $5.40 for a $2 ticket. Also, I'm in D.C., and it looks like it's clearing up here. Wonder if the forecasters got this one wrong.
Pat Forde (2:40 PM)
Jeremy: Thanks for the correction -- as I said, I'm not a math guy. If the weather holds and we have a dry track then we don't have to rejigger our early handicapping.
Have the track conditions affected any of the early races?
Pat Forde (2:43 PM)
Dwayne: So far the track is playing pretty fair. Winners have been able to come from off the pace, though a few horses on the rail have held on pretty well (which is one more reason to consider Big Drama if he gets out clean and gets a rail trip the whole way.)
MJay- S.Jersey [via mobile]
What do you think about Freisan Fire? I know he hurt his leg in the Derby, considering he was a favorite in that race can he bounce back for a Win/Place?
Pat Forde (2:44 PM)
MJay: Friesan Fire was my Derby pick, and I should probably get over my disappointment at his performance because I think it's affecting my appraisal of him for this race. My friend Lane Gold, who is an avid racing fan and pretty shrewd gambler, loves Friesan Fire at 9-1 -- more than double what he went off at in the Derby.
Pat, I agree if some of the best horses of all time didnt win the triple crown i dont see mtb, what was your all time favorite preakness moment....
Pat Forde (2:46 PM)
Rob: The Sunday Silence-Easy Goer duel of 1989 has to be my favorite Preakness, and many have called it the greatest Preakness ever. I also loved the Silver Charm-Free House Preakness of '97 and enjoyed seeing Funny Cide dominate in 2003 after Jose Santos had been unjustly accused of using a buzzer on the horse in the Derby. That was vindication.
I like a box of Friesan Fire and Musket Man and Rachel for exactas and will throw in a couple of long shots for the tri and super. Your Thoughts
Pat Forde (2:48 PM)
Prov: Pretty sound strategy, though I'd caution not to completely toss Big Drama. He's either boom or bust: could get burnt on the front end or could be right there chasing Rachel to the wire.
The knock on Rachel is the lack of quality she has run against thus far. How true is this?
Pat Forde (2:51 PM)
Ryan: I'd say the same knock applies to all the colts. The animals who were best of the bunch pre-Derby got hurt (Quality Road, I Want Revenge). I don't think Mine That Bird beat a very distingquished field in the Derby, as illustrated by their sluggish-at-best Beyer Figures. Pioneerof The Nile was second with a 95 Beyer, which is just about terrible.
A Rachel Alexandra and Curlin offspring how special could that be...or is this sort of match up of great horses common?
Pat Forde (2:54 PM)
Connie: This would be a pretty special coupling. I'm no pedigree expert, but in addition to the brilliance of both on the racetrack, I'm pretty sure they are what's called an "outcross" going back four generations -- that means there's no similar ancestry, which is often considered a plus and basically means they'd be producing an entire new lineage. So there's plenty of reason to be excited about their potential progeny.
chirs: bowling green, ky
I really like General Quarters. How's the buzz going around on this horse? I've actually got got the 8-12 exacta on this one? Any chance?
Pat Forde (2:55 PM)
Chris: Some people like GQ. I can't quite get there with him. If the 8-12 exacta comes in (General Quarters with Tone It Down) I will drive to Bowling Green and wash your car once a week all summer.
TB Canton, OH
Pat, What is the strongest argument for keeping the Preakness at Pimlico other than tradition. If the race is moved what are other viable track candidates?
Pat Forde (2:57 PM)
TB: Tradition is almost the only reason -- it's been here for 134 years, and Maryland has always been a strong racing/breeding state. The state wants to keep the race and will fight to do so. If it does get moved, possibly another of the East Coast tracks would make a move for it -- Monmouth or Delaware Park or something. Maybe Arlington in Chicago. Or even Churchill Downs, which knows how to host a huge racing event. But I think Maryland does whatever it takes to keep the race.
I'm sure this has been discussed, but why didn't Rachel run at Churchill Downs?
Pat Forde (2:58 PM)
Matt: She did ... the day before the Derby. She won the Kentucky Oaks by 20 lengths, one of the great performances I've ever seen. She did not run in the Derby because her ownership at the time does not like the idea of running fillies against colts, thinks it's bad for their long-term health.
Do not use Big Drama Pat. You will lose money. He ran on a completely speed biased track the day he won at Gulfstream. Keep Mine That Bird off as well..... Huge betting oppurtunity for you today Pat. Just ask Andy Beyers.... He will be all over Friesan Fire, Pioneer, Musket and Papa Clem I am sure and toss in the filly for good measure. Use the most around Papa and toss in Flying Private and Terrain and Take the Points for third to round out your monster trifecta. Good racing all
Pat Forde (3:00 PM)
Hate to burst your bubble, Arlington, but Andy Beyer has the Rachel-Big Drama exacta in today's Daily Racing Form. But I will agree on your last sentiment: good racing luck to all. Enjoy the rest of the day. Back to work now!