2021 Preakness Picks: Our Contributors Like Baffert’s Boys
By US Racing Team
For this discussion, let’s put aside any final result on the Kentucky Derby (G1) regarding Medina Spirit’s victory followed by a failed post-race test that could see him disqualified if a second sample comes back positive.
It’s time to pick the winner of the 146th Preakness at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday. A field of 10 3-year-olds is entered for the 1 3/16-mile second leg of the Triple Crown.
Derby winner Medina Spirit is the 9-5 morning-line favorite, with stablemate Concert Tour the second choice at 5-2. Midnight Bourbon, sixth in the Derby after a stumble at the start, is 5-1.
We asked our usracing.com contributors to chime in with their Preakness selections. To sum up, the Baffert horses are favored, with Medina Spirit and Concert Tour each picked to win by three contributors, with Crowded Trade, Risk Taking, Rombauer, and Unbridled Honor each selected by one contributor.
Here are the selections:
Preakness Picks – Top 3 Finishers
Ed McNamara/ 1. Concert Tour 2. Risk Taking 3. Midnight Bourbon
“Concert Tour stalks front-runner Medina Spirit and takes the lead in upper stretch. Risk Taking picks up the pieces after rallying from mid-pack. Midnight Bourbon threatens briefly in mid-stretch before fading.”
Lynne Snierson/ 1. Risk Taking 2. Midnight Bourbon 3. Concert Tour
“If one is willing to take a risk by throwing out his last when troubled at the start caused him to throw in the towel early, and if one figures that Concert Tour is back to who he was and will pull Medina Spirit and Midnight Bourbon into a ruinous speed duel so that the speed comes back, this one should be in the garden spot and primed to be the beneficiary.”
Jenny Kellner/ 1. Unbridled Honor 2. Medina Spirit 3. Crowded Trade
“It’s been a great year for TAP – Todd Pletcher, that is. He’s a newly minted Hall of Famer, won the Florida Derby, won the Wood Memorial with a 72-1 shot, and won the Kentucky Oaks with an unbeaten filly. Now he has a well-rested longshot at 15-1 with Luis Saez aboard. Here’s to an upset.”
Noel Michaels/ 1. Concert Tour 2. Medina Spirit 3. Risk Taking
“Baffert is likely to add to the current controversy by running 1-2 for his eighth Preakness victory. Concert Tour was considered one of the Derby favorites prior to his third-place flop in the Arkansas Derby, but this is a prime spot for a rebound effort against a less-than-stellar field. The key for him will be the pace, as he is a horse perfectly positioned from a pace perspective stalking from a couple lengths behind a pressured pace.”
Julie Basso/ 1. Medina Spirit 2. Concert Tour 3. Keepmeinmind
“Medina Spirit seems to be the best here, and when he wins the Preakness, the Belmont becomes a run for the Triple Crown (maybe), and that would be exciting.”
Ray Wallin/ 1. Rombauer 2. Crowded Trade 3. Concert Tour
“Rombauer shows a solid work pattern off a troubled trip in the Blue Grass which earned him a third off Highly Motivated’s pace. Expect a big improvement off his El Camino effort at Golden Gate in February with the contested pace we expect here.”
Margaret Ransom/ 1. Medina Spirit 2. Concert Tour 3. France Go de Ina
“Speed is his weapon and he’s using it again, controversy aside.”
John Furgele/ 1. Crowded Trade 2. Midnight Bourbon 3. Ram
“I like the odds (12-1) and to me, he is still improving. He was second in the Gotham and third in the Wood, and something tells me his breakout performance is coming Saturday for trainer Chad Brown.”
Mike Farrell/ 1. Medina Spirit 2. Midnight Bourbon 3. Concert Tour
“Assuming he is ultimately allowed to run, Medina Spirit has already demonstrated class and ability against an underwhelming Preakness lineup. In this bizarre Triple Crown season, there is no reason to think he can’t do it again, with or without his betamethasone.”
Richard Rosenblatt/ 1. Concert Tour 2. Medina Spirit 3. Midnight Bourbon
“Thinking the two best-looking horses that won the Preakness the past two years – War of Will in 2019 and Swiss Skydiver in 2020 – may be a trend so I think Midnight Bourbon fits the role. I just don’t think he can finish strong, and the Baffert boys will run 1-2 – with Derby-winner-for-now Medina Spirit on top.