Saturday features Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another squaring
off in a rematch with morning-line favorite Bodemeister. The top two contenders have had most of the
battle’s spotlight, but matchup wagers offer other chances to profit from the
rest of the field’s combatants.
*Joe Freda’s Triple Crown Matchups Record: 2-1 (+1.10)*
I’ll Have Another (-170)
vs Went The Day Well (+150)
I’ll Have Another picked up his third straight win in Louisville,
with the pressure on for jockey Mario Gutierrez looking to extend the streak at
Pimlico. The colt’s sole start on the
east coast came last September on a sloppy track in Saratoga’s Hopeful Stakes,
finishing a distant sixth.
Went The Day Well closed for fourth place in the Kentucky Derby,
reaching career-high speed while going seven wide. Trainer Graham Motion has had a hot start to
the Pimlico meet, with 7-of-20 starters finishing in the money.
This pair of closers will both be gunning for Bodemeister in
Saturday’s deep stretch, with each having the talent for a solid finish. Went The Day Well should have a better trip
this time around and gets my backing at an overlay price here to cash this
Selection: Went The Day
Teeth Of The Dog (-130)
vs Zetterholm (+110)
Teeth Of The Dog and Zetterholm represent two of the field’s greenest
entrants, combining for just nine starts between them. Both did not reach the Kentucky Derby, but
bring their share of promising speed to Baltimore.
Zetterholm has notched three straight wins at Aqueduct, stretching
out greatly in distance here. Trainer
Richard Dutrow last captured the Preakness in 2008 (Big Brown), with a tougher
challenge looming here.
Teeth of The Dog hit the board in last month’s Wood Memorial,
following the breaking of his maiden with a 1 1/8-mile triumph at
Gulfstream. The son of former Triple
Crown contender Bluegrass Cat has the edge in class here, with potential for
another closing surge to beat most of the field.
Selection: Teeth Of The
Cozzetti (-135) vs
Cozzetti and Optimizer bring some top Triple Crown bloodlines from
Lemon Drop Kid and A.P. Indy, respectively, while both listed as 30/1 long
shots. Optimizer heads east after an 11th-place
finish in Louisville, while Cozzetti was beaten 10 lengths by Bodemeister in
last month’s Arkansas Derby.
Optimizer’s best days appear to be behind him, with two subpar
starts since a second-place paycheck in Oaklawn’s Rebel Stakes. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is a five-time
Preakness winner, but the days of having Pat Day on board for some of his
triumphs are long gone.
Cozzetti’s career is still rising as a potential late bloomer,
with increased speed shown over his last four starts. Rider Jose Lezcano gets his third mount here
after closing surges at Tampa Bay and Oaklawn, while trainer Dale Romans
returns to Pimlico after capturing last year’s Preakness with Shackleford.