Preakness Betting – Can American Pharoah Win the Triple Crown?
By Charles Jay
Mark this down – whenever a horse who was the favorite wins the Kentucky Derby, or is very impressive in doing so, there WILL be talk about a Triple Crown bid. So it makes sense that imaginations are running wild with what can be accomplished by American Pharoah, who beat two very strong challengers – Firing Line and Dortmund – in the Run For the Roses two weeks ago and is the favorite once again as the Preakness Stakes is about to be run on Saturday at Pimlico.
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Vietbet customers are enthusiastic enough to give this horse a price of -125 (subject to change of course), and this comes on the basis of two straight Beyer Speed Figures of 105, which have been achieved at Churchill Downs and in the Arkansas Derby before it, when jockey Victor Espinoza had a “hammerlock” on the horse as he dominated the field so thoroughly. American Pharoah missed the Breeders Cup Juvenile with an injury, but won the Eclipse as the two-year old champion anyway.
Some had criticized this horse’s level of competition up until two weeks ago; for example, Bob Baffert’s other horse in this race, Dortmund had a couple of duels with Firing Line (+430 here) that offered a stern test, and had scored a sizzling 106 Beyer in the Santa Anita Derby. But the Pharoah proved to be the best over the mile and a quarter, winning by a length over Firing Line.
Now we pull things back to a mile and three-sixteenths, and the place and show horses from the Derby are back, although not much else in the way of serious threat. Sure, he has Dortmund (+430 in the Preakness Stakes odds at Vietbet) in this race as well, but there is little doubt as to what Baffert would prefer to happen if it were his choice. With all three of his previous Derby winners, Baffert has gone on to win the Preakness, and that includes Big Brown, Dortmund’s sire, who was eased and failed to finish the Belmont in his own Triple Crown bid.
In all, Baffert has won the Preakness five times, and there is a pretty good recent history on his part when it comes to bringing horses back after two weeks, winning twelve of 51 starts in the last five years under those circumstances.
There is not a lot to choose from, in the opinion of many, when it comes to horses that have a chance to win the Preakness, and Firing Line is in a position where the turnaround is much more intense than has been the usual schedule for him. So are we looking at a horse that will go into the Belmont three weeks from now with only one task left? At Vietbet, American Pharoah is priced at +290 to win the Triple Crown, and -350 to miss.
The distance of a mile and a half has foiled many a bid for immortality; that is why there hasn’t been a winner of all three legs since 1978. But in an effort to give its customers ail the options available, Vietbet actually has a price on American Pharoah to win the Belmont RIGHT NOW, regardless of any other result. And you can get +105 on the possible “super-horse” to win the “test of the champion,” which may or may not wind up being one of the more ballyhooed races in years.