Preakness 2018 Recap - Justify Tops Tickets - Belmont Stakes Next! - Super Screener
Super Screener

Preakness 2018 Recap – Justify Tops Tickets – Belmont Stakes Next!

Photo by Sue Kawczynski/Eclipse Sportswire


On a day that felt a lot like it did two weeks ago in Louisville, with cloudy skies and persistent rain, Justify emerged from the fog in mid stretch working on disposing of Good Magic who engaged him throughout and then the Baffert colt mustered enough reserve energy to hold off the late-charging Bravazo as he hit the wire for the hard-fought, narrow victory.  All things considered, this was another huge performance by Justify who did all the work up front but prevailed, narrowly, in the end.


The rain soaked track actually had a decent bottom to it which propelled front runners to the winners circle in ridiculously fast fractions and final times all day long. So, while Good Magic took it to Justify for over a mile, the track surface definitely favored his forwardly placed position.


The big question now is…do we have a potential Triple Crown winner in the making?  Hey, at least we have that exciting possibility in play so let the speculation and debate over the next 3 weeks begin!  As the Belmont Stakes field comes together we’ll begin our early analysis and provide initial insights well before the big event.  We also have new criteria added to the Belmont Stakes Super Screener this year which will continue to add more precision in assessing each horse’s potential in this final leg of the Triple Crown.  


Preakness Super Screener Highlights

Here are some of the key Super Screener highlights worth noting:


  • Justify as the Lone “A” Horse


The Screener was heavily convicted that despite all speculation and concern about the minor foot bruise sustained after the running of the Kentucky Derby, Justify earned by far the highest Super Screener score resulting in being the lone win candidate for this race and nearly all suggested wagering strategies reflected this conviction.  

“He recovered from that hoof bruise he sustained in the Kentucky Derby and has trained well since. Clearly the one to beat and he will have a target on this back but gets to enjoy a more modest pace while others work hard to take him down and suffer the consequences as a result.”


  • Bravazo Selected as a Top Long Shot Play


With each passing day, Bravazo’s stock rose as he came out of the Kentucky Derby in great shape and was looking particularly strong in his morning gallops leading up to the Preakness.  His trip in the Kentucky Derby also came back more impressive than it looked thanks to the analysis provided by my colleague Mark Midland who noted how much extra ground Bravazo covered in that race.  With the prospect of a sloppy track at Pimlico becoming more certain, Bravazo became a strong “under” play.


  • Tenfold as a Strong Bottom of Trifecta/Superfecta Threat


As it became clear the Pimlico track would come up sloppy and favor those with the ability to stay relatively close to the pace, Tenfold moved up as a strong bottom of Trifecta and Superfecta player and was used as such in suggested wagers.  Trainer Asmussen was also tearing it up in leading into the Preakness (and continued his dominance on Preakness Day) adding more confidence.

“Has only 3 lifetime starts and has moved forward in each start with room for another advancement in his form cycle.  Had no chance in the slow-paced Arkansas Derby as an off-the-pace type but definitely submitted a better effort than Quip. Has been working super since that start and is bred to get this added distance and under normal pace scenarios as he’ll experience here, he is another that lays out energy in a very balanced way.”  


  • Taking a Stand Against Quip, the Third Choice in the Odds


Perhaps the greatest conviction play by the Super Screener was taking a firm stand against the third choice in the Morning Line and on the final board, Quip.  He failed big time on pace criteria required of a presser type running in the Preakness. All his best performances came in races in which he pressed a very slow pace and we knew that once he faced an honest pace he would wilt.  Quip finished last in the Preakness over 40 lengths behind Justify as the third betting choice. One of the winning suggested wagering strategies was “taking a stand against Quip in the Superfecta”

“This is the top “underlay” in the race, according to the Super Screener, as he is certain to go off at around 12-1 in the race but does not rate any better than the 4 other “C” horses that are going off at considerably longer odds.  Was the beneficiary of two very slow paced races and as a result enjoyed the perfect trip in each. In the Arkansas Derby, the efforts submitted by 3rd place finisher Solomini and 4th place finisher, Tenfold were deemed better by the Super Screener  Will press the pace here and, as a result, will be forced to run faster than he has in any previous race.”


  • Super Screener Suggested Wagering Strategies Cash for over $5,000


Despite Justify winning the race at odds of 2-5, the Super Screener suggested wagering strategies focused on narrower tickets primarily singling Justify in first.  We used Bravazo heavily in 2nd and 3rd and used Tenfold enough in 3rd and 4th to result in decent Exacta, Trifecta and Superfecta scores. 


  • 8 of 9 Super Screener Pick 4 Tickets hit


For weekly subscribers to the Super Screener they were provided with recommended Pick 4 tickets. We deployed the wagering strategy of singling Ax Man in the 3rd leg of the Pick 4 and Justify in the final leg in most tickets.  While the first two legs of the Pick 4 came back chalky as well, there were enough $2 and $4 Pick 4 tickets to help make up for the modest  Pick 4 payout.


On to the Belmont Stakes!

It is always great to have a Triple Crown contender in play thereby extending the excitement of the Triple Crown for another 3 weeks.  Bravazo and Tenfold will probably go on to the Belmont Stakes and top quality horses that ran in the Kentucky Derby such as Audible, Hofburg and Vino Rosso have been cooling their jets and come into the Belmont with that added two weeks of rest.  Given the narrow margin of Justify’s win in the Preakness, this may entice others including trainer Todd Pletcher, to take another crack at Justify on the second Saturday in June. We’ll also see the deep closer Blended Citizen enter the Belmont Stakes off that recent win the Peter Pan Stakes.  

All and all, this year’s Belmont Stakes is setting up to be almost as intriguing as the Kentucky Derby and the prospect of a fairly large field will make this a particularly attractive wagering opportunity…and Justify is certainly not a lock to win this race.

Our work on the Belmont Super Screener begins today and we’ll be ready with an early release the week of Memorial Day.  Thank you very much for your continued support of the Super Screener and we look forward to a very successful outcome on Belmont Stakes Day!

Go Fast and Win!