The weather ‘what-ifs’ for today’s Preakness Stakes

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If a hard thunderstorm hits Baltimore today an hour or two before post time at the 2015 Preakness Stakes, it could create a wet, sloppy mess on the Pimilco Race Course.

If that’s the case, I pity the fool who doesn’t take Mr. Z.

Yep, he’s a longshot, but one horse racing expert I spoke with today is saying there’s a chance.

“Mr. Z, who is 30-1 today, has had a good race in the mud. He could jump out there, get in the lead and not look back,” said Jerry “T,” the host of “Talking Horses with Jerry ‘T’ on 640 AM WXSM in east Tennessee.

A quick check of the forecast shows a 100 percent chance of thunderstorms before the race.

A combination of having good bloodlines for racing in sloppy conditions and his post position could make Mr. Z a surprise winner today.

“Because of the post position – he’s No. 3 – he could jump out to the lead if it got real muddy,” Jerry “T” explained. “Even though American Pharaoh has a good mud race, he’s in the No. 1 hole, and it is never good to come out of the No. 1 hole. So, there’s a little disadvantage there, rain or shine.”

That “good mud race” for American Pharaoh Jerry “T” referred to was a Rebel Stakes win in muddy conditions at Oaklawn Park in March. “It was very sloppy that day. He went to the front and won by six lengths,” Jerry “T” said. “He ran a great race.”

(You watch the race here:

“T” also likes American Pharaoh, the Kentucky Derby winner and favorite in any track condition, today if there’s a muddy track, or to use horse racing vernacular, an off-track.

“When you have an off-track, the advantage always goes to the speed horses. Because, if you’re out front and it’s muddy, you’re throwing mud back on the other horses” Jerry “T” said. “When they start getting muddy, they could pick up three or four or five pounds of mud. And, the frontrunner will be completely clean. The other guys behind him will look like they’ve been thrown in a mud puddle.”

Examining the field, “T” said all of the eight horses racing today have bloodlines that can handle an off-track, with one exception.

“The only one in the race who might not like the mud is the No. 8 horse Firing Line,” Jerry “T” said. “He doesn’t really have a pedigree for racing in the mud. You might can say if it gets really muddy, he might not like the mud.”


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