Rachel Alexandra has drawn the outside post position in the thirteen-horse Preakness Stakes. How does this negatively affect her chances on Saturday? Well, it almost guarantees her a wide trip. She will likely try to go to the front (or near it) and she will be caught outside all the speed. I feel that Big Drama, Friesan Fire, Papa Clem, Pioneerof The Nile, Take The Points, and Tone It Down could all block her path to the garden spot. What if she elects to run with them early? Her post will compromise her overpowering ability since she should lose a bit of her edge getting to the front.
What about the other possibility? Letting the speed go and trying to rate slightly. This horse has lost three times in her ten-race career and each of those times was when she sat off the pace. So, she is going to have to gun it from the break and try to get the lead.
The post also takes away the best asset of her rider, Calvin Borel (or Calvin Bo-Rail), which is getting to the fence and riding it all the way to victory.
Her (new) connections expressed pleasure at the way the draw went, but what are they supposed to say? They have to try to put a brave face on it, no matter what. They are getting into uncharted waters here and they are trying for a stable atmosphere. The less they stir up, the better for them.
So, there is the truth, now what are the consequences? Her price will be way too low to bet her on Saturday. If she goes off at anything higher than her morning-line odds, you should consider it a bargain. My guess is she will be something close to even money at post time and, even though, she might be a "superhorse", I don't know if I can wager on her at that price.
Tune in tomorrow for the official Preakness picks from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone...GOODBYE!