On Thursday afternoon we found out the post positions for the 2012 Preakness Stakes, which can help give an idea of how horses will get out of the gate and start the race.
Each spot has it's pros and cons. For example, Tiger Walk starts in the No. 1 position and risks being forced against the rail and getting trapped in the pack. On the outside in the No. 11 post position, Cozzetti can hold steady and work his way into the pack, but he also runs the risk of being held outside, running a longer route and tiring out and falling behind.
Here are the post positions for the 2012 Preakness Stakes, with some horses broken down by Matt Gardner of SB Nation:
1. Tiger Walk
2. Teeth Of The Dog
Gardner on Tiger Walk's chances and notes to look for him to utilize the middle of the pack:
Teeth of the Dog is the second of the two new shooters that look to have the biggest chance at making a significant impact at this year's Preakness. In his last start, he ran a good third to Gemologist and Alpha in the G1-Wood Memorial and stayed on well in the final furlong. Neither of those two horses came back to put up much of a performance in the Derby, but that shouldn't diminish the fact that Teeth of the Dog has improved with every start this year.
Gardner breaks down Pretension's chances, who should utilize his speed.
Pretension has a little bit of speed at his disposal and generally sits right off of the pace in the first quarter to half mile of a race. He'll likely be fighting for position with I'll Have Another, Creative Cause, and Paynter in the early stages on Saturday.
5. Went The Day Well
Gardner thinks Went The Day Well can improve, maybe pull the upset:
It wouldn't be a surprise to see Went the Day Well improve on that fourth place Derby finish in the Preakness. If he's able to take another step forward on Saturday, it's possible that this colt could find himself in the winner's circle at the end of the day.
6. Creative Cause
Gardner notes that Creative Cause can cover quite a bit of ground:
What's all that Trakus data really mean? Simply that Creative Cause covered more ground than any other colt in the field and was still able to finish in the top 5. If he gets a clean trip in the Preakness, Creative Cause could have an excellent chance for the victory.
Gardner notes Bodemeister's pure speed makes him the favorite:
When you consider how fast Bodemeister ran the first six furlong of the Kentucky Derby (1:09 4/5ths) it's ultra-impressive that he only gave up the lead inside the final hundred yards. It was a magnificent performance from a colt that has proven that he's a force to be reckoned with, even when he decides to set absurd fractions.
8. Daddy Nose Best
9. I'll Have Another
Gardner says I'll Have Another looks to avoid regressing as the colt goes for the Triple Crown:
The big question for any horse following a Kentucky Derby win is: can this one take the second leg of the Triple Crown in the Preakness? There certainly isn't any huge reason to believe that this colt can't win the Preakness. While there's always a chance that a colt will regress off of a big performance, I'll Have Another appears to be a colt that's putting it all together at the right time. If he continues to develop over the next couple of months, he could be a handful for this entire crop of three-year-old colts.
Gardner breaks down Optimizer's chances, noting he'll need some other horses to tire:
Given his deep closing running style, Optimizer needs a fast early pace and very tired rivals to have any shot at an upset in the Preakness. However, unlike the Derby, the Preakness appears to lack a ton of early speed horses which will likely lead to much more reasonable early fractions. A deep closer in a race with a moderate pace is not a combination for success.
Gardner breaks down Cozzetti's chances as a contender, including noting that rain could be a big help for Cozzetti:
Cozzetti ran evenly in both the Tampa Bay Derby and the Arkansas Derby, but the best race of his career wouldn't get him within sniffing distance of the top contenders in the Preakness. His chances of winning will depend greatly on whether he can improve immensely from his last start, or the rest of the field regresses significantly from the Derby. That's not a recipe for success in a Grade 1 race.
[...] One thing to keep in mind with Cozzetti is that his lone victory came over a sloppy and sealed track last November. If it rains at Pimlico, the surface might increase his chances for success.