Evaluating the Speed for the 2016 Preakness Stakes

Evaluating the Speed for the 2016 Preakness Stakes

Category : News - Fri 20/05/2016 - 08:53 EDT

While it doesnt take keen handicapping acumen to determine that Nyquist and Exaggerator are the best of their generation, its still nice when the numbers verify those results.

In a list of the top ten Beyer Speed Figures earned by three year-old racehorses at all distances, all four of Exaggerator’s 2016 starts appear on the list along with two of Nyquist’s three starts. The two colts own the highest Beyer Speed Figure of any three year-old runner with the 103 mark earned by Nyquist in the Kentucky Derby and Exaggerator in the Santa Anita Derby. The triple digit Beyer – always the gold standard – for elite level racehorses, is particularly telling in this year’s three year-old crop. Only Destin, Danzing Candy and Stradiveri have joined this stratosphere along with the big two.

Other top speed in the Derby out of the Preakness

Destin will not compete in the Preakness after finishing sixth in the Kentucky Derby; ditto for Danzing Candy who faded badly in the Derby to finish 15th.  On paper, those two runners might have been the only ones legitimately fast enough to challenge either Nyquist or Exaggerator, but distance limitations proved to be the Achilles Heel for Danzing Candy and an eight-week layoff didn’t appear to help Destin’s Cause.

New shooter Stradivari looks to be very fast

That leaves Stradivari, an intriguing Preakness entry, as the only colt on paper fast enough to threaten Nyquist and Exaggerator from turning the second jewel of the Triple Crown into a match race. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Stradivari enters the race off consecutive wins by open lengths and should be taken seriously by handicappers looking for a viable pick outside the 1-2 finishers from the Derby.

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