Under The Baffert Doping Cloud, Best Bets, Late Odds, And Medina Spirit’s Battle To Win

Under The Baffert Doping Cloud, Best Bets, Late Odds, And Medina Spirit’s Battle To Win

Race day for the 2021 Preakness is here, and the race will produce a winner, but no matter which of today’s athletes takes home the trophy, the road to this 143rd running has been so rocky that it has grown hard to say what actual sporting value of the $1 million race will be. The meaning of the race has been tamped down by the crushing ambiguity that only waiting for a split-sample anti-inflammatory test can bring.

In absentia from the track and this weekend’s festivities, Mr. Baffert, Bob, the formerly celebrated trainer of that horse — the now-doubtful Derby winner and Preakness morning line favorite Medina Spirit — has been spouting off rather a lot, bruiting different colorful theories about why his champion registered an initial Derby-day positive test for betamethasone. If the crisis into which his horse’s initial May 1 blood test threw the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Triple Crown season were not so wholly damaging to the sport, Baffert’s theories about what might have gone wrong — some ointment, a groom’s urine on some hay, whatever — might be comic. But the damage to the sport wrought by Medina Spirit’s initial blood test is too great for that, and the trainer’s happenstance notions now only demonstrate exactly how out of touch he is with the depth of what he has wrought. Somebody he trusts needs to tell him to shut up and await the split-sample results like a man. In the meantime, he could apologize.

That looming thunderhead noted, the race does bring a nosegay of talent and some fine old masters at the game, among them, D. Wayne Lukas and Crowded House. Shout out to Mr. Lukas for showing up! It’s also important to remember that we should not victimize the Baffert horses, Medina Spirit or Concert Tour, because of their trainer. They are the favorites, and as we wrote earlier in the week, they had no agency in administering an anti-inflammatory forbidden by the Kentucky racing association. To help us parse the landscape of the race, we’ll bring in the Bluegrass Wise Man, but first, a refresher on today’s post positions and odds.

We’ll update the odds in this space as post time nears.

(Post Position, Horse, Morning Line)

1. Ram (30-1)

2. Keepmeinmind (15-1)

3. Medina Spirit (9-5)

4. Crowded Trade (10-1)

5. Midnight Bourbon (5-1)

6. Rombauer (12-1)

7. France Go de Ina (20-1)

8. Unbridled Honor (15-1)

9. Risk Taking (15-1)

10. Concert Tour (5-2)

(Source: Pimlico, 5/15/2021)

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