- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 20, 2006


Ryan O’Halloran of The Washington Times forecasts today’s Preakness Stakes (6:14 p.m., Pimlico Race Course):

1. Barbaro: It’s easy picking the favorite, but in this case, it’s also the obvious choice. The race sets up perfectly for the undefeated colt. He has only eight opponents, so there shouldn’t be any trip issues. The early speed of Like Now and possibly Bernardini will put Barbaro in a perfect stalking position. And, finally, he has more talent than any horse in the race. He wins today by four lengths and moves to Belmont for a shot at the sport’s first Triple Crown since 1978.

2. Sweetnorthernsaint: The Maryland-based colt made a great move in the Kentucky Derby, passing horses like they were standing still. Unfortunately, it came too early in the race and he faded back to seventh after Kent Desormeaux put away the whip. Saving that energy will benefit the colt today. Starting alongside Barbaro, Desormeaux would be wise to shadow him and then try to run past him down the lane.

3. Like Now: Although Brother Derek is a candidate to make the Preakness a 1-2-3 sweep by Derby horses, Like Now is the best of the newcomers, winning four of his last five races. There’s no question he will be sent to the front from his No. 1 post position. It’s doubtful he can go wire to wire in the lead, but his fractions will be slow enough that he’ll have something left at the end.

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