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Midnight Bourbon, Concert Tour is Top Preakness Challenger – NBC10 Philadelphia

Midnight Bourdon hopes to follow the path to the circle of Preakness winners, which was successfully implemented 30 years ago.

Hansel was a horse that was hyped 30 years ago to beat the Kentucky Derby, but struggled with the first leg of the Triple Crown. He was a retrofit who entered Preakness before winning it.

Hansel jockey Jerry Bailey sees similar possibilities in Midnight Bourbon.

“He was very consistent-he has never been out of the top three,” said Bailey, now NBC Sports Analyst, about Midnight Bourbon. “He was always consistent and most likely the type of horse that wasn’t in the derby, and now everyone writes him down.”

Derby winner Medina Spirit may be a favorite of Preakness, but Bob Buffart’s trained fellow concert tours and usually front-running midnight bourbon are the top challengers for Saturday’s race.

Midnight Bourbon was set up on the morning line as a third betting option for 5-1 following 9-5’s favorite Medinas Spirit and 5-2’s concert tour. Odds makers certainly believe that Midnight Bourbon is more likely to handle the field of 10 horses in Preakness than the 19 horses in Derby who finished in 6th place.

“I’m very confident about who he is physically,” said trainer Steve Asmussen. “He’s physically very strong and his energy level has been so high since the derby that I think it helps him.”

Jockey Mike Smith, who jumped the ship on a concert tour, said Midnight Bourbon stumbled from the derby start gate. A cleaner start will allow Colt to run the races he is accustomed to better from closer to the lead.

If the Medina Spirit is expected to lead again on a stable concert tour. Bailey pointed out that trainers had previously run multiple horses with different owners in Preakness, but this is more complicated because they can wear each other in the same way.

“The only thing I worry about is whether they get in the way of each other in the race,” said assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes. “You need to give them all a fair shot, and the best horses win.”

With two entries from Chad Brown, who finished seventh in the derby, a 10-1 crowded trade or a 15-1 risk take, Michael McCarthy’s 12-1 Ronbauer or Robertino Diodoro’s 15-1 Keepmine Mind lead. The speed duel was successfully set up.

“I think there’s definitely enough pace on paper. A small field helps,” Diodoro said. “This time I will stay on the rails as much as possible.”

Or, Baffert’s horse can run fast enough to set up something like a match race in one fell swoop.

“He definitely doesn’t intend to send two horses (horses at the top), but there are concerns that they may be able to control the pace at the same time,” Diodoro said. “I’m not going to change my running style.”

Bailey is familiar with the philosophy from the 1991 Triple Crown, which finished 10th in the Kentucky Derby after Hansel’s favorite appearance. Therefore, he believes Midnight Bourbon should not be dismissed as a Preakness candidate.

But there’s much more to say about the concert tour, which seems ready to improve the disappointing third-place finish at Arkansas Derby on April 10. Burns said, “This is his chance because the concert tour didn’t get a chance in the derby. It shines.”

I think so with the rivals around the barn at Pimlico Race Course. Irad Ortiz will ride Midnight Bourbon just because Smith chose a concert tour instead.

“I think Mike chose it because he thought he had a better chance of winning the concert tour than Midnight Bourbon,” Asmussen said. “The concert tour will be as fast as possible. He is clearly a formidable horse.”

Midnight Bourbon, Concert Tour is Top Preakness Challenger – NBC10 Philadelphia

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