Why I’m betting Tuscan Gold to win the Preakness Stakes

May 18th, 2024

The 2024 Preakness (G1) at Pimlico is packed with accomplished horses. Kentucky Derby (G1) winner #5 Mystik Dan. Louisiana Derby (G2) hero #3 Catching Freedom. San Felipe (G2) victor #9 Imagination. Pat Day Mile (G2) winner Seize the Grey. Withers (G3) winner Uncle Heavy.

So why am I betting on #8 Tuscan Gold, one of only two horses in the field who has yet to win a stakes? It all comes down to past performances. Not just the past performances of Tuscan Gold himself, but the past performances of horses like him.

Tuscan Gold is conditioned by four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown. When Brown saddles a horse in the Preakness, it’s wise to sit up and take notice. From just six starters, Brown has recorded two wins and a second.

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Brown’s two winners both prepped in the same manner. Cloud Computing (2017) finished third in the Wood Memorial (G2) on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, skipped the Kentucky Derby, and came in fresh to win the Preakness. Early Voting (2017) finished second in the Wood Memorial, skipped the Derby, and won the Preakness. And guess what? Brown’s Preakness runner-up, Blazing Sevens (2023), placed third in the Blue Grass (G1) on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, skipped the Derby, and failed by only a head to win the Preakness.

Tuscan Gold matches this profile. The lightly raced colt tackled the Louisiana Derby on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and finished third, beaten only 1 3/4 lengths by Catching Freedom. Lacking enough points to compete in the Kentucky Derby, Tuscan Gold has instead targeted the Preakness, following the well-worn path of Cloud Computing, Early Voting, and Blazing Sevens.

Tuscan Gold is fresh compared to horses like Mystik Dan, Catching Freedom, and Seize the Grey, who ran just two weeks ago on Kentucky Derby Day. He displayed reasonably good tactical speed in the Louisiana Derby, setting the stage for a favorable forwardly placed trip in a largely paceless edition of the Preakness. And he’s slated to be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, who worked out a perfect ground-saving trip to win the 2019 Preakness aboard War of Will.

Oh, and there’s one more reason why I’m betting Tuscan Gold to win the Preakness. He’s listed at 8-1 odds on the morning line. That’s a mighty nice price on a talented horse following a prove path to Preakness glory.