Is Secret Oath quick sufficient to win the Preakness Stakes?


Jessica Morgan / Eclipse Sportswire

After Secret Oath’s first Grade 1 win within the Kentucky Oaks Friday at Churchill Downs, coach D. Wayne Lukas introduced up the opportunity of getting into the filly within the Preakness Stakes in opposition to males on Could 21 at Pimlico Race Course.

One query is whether or not Secret Oath is quick sufficient to win the Preakness. Successful a Grade 1 in opposition to females is a superb accomplishment, particularly when the race is crucial one for 3-year-old fillies, however one of the best male filth horses are often quicker.  

Based mostly on velocity figures, how Secret Oath seems on paper compared with the highest 3-year-old males attainable for the Preakness relies on the model used. Here’s a take a look at TimeformUS and Beyer figures.

Secret Oath will not be far off the males on TimeformUS. She earned a 116 for successful the Kentucky Oaks. At some point later, Wealthy Strike earned a 119 for his effort the Kentucky Derby, whereas Epicenter posted the excessive Derby TimeformUS determine with a 120 due to the quick tempo. Zandon earned an excellent 118 in third. All of these figures appear throughout the similar vary.  

On Beyer Velocity Figures, Secret Oath appears a contact too sluggish to seize the Preakness if both Wealthy Strike, Epicenter or Zandon run.

Secret Oath acquired a 94 Beyer Determine for successful the Kentucky Oaks. Within the Kentucky Derby, Wealthy Strike earned a 101 Beyer for his win. Epicenter earned a 100 Beyer for the runner-up end, and Zandon acquired a 98 whereas ending 1 1/2 lengths behind Wealthy Strike.

What if Wealthy Strike’s Derby-winning effort is a fluke? That’s not a foul concept. However even when that’s true, Epicenter has proven confirmed kind and one other 100 Beyer or larger is possible from him if he runs subsequent week. Zandon additionally exhibits dependable kind, and he might hit one other excessive velocity determine within the 100 Beyer vary at Pimlico beneath peak conditioning.

Going again to TimeformUS Velocity Figures, one other odd observe about Secret Oath’s 116 is that it’s considerably larger than her earlier TimeformUS excessive of 111 within the Honeybee Stakes (G3). Is the 116 an anomaly?

In distinction, Epicenter posted a 118 within the Louisiana Derby (G2), and Zandon earned a 119 within the Blue Grass Stakes (G1). There may be sufficient proof to consider each colts are commonly able to a 120 on TimeformUS, and with one other peak subsequent week, they’ll go previous 120. 

As for Wealthy Strike, maybe his artificial races resulting in the Kentucky Derby made it unattainable to see his enchancment on filth. He would possibly emulate Mine That Chicken’s efficiency within the 2009 Preakness and switch in one other sturdy closing effort. For individuals who forgot, Mine That Chicken made a large closing bid to complete second to Rachel Alexandra.

Moreover velocity figures, one other unfavorable for Secret Oath is her failure to beat Cyberknife within the Arkansas Derby (G1). She couldn’t even maintain second, as Barber Highway made up regular floor within the stretch and caught Secret Oath late.

Cyberknife went on to complete 18th within the Kentucky Derby. Barber Highway ended up sixth after making a closing run, however he additionally took benefit of the suicidal tempo. Secret Oath might be on the extent of these two. 

Now to choose on the Kentucky Oaks win. Secret Oath didn’t precisely dominate these fillies final Friday. She beat Nest by solely two lengths, with Desert Daybreak ending third, only a half-length behind Nest.

Due to Yuugiri opening the Oaks in quick fractions of twenty-two.45 and 46.51 seconds with the quick Echo Zulu on her tail, Secret Oath did obtain a good tempo setup of her personal too. Secret Oaks started the Oaks in eighth, whereas the runner-up Nest settled in seventh by means of the opening quarter.

Does beating Nest by two lengths after a good tempo setup translate into successful the Preakness in opposition to an excellent subject of 3-year-old males two weeks later?

Secret Oath’s win within the Kentucky Oaks is contemporary within the minds of racing followers with solely two weeks between the Kentucky Oaks and Preakness Stakes subsequent week. She is prone to appeal to sufficient consideration to maintain her odds someplace within the 4-1 vary.

Earlier than unloading on the filly, take into account Secret Oath’s velocity figures and her prior try in opposition to males at Oaklawn, together with the small benefit she owns over the 3-year-old fillies. The hype surrounding Secret Oath in all probability is not going to match the percentages if she tackles males. 

Secret Oath can win the Preakness if it finally ends up smooth with the highest 3 Derby finishers defecting. If Epicenter or Zandon present up although, the duty would possibly find yourself too tough for a filly who couldn’t even move Cyberknife at Oaklawn little greater than a month in the past.

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