The right way to get your 2011 Preakness Stakes betting picks in order is to examine the entire field, including long-shots like Isn’t He Perfect. For one, his Beyer Speed Figures have moved in the right direction in recent months and his fifth-place finishes in the Grade 1 Wood and the Grade 2 Jerome show that he is not completely out of his element in these tougher races. Isn’t He Perfect was in the thick of things in mid-stretch in the Wood, running in second before weakening and falling off the pace. Bodog.com has this horse as one of the longer odds on the board, but he could surprise a lot of people by sneaking into the top four.
His sire, Pleasantly Perfect, was a top-class router who won multiple Grade 1 races at 1 1/4 miles, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic. His dam, Reciclada, was a Grade 2 route winner, meaning he should handle this longer trip quite well. All of this is very optimistic thinking though for this horse, but when you’ve peaked at 84 on the Beyer Speed Figures, you’re still a ways away from the type of performance it will take to win the Preakness. The average winning Beyer for the Preakness is around 108, so he will have to run a race he has yet to come close to. This is one of those cases where the horse racing odds will become longer than they already are, as many people are expected to look at other options at the betting windows. Isn’t He Perfect is listed as a 25-1 long-shot for this race, so if this is the horse you like, my advice is to wait a few days before placing your wager as there may be extra value behind this pick right before race time.
Isn’t He Perfect was not disgraced in the Wood or the Jerome, but he still hasn’t won a stakes race and now dives into even deeper water, facing the Kentucky Derby winner and several other proven Grade 1 horses. Stranger things have happened, but he has his work cut out for him and it figures to be reflected in his odds. After all, he was 65-1 in the Wood and 39-1 in the Jerome, and this race will certainly be tougher than either of those, so he is likely to be above 30-1 again.
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