Dan’s Double: Black-Eyed Susan Longshot, ‘Other Baffert’ Preakness Pick

Thousand Words will start in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes after being scratched shortly before the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5 due to a paddock incident. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Dan’s Double of the Week, featuring handicapping analysis from America's Best Racing's New York correspondent Dan Tordjman, is brought to you by Horseplayers.com, the official online qualifying site of the Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) and National Horseplayers Championship (NHC). Horseplayers.com offers low-cost feeders every day and BCBC and NHC qualifiers every weekend, and it’s the only site where you can qualify for the $1 million BCBC. It’s free to sign up – click here to get information about registering and how to enter contests.

When it comes to making money when handicapping races and betting on horse racing, it’s all about picking winners. Tordjman – @DanonymousMan to those who follow him on Twitter – is one of the sharpest horseplayers around.

Each Week, Tordjman will provide readers with his two best bets of the weekend and strategies for how to bet them. Good luck! 

Saturday, Oct. 3

Pimlico, Race 10, $250,000 George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, post time 4:41 p.m. ET

weekend Television schedule

Friday, Oct. 2: 12:30-6 p.m.. ET on FS2; 4-6 p.m.. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, Oct. 3: 12:30 p.m.-6 p.m. ET on FS2; 4:30-6 p.m.. ET on NBC; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, Oct. 4: 9:30-11 a.m. ET on FS1; 12:30-6 p.m. ET on FS2; 4:30-6 p.m.. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

#2 Truth Hurts: This filly was away from the races for six months and she’s obviously returned in much better form than before the time off. In her first race back, the Audubon Oaks at Ellis Park, Truth Hurts drew wide, travelled wide and really had no shot at catching loose pacesetter Mundaye Call – the eventual winner who set a track record in the race. Truth Hurts finished just behind runner-up Sconsin, who returned to beat Mundaye Call in the Grade 2 Eight Belles Stakes Presented by Twinspires.com. Meanwhile, Truth Hurts was stretched out in her next start to a mile and a sixteenth at Woodbine in the Bison City Stakes. She again found herself traveling behind a loose pacesetter Mizzen Beau (a filly who returns here) and just missed getting up for second behind Afleet Katherine (a really nice Woodbine-based horse). Truth Hurts galloped out with plenty of gusto and the daughter of Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist gives every indication she wants to go longer.

Truth Hurts seems ideally drawn on Saturday in the two-hole; She has enough early speed to stay in touch and save ground, while she’s also unlikely to get caught up in the early pace. I’m projecting several horses will vie for the lead early including #7 Mizzen Beau and #10 Landing Zone, while #1 Project Whiskey and #9 Miss Marissa won’t be too far behind. That sort of setup should only play to the advantage of #2 Truth Hurts. Another horse who’ll benefit from a fast early pace is Alabama Stakes runner-up #5 Bonny South, a horse who must be used on your tickets as well.

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$2 win, place and show on #2 Truth Hurts ($6)

$2 exacta box 2,5 ($4)

Strategy on a $25 Budget 

$5 win, place and show on #2 Truth Hurts ($15)

$5 exacta box 2,5 ($10)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$8 win, place and show on #2 Truth Hurts ($24)

$5 exacta box 2,5 ($10)

$.50 trifecta 2,5 with 2,5,8,11 with 1,2,3,5,6,8,11 ($15)

Pimlico, Race 11, $1,000,000 Preakness Stakes, post time 5:30 p.m. ET

#5 Thousand Words: This was not the horse I expected to land on when I started handicapping the Preakness, especially considering the dramatic paddock incident that led to him being scratched right before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve. But the more I thought about it, why would the ownership team (Albaugh Family Stables and Spendthrift Farm) and trainer (Bob Baffert) bring Thousand Words back so soon (in such a tough spot) when they already have the Derby winner Authentic entered in the race? Well, naturally, it’s because the horse is not only sound but also likely sitting on a big race – a race which could, in fact, set up beautifully for him from a pace perspective. His stablemate #9 Authentic should face a lot more early pressure up front from co-favorite #3 Art Collector, #4 Swiss Skydiver and/or #7 Ny Traffic (who was on the heels of Authentic on the Derby backstretch despite antics out of the gate that no doubt cost him better positioning early). 

As for Thousand Words, the blinkers do go back on here after his front-running score over (eventual fourth-place Derby finisher) Honor A. P. in the Shared Belief Stakes. The blinkers were off for that race, but interestingly, when Thousand Words previously raced with blinkers on, he generally settled well and he did it while sitting off the pace. The best example was his victory in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes in February. That’s what he’ll have to do here assuming that the plan is to send Authentic to the front again – and barring the unlikely event that Baffert would allow his own two horses to battle each other into defeat. I do expect some regression from Authentic, who ran a remarkable race in the Derby but a race that would certainly be tough to repeat with more adverse race dynamics. Art Collector has to be respected but I do question the company he’s kept to this point (with the exception of Swiss Skydiver in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes). I think there’s some money to be made in this Preakness and I’ll be building tickets around “the other Baffert” on Saturday.

Strategy on a $10 Budget 

$5 win and place on #5 Thousand Words ($10)

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$5 win and place on #5 Thousand Words ($10)

$4 exacta 5 with 10 ($4)

$2 exacta 5 with 3,4,7 ($6)

$1 exacta 5 with 11 ($1)

$1 exacta 3,4,7,11 with 5 ($4)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$6 win, place and show on #5 Thousand Words ($18)

$10 exacta 5 with 10 ($10)

$4 exacta 5 with 3,4,7 ($12)

$2 exacta 5 with 11 ($2)

$2 exacta 3,4,7,11 with 5 ($8)

Last Week’s Earnings: $98

2020 Earnings: $4,119.68

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