The end of road to Preakness 149

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
The Road to the Preakness has reached its finale.

In our last horse racing installment here at TST, we told you it would go 1-11 in the Federico Tesio, the win-and-in race Saturday for the Preakness.  That prediction looked great with about 1/16 of a mile to go.

Then it was 11-1 and a stellar performance from 11 Copper Tax.  The same Copper Tax who stumbled badly out of the gate, was sent wide on the opening turn and managed to overcome a wide trip to win the race.

Will he win the Preakness?  History tells us he has virtually no chance, with the last winner of the Tesio also winning the Preakness in 1983. 

Deputed Testamony’s place in Maryland racing history is likely safe for another year.  But he’s an absolute threat to hit the board — i.e. run second or third in what promises to be a loaded Preakness field this spring.

Deterministic out of Derby

Grand Mo The First has drawn into the tentative Kentucky Derby 150 field after the defection of Deterministic (first reported by David Grening of the Daily Racing Form).  Grand Mo The First recently ran third in the Florida Derby and earned enough points to move into the starting gate.

There’s a chance we’ll see Deterministic in the Grade 3 Peter Pan field — the Peter Pan is the final prep on the New York Road to the Belmont Stakes.  This year’s Belmont Stakes will be run at an abbreviated 1 1/4 miles at Saratoga, as Belmont is under reconstruction for the next couple of years.

Mailbag time

We’re only 12 days out from the Kentucky Derby, so get those questions into the mailbag.  You can email us at Any questions you might have, from contenders to how to bet the Derby, send them in.  We can have some fun with this leading into Derby.

What’s Next

The Spring Meeting at Churchill Downs — which includes the Derby — starts Saturday evening.  As part of the festivities, the Derby Draw also will take place Saturday.  We’ll know the post positions that night.

Our Kentucky Derby Draft episode of the “Horse Racing Happy Hour” podcast drops Thursday and is a great segue from the prep to the race itself.  Guests include NBC-TV’s Steve Kornacki, Churchill Downs track announcer Travis Stone and Churchill’s Kaitlin Free.  It’s a play on the NFL Draft, as we attempt to draft the winner in a snake draft format.  You can download the episode on Spotify.

See you later this week as we handicap races at Churchill — and learn what the starting gate for the Derby will look like!