Tom Keegan: Step right up and get your winning Preakness ticket
Come a little bit closer while I look both ways to make sure nobody can see or hear us. Keep this between us, but I just got off the phone with Timmy the Tout, a New Yorker who has forgotten more about ponies than the sarcastic talking horse from 1960s television, Mr. Ed, ever dreamed of knowing.
Anybody asks you who you like in the Preakness, you tell them you don’t play the ponies, don’t know anybody who does and don’t even know anybody who knows anybody. Got it?
OK, now that your silence is guaranteed, Timmy the Tout, Triple T for short, knows an underlay when he sees one. Oh, he likes Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming, all right, especially in this field of two powerful horses and a pack of mules, but he doesn’t like the horse at 4/5. No thrill in that.
So here’s what Triple T let me and me alone in on: Classic Empire, at 3/1 when we exchanged whispers, has just as good a shot, a little better even, at Pimlico as Always Dreaming, so if you want to keep it simple, lay your $2 at the window on Classic Empire to win, sit back and enjoy the ride and spend your winnings on paying off that press bet you made on the 18th tee box and never paid because you already emptied your pockets on the beverage cart . . . again.
Maybe that’s not enough action for you. Or maybe you need to buy a new wedge, as if it’s the weapon’s fault and not your faulty brain’s fault that you keep chunking and choking under pressure, so you’re looking for a bigger return. Come a little closer yet because Triple T finds out I shared this one and I’ll be wearing concrete golf shoes, sleeping in the pond with the ProV 1s. Like permanently.
So here’s your Trifecta that you didn’t get from Timmy the Tout because he doesn’t exist: Classic Empire, Always Dreaming, Cloud Computing.
The thinking is Classic Empire suffered through a bad trip in the Derby and still somehow ran so great late he finished fourth. He gets a perfect trip this time and wins.
So why is Cloud Computing the best of the mules? Because trainer Chad Brown’s a genius and jockey Javier Castellano, one of the best in the biz, jumped off Gunnevera to ride Cloud Computing. He knows something or he doesn’t do that.
Look for the horse to stalk behind the leaders while saving space along the rail and having enough left to be the best in the field not named Classic Empire or Always Dreaming.
Go ahead and ignore my second-hand tip, but do so at your own peril. You should know I’m due to hit. I haven’t called one right yet, so the law of averages is in my favor. Go on now, get out of here before someone spots us.