With less than 1 1/2 hours remaining until post time for the Preakness Stakes, Tale of Verve is the longest shot in the field at 30-1. Not many handicappers believe he has a chance to win the race, but the son of Tale of Ekati actually has several factors in his favor that suggest he could at least be a contender for the exotics. So without further ado, here are five reasons why Tale of Verve can win the Preakness Stakes:
1. He is a closer in a field full of speed
American Pharoah, Dortmund, Firing Line, Mr. Z, Bodhisattva, Divining Rod–they’ve all shown lots of early speed during their careers, and if the pace gets fast, that should prove beneficial to the late-running Tale of Verve.
2. He has a victory at the Preakness distance
Last time out, Tale of Verve beat older horses in a 9.5-furlong maiden special weight at Keeneland, making him one of just two horses in the race–along with American Pharoah–to have won a race at a distance equal or longer than the Preakness.
3. Trainer Dallas Stewart has had success with big longshots
Golden Soul and Commanding Curve looked like major longshots in the 2013 and 2014 Kentucky Derbies, but both managed to finish second at giant odds for trainer Dallas Stewart. It’s clear that he knows when his horses are doing well and knows when they are well-suited to a Triple Crown race, so his confidence in Tale of Verve must be respected.
4. He was entered in the Kentucky Derby
Four years ago, a horse named Ruler On Ice was a surprise entry in the Kentucky Derby, and while he didn’t draw into the race, he did go on to win the Belmont Stakes as a major longshot. Thus far, Tale of Verve’s situation as paralleled Ruler On Ice–Tale of Verve was entered in the Derby, but failed to draw into the race. Will he prove that he belonged in the Derby by running well in the Preakness Stakes?
5. He has shown excellent speed in his workouts
In his races, Tale of Verve has shown a tendency to drop well off the early lead and come running at the finish, but looking at his morning workouts, it’s clear that there’s more to this colt than first meets the eye. His last two workouts prior to his maiden win were both very sharp–including a bullet five furlongs in :59 2/5–and he has continued to train sharply in the lead-up to the Preakness.
Tale of Verve may not win the Preakness Stakes, but if you’re looking for a live longshot that could be in a mix at a giant price, be sure to give him a look!