Preakness Profile: Mr. Big News
In the days leading up to Saturday’s 145th Preakness, usracing.com will be publishing profiles of the 11 horses entered in 2020’s final leg of the Triple Crown.
By Ed McNamara
This late developer didn’t break his maiden until his fourth start, no shock considering his bloodlines. Mr. Big News’ European-dominated DNA is slanted heavily toward distance, so his third-place Derby finish at 46-1 odds made sense to students of pedigree. He did his sire, Giant’s Causeway, and damsire, Galileo, proud by finishing 3¼ lengths behind Authentic and only two behind odds-on Tiz the Law.
Owner Chester Thomas: “There was no question in our mind that we’d be running at the end of that race. When he made that move at the three-eighths pole, honestly, for a second we thought we were going to win that thing. It was a heck of a thrill. You never heard anyone scream louder for finishing third.”
If you didn’t hit the $1 trifecta for $1,311.80 by including Mr. Big News underneath, you missed the boat on him. His odds will be a fraction of what they were at Churchill, and only three of the last 19 Preakness winners came from far back. If the pace is fast, Mr. Big News has a shot at hitting the board again, but a win bet is a big ask.
Post position: No. 2
Jockey: Gabriel Saez
Trainer: Bret Calhoun
Owner: Allied Racing Stable, LLC
Career record: 8-2-1-1
Career earnings: $468,553
Top Equibase speed figure: 105
Pedigree: Giant’s Causeway-Unappeased, by Galileo
Running style: Closer
Notes: Bettors disrespect Mr. Big News. He paid $14.20 for his maiden win and went off at odds of 58-1, 66-1, 12-1, 44-1, 46-1, 34-1 and 46-1 in his other races … Pari-mutuel weirdness: His two best performances came when he was 46-1 – in the Oaklawn Stakes and the Derby … The Oaklawn victory guaranteed him a spot in the Preakness, but Calhoun – a winner of more than 3,000 races — wanted to see more. “The free ride in the Preakness was there,” he said, “but in the Derby he needed to prove that he belonged with that group of horses.” … This will be Calhoun’s first Preakness starter.
|2||Mr. Big News||Gabriel Saez||12-1|
|3||Art Collector||Brian Hernandez Jr.||5-2|
|4||Swiss Skydiver||Robby Albarado||6-1|
|5||Thousand Words||Florent Geroux||6-1|
|6||Jesus’ Team||Jevian Toledo||30-1|
|7||NY Traffic||Horacio Karamanos||15-1|
|8||Max Player||Paco Lopez||15-1|
Ed McNamara is an award-winning journalist who has been writing about thoroughbred racing for 35 years. He has handicapped races for ESPN.com, Newsday and The Record of New Jersey. He is the author of “Cajun Racing: From the Bush Tracks to the Triple Crown” and co-author of “The Most Glorious Crown,” a chronicle of the first 12 Triple Crown champions.