According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of a “long shot” is an entry (as in a horse race) given little chance of winning. When it comes to handicapping and betting, identifying a longshot who could outrun their odds can be almost as important as identifying the most likely winner of any given race. In Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, all eyes will be on Bob Baffert’s Medina Spirit, who projects to be a heavy favorite following his victory in the Kentucky Derby. It goes without saying that he represents a likely win contender, but is there a horse at a huge price who could outrun his odds and finish underneath, spicing up exotic wagers? Here is a longshot to consider in the Preakness who could run much better than his odds would suggest.
FRANCE GO DE INA
Based in Japan, France Go de Ina (#7, 20/1 morning line odds) comes to the United States having raced only once as a three-year-old. In his seasonal debut in March’s UAE Derby, the son of 2013 Travers Stakes winner Will Take Charge broke poorly and trailed the field throughout. A colt who has shown the ability to sit close to the front, France Go de Ina was taken out of his element in Dubai, needing to weave his way through traffic while spotting the leaders a massive head start. While the sixth-place finish will not look particularly impressive on paper, all things considered, the performance was not terrible. Jockey Joel Rosario will be reunited with the colt trained by Hideyuki Mori, and with a cleaner break there is no reason to think the three-year-old will not be better positioned in this race.
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Does France Go de Ina represent a likely upsetter to a horse like Medina Spirit? Not in the slightest, as he is still considerably slower than his contemporaries. Having said that, he is extremely lightly raced and has shown flashes of brilliance in his career. If he can take a step forward in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, an “underneath” finish is not out of the question. For those bettors playing exactas, trifectas and superfectas, a horse like France Go de Ina is worth considering at a juicy price, likely near his morning line odds of 20/1.