The 143d Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, will be contested at Maryland’s Pimlico Racecourse on Saturday, May 19.
Post time for the 1 3/16 miles race is 6:48 pm.
A field of eight horses is expected, with most eyes on Kentucky Derby winner Justify.
Television coverage runs from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Eastern, on NBCSN. Coverage will then shift to NBC.
1. Quip, Rodolphe Brisset, Florent Giroux, 2nd, Arkansas Derby, 12-1
There would be great irony if Quip thwarted Justify’s Preakness and Triple Crown bid. His trainer, Brisset, originally had Justify in his barn. Quip captured the Tampa Bay Derby in his 3-year-old debut, and finished second in the Arkansas Derby, positioning himself with enough points to run in the Kentucky Derby. However, Brisset felt his charge was not ready for the first leg of the Triple Crown. He brings him to Maryland fresh, fit, and is a threat.
2. Lone Sailor, Tom Amoss, Irad Ortiz, Jr., 8th Kentucky Derby, 15-1
Had some early woes in Kentucky, getting away 15th in the full field. The 24-1 shot did manage to close for eighth. That said, he was nowhere near the top two and under similar conditions in the Preakness it would be a surprise if he menaced.
3. Sporting Chance, D. Wayne Lukas, Luis Contreras, 4th Pat Day Mile, 30-1
If all eight runners go to the gate, Saturday, Lukas will train 25 percent of the field, increasing his record total of starters to 41 in 28 Preaknesses. That said, his chances of winning the second jewel of the TC are far less than 1 in four. Sporting Chance, winner of the Hopeful at 2, figures to be a long shot and would be an absolute shocker.
4. Diamond King, John Servis, Javier Castellano, 1st Federico Tesio Stakes, 30-1
The familiar story at the Maryland track. Local hero steps up and looks to take down the big boys in the second leg of the Triple Crown. The fairy-tale finish doesn’t happen that often and this case won’t be any different.
5. Good Magic, Chad Brown, Jose Ortiz, 2nd Kentucky Derby, 3-1
Delivered a stellar effort in runner-up finish to Justify at Churchill Downs. A lot was expected from Good Magic in his third start as a 3-year-old and he did not disappoint at 9-1. Can he turn the tables on the Derby winner at the shorter distance? If Justify is bothered by the bruised hoof that turned up, he can.
6. Tenfold, Steve Asmussen, Ricardo Santana, Jr., 5th, Arkansas Derby, 20-1
Tenfold, like Justify, did not race as a 2-year-old. He won his first two starts before finishing fifth in the Arkansas Derby, ending dreams of running for the Roses. His trainer has sent out two horses that won the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, Curlin (2007) and Rachel Alexandra (2009). Would be a surprise if he adds another Woodlawn Vase to Asmussen’s resume.
7. Justify, Bob Baffert, Mike Smith, 1st Kentucky Derby, 1-2
He’s been a beautiful beast in all four career starts. Justify took down the Apollo hex in winning the Derby without a start as a 2-year-old. The team is the jewel of horse racing: Baffert, Smith, you can’t ask for more. The forecast is for rain, rain, rain, which Justify love, love, loved in Kentucky. He will be odds-on – a short-priced favorite, leaving from post seven the same number he exited from in Kentucky. The concern? A bruised hoof that turned up after the Run for the Roses. If he is less than 100 percent, Baffert won’t get his record-equaling seventh Preakness.
8. Bravazo, D. Wayne Lukas, Luis Saez, 6th Kentucky Derby, 20-1
A 66-1 shot in the Run for the Roses, Bravazo put in a solid run. He was bumped at the start, wide throughout before flattening and finishing sixth in the 20-horse field. Lukas will be looking for his record-equaling seventh Preakness victory. It’s unlikely.
Conclusion: It appears to be trip sevens as Justify, who left from that gate in Kentucky, leaves from the same number at Pimlico, and will give Baffert his seventh Preakness victory. Would love to get cute and pick against the 1-2 morning-line favorite, but everything is in his favor, especially if the bruised hoof is not a bother.
Good Magic should be runner-up, again, off a strong showing in the Run for the Roses. If Justify is off in any way, the Chad Brown-trainee can turn the tables. Good Magic backers won’t get anywhere near the 9-1 they saw at Churchill.
The show dough should go to Quip, an improving sort.