Nyquist 3-5 in Field of 11
Nyquist was installed as the 3-5 morning-line favorite following Wednesday’s post position draw for Saturday’s 141st running of the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course.
The undefeated Kentucky Derby hero is scheduled to meet 10 rivals in the $1.5 million Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, breaking from the No. 3 post position under jockey Mario Gutierrez. Trained by Doug O’Neill, the son of Uncle Mo captured the May 7 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs by a comfortable 1 ¼ lengths, maintaining his unblemished record with his eighth career victory and fifth Grade 1 stakes success.
Owners Paul and Zillah Reddam, O’Neill and Gutierrez teamed for a 2012 Preakness victory with Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another, whose Triple Crown quest was thwarted by injury the day before the Belmont Stakes.
Nyquist will seek to become the third consecutive Southern California-based horse to win both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, following 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah and California Chrome, whose 2014 Triple Crown bid fizzled with a fourth-place finish in the Belmont Stakes (G1).
Exaggerator, who closed from far back in the 20-horse Derby field to finish second behind Nyquist, was rated second at 3-1 in the Preakness morning line. The Keith Desormeaux-trained colt, who captured the Santa Anita Derby by more than six lengths prior to running in the Derby, drew the No. 5 post position for his quest to prevail over Nyquist for the first time in five meetings. Kent Desormeaux, who launched his Hall of Fame riding career in Maryland, has the mount aboard the son of 2007 Preakness winner Curlin.
Japan-based Lani, who captured the U.A.E. Derby prior to finishing ninth in a field of 20 in the Kentucky Derby, is the only other Preakness entrant to compete in the Run for the Roses. The Mikio Matsunaga-trained son of Tapit was rated at 30-1 in the morning line and will break from Post 6 under Japanese champion jockey Yutaka Take.
Trainer Bob Baffert, who saddled American Pharoah for his Triple Crown sweep last year, is slated to seek his seventh success in the Preakness with Collected, who captured the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland in his most recent start. Baffert, who has never won a Preakness with a horse that didn’t run in the Kentucky Derby, named Javier Castellano to ride the son of City Zip. Collected was rated fourth at 10-1 in the morning line after drawing Post 7.
Todd Pletcher-trained Stradivari, a late-developing colt who most recently captured an allowance race at Keeneland by 14 ½ lengths under jockey John Velazquez, was rated third in the morning line at 8-1 after drawing the No. 11 post position for his stakes debut in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness.
Other new faces on the Triple Crown trail entered in the Preakness include Gary Sherlock-trained Uncle Lino, who finished third behind Exaggerator in the Santa Anita Derby before winning the California Chrome Stakes at Los Alamitos Race Course last time out; and Dale Romans-trained Cherry Wine, who most recently finished third in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.
Rounding out the field are Fellowship, who finished third behind Nyquist in the Florida Derby prior to a fourth-place finish in the Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Derby undercard; Laoban, a maiden who finished second in the Gotham and fourth in the Blue Grass; Abiding Star, who is riding a five-race winning streak into his graded-stakes debut in the Preakness; and Awesome Speed, who won a fees-paid spot in the Preakness by winning the Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel April 9.
The 14-race Preakness card will feature six multi-race guaranteed pools totaling $4.15 million.
The Preakness, programmed as the 13th race, will anchor a $2 million guaranteed Late Pick 4 and a $1 million guaranteed Late Pick 5. The Preakness will also be the last race of a $100,000 single-winner guarantee in the Rainbow 6, which begins with Race 8.
Other guarantees will include a $250,000 Early Pick 5 beginning with Race 2, a $300,000 Early Pick 4 beginning with Race 3, and a $500,000 Pick 5 beginning with Race 6.
First-race post time Preakness Day is 10:30 a.m.
Edited Maryland Jockey Club release