Preakness Stakes Contenders
Here is our list of top contenders for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes:
Animal Kingdom (+270) - Animal Kingdom has gone from 20-1 long shot in the Kentucky Derby to Preakness Stakes favorite after an improbable win at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May. Now, he will try to move one step closer to becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. He’ll also try to become the first horse to win both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness since Big Brown in 2008. Animal Kingdom has been very consistent with no finish worse than second in five career races. He’s won his last two starts and three of his last four.
Dialed In (+400) - Dialed In was listed by odds makers as the favorite to win Kentucky Derby. But like 2010 Derby favorite Lookin At Lucky, he turned out to be a major disappointment. Despite an eighth-place finish at Churchill Downs, I’m not about to turn my back on the Florida Derby winner. I was all over Lookin At Lucky as he bounced back from a sixth-place finish at Churchill to win the Preakness, and I will strongly consider taking Dialed In to win Saturday.
Mucho Macho Man (+425) - This horse deserves strong consideration because of how consistently good he’s been. His third-place finish in the Kentucky Derby was his eighth finish of third or better in nine career races. This type of consistency makes him a solid option for your exotics.
Shackleford (+1000) - This horse only lost to Dialed In by a nose in the Florida Derby as a 68-1 long shot and proved that performance was no fluke with a strong showing in the Kentucky Derby. He set the pace early and nearly held on for an improbable wire-to-wire win. He finished a close fourth, only 3.5 lengths behind the winner. He may have enough left in the tank to hold on in this shorter race if he can jump out early again.
Astrology (+1500) - History certainly stacks the odds against Preakness horses that didn’t run in the first leg of the Triple Crown. Consider that only three horses in the last 25 years that didn’t run in the Kentucky Derby have won the Preakness Stakes. With that said, Astrology has a chance to be one of those few horses. He’s hit the board in each of his seven career races and appears to hail from the right stable. 2007 Preakness winner Curlin and 2009 winner Rachel Alexandra also called Stonestreet Stables home. It is additionally worth noting that Rachel Alexandra is one of those three horses that won the Preakness without running in the Derby first.
Sway Away (+1500) - This horse is the son of Afleet Alex, who won both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes in 2005. This pedigree can’t be ignored here. Sway Away has finished first or second in three of five career starts and will be nice and fresh for this one after coming up just shy of enough earnings to run in the Derby. He has the look of a sleeper if you ask me.
Mr. Commons (+1500) – This horse showed in the Santa Anita Derby but I’m not sure he has what it takes to win at Pimlico. The fact that he has prepped exclusively in California doesn’t bode well for him. Consider that only six horses that have prepped solely in California have gone on to win the Preakness the last seven decades.
Dance City (+1500) – Todd Pletcher is one of the best but is yet to win the Preakness Stakes (0-for-5). I don’t think this horse, the third-best in his stable, will end the drought.
Flashpoint (+1800) – This horse figures to get action from value hunters Saturday because of his 102 Beyer Speed Rating at the Hutcheson Stakes.
Midnight Interlude (+1800) - This horse ran 16th in the Kentucky Derby but is capable of a much better showing at Pimlico. The Santa Anita Derby winner was caught in a traffic jam at Churchill and was never able to recover. There will be a lot less traffic in a smaller Preakness field.
King Congie (+2000) - This colt was bred for speed, which means he has the potential to surprise. Consider that offspring of his sire Badge of Silver win at an average distance of 6.4 furlongs, and the offspring of his damsire End Sweep win at an average distance of 6.5 furlongs.
Concealed Identity (+4000) - There’s nothing concealed about the identity of this horse. He’s carrying some of the same genes that produced former Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones.
Norman Asbjornson (+5000) - This local Preakness Stakes hopeful has taken first or second in three of his last four races.
Isn’t He Perfect (+8000) - This horse is far from perfect with only two wins in 12 starts.