Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another will attempt to earn the second jewel of the Triple Crown in Saturday’s Grade 1 $1,000,000 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.
Although the Derby winner traditionally becomes the Preakness favorite among race fans, the bettors don’t always agree. Kentucky Derby post-time favorite and second place finisher Bodemeister has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes. He’ll break from post 7 under jockey Mike Smith for trainer Bob Baffert. I’ll Have Another will break from post 9 and is listed as the second choice in the field of 11 at morning line odds of 5-2. Jockey Mario Gutierrez will attempt to gain his first Preakness victory while rewarding trainer Doug O’Neill the same honor.
The race will likely play out similar to the Derby with Bodemeister taking the early lead. There’s really no other contenders that will want to fight him for the lead, but a few that will likely sit just off his pace—these may be I’ll Have Another, Teeth of the Dog, and Cozzetti.
Teeth of the Dog, trained by Michael Matz, hasn’t shown enough speed to pose a threat, having earned his best Brisnet speed figure of 98 when finishing third to Gemologist and Alpha in the Wood Memorial. Although he’s never finished out of the money in his four lifetime starts, his only win came in a $52,000 maiden race.
In his last start, Dale Romans’ Cozzetti finished fourth, 10 lengths behind Bodemeister, in the Arkansas Derby. Again, he hasn’t shown the speed to hang with Bodemeister, but he has the ability to show up and finish in the exotics.
Kentucky Derby contenders joining I’ll Have Another and Bodemeister are 11th place finisher Optimizer, 10th place finisher Daddy Nose Best, 5th place finisher Creative Cause, and 4th place finisher Went The Day Well. The worst finisher here was only 12 lengths off of the winner I’ll Have Another. In a race like the Kentucky Derby that is full of traffic issues, that’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Of the returning Kentucky Derby starters, Mike Harrington’s Creative Cause fits best to take down Bodemeister or I’ll Have Another in Saturday’s Preakness. He’s shown great speed in his previous starts, prefers to sit mid-pack in about fourth, and can close sharply. He battled I’ll Have Another to the wire in the Santa Anita Derby, losing the photo by a nose. Also, he beat Bodemeister by ¾ of a length in the San Felipe Stakes.
The entire field from the rail out is: Tiger Walk (30-1), Teeth of the Dog (15-1), Pretension (30-1), Zetterholm (20-1), Went The Day Well (6-1), Creative Cause (6-1), Bodemeister (8-5), Daddy Nose Best (12-1), I’ll Have Another (5-2), Optimizer (30-1), and Cozzetti (30-1).
The race is scheduled to post at 6:05 p.m. and can be seen as part of the live NBC broadcast beginning at 4:30 p.m. It can also been seen on HRTV and TVG.
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