With a small field set for the Preakness Stakes, Justify tries to remain undefeated and continue his bid for horse racing's Triple Crown. Only three other familiar faces from the Kentucky Derby will continue on to the second leg meeting, with some other long shots hoping to play spoiler.
Here’s a horse-by-horse breakdown for this Saturday’s Preakness Stakes with betting odds, according to Xpressbet. The race will start with a post time of 6:45 p.m. ET from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.
Justify (Jockey – Mike Smith, -250): He's still undefeated in his career and looks to be getting better with each start. In the Kentucky Derby, he used a very solid break to his advantage and looked like a winner every step of the way. A day after the Derby, Justify was spotted with a noticeable limp in his left hind leg. While it was initially reported as a skin rash - "scratches" - it changed to a bruise then to being treated for a minor crack in the hoof. Regardless, none of these are completely out of the ordinary and all reports on the track have him looking like his normal self. Even at 85 percent, he's still the best here.
Good Magic (Jose Ortiz, +300): Good Magic has two huge wins under his belt with the 2017 Breeders' Cup Juvenile and 2018 Blue Grass Stakes. He ran well to finish second in the Derby, but couldn't pass a well-rated Justify. Trainer Chad Brown won the Preakness a year ago with Cloud Computing and could certainly be primed for a big performance again this year. He will likely be forwardly placed in the Preakness and could find himself with another stretch run against Justify. The second choice of oddsmakers, and clearly second best.
Diamond King (Javier Castellano, +1600): He's won four of six career races and although that translates well on paper, they haven't been nearly as impressive as some of the prep races others have won and his time figures have not been up to par. He takes a huge class jump trying his luck against Grade-1 competition for the first time. While it's possible he just hasn't shown much yet and has improved, his lack of racing experience against top-caliber horses is worrisome.
Quip (Florent Geroux, +1600): He ran well in the Arkansas Derby finishing second to a pressing Magnum Moon. Exiting that race, he didn't look great and connections chose to skip the Kentucky Derby and aim towards the Preakness instead. He should appreciate the time off for rest and recovery and has some definite upside entering fresh. He's another in here which appreciates being forwardly placed and pending a good break, he'll be right in the mix of things. Decent chance.
Bravazo (Luis Saez, +1800): He outperformed his odds of 65/1 in the Derby, rallying for a sixth-place finish. He closed well in a race in which the front runners held strong late, despite having one of the widest trips in the deep stretch. The Preakness should see similar quicker early fractions like the Derby did and it could prove to be advantageous for horses making late bids. He should be positioned somewhere mid-pack and has a chance to hit the board at huge odds once again.
Sporting Chance (Luis Contreras, +2200): Although he wasn't in the Derby, he was featured on the Derby undercard in a completely wide open Pat Day Mile where he was forced eight wide late. He's a temperamental horse who doesn't always feel like racing, which isn't necessarily the best thing for a bettor to see. On Sunday morning when he took to the track in a final workout before the Preakness, connections chose to forego the workout due to his behavior on the track and seemingly not wanting to breeze. The talent is there, but he's a huge wild card.
Tenfold (Ricardo Santana Jr., +2500): With two wins through three career starts, he really takes the term "lightly raced" to a whole new level. His only loss was his most recent start against graded stakes competition in the Arkansas Derby where he stalked the front runners to no avail finishing fifth. Racing wise he wants a similar trip to many others in here, hoping to be close to the pace. Although he's improving with every single race, he hasn't shown nearly enough to be warranted as a contender.
Lone Sailor (Irad Ortiz Jr., +2500): His break in the Derby wasn't ideal, spotting the field ten lengths early and positioning himself right towards the back of the pack. Although he's had slow breaks before he really wanted no part of anything on Derby day. And despite the quicker opening fractions, he made no bid late. He has nine career starts, however, his only win has come against maiden company (horses which have never won a race before). He should take well to the smaller Preakness field, but he hasn't shown enough to be warranted as a contender.
Picks: 1. Justify 2. Sporting Chance 3. Good Magic