A baker's dozen of sophomores will travel 1 3/16 miles at Pimlico in Saturday's $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1). The middle jewel of the Triple Crown is without the top-three finishers in Louisville two weeks ago, but an excellent field of three-year-olds will take aim at capturing the Woodlawn Vase on Saturday.
Here is the cast:
War of Will Career Racing Stats
*Top BRIS Speed rating (96) in Risen Star Stakes (G2) victory*
|9 Starts||Owner: Gary Barber||Sire: War Front|
|3 Wins||Breeder: Flaxman Holdings Ltd. (KY)||Dam: Visions of Clarity|
|1 Place||Trainer: Mark Casse||Color: Bay|
|1 Show||Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione|
Total Career Earnings: $501,569
Classy colt had a compromising trip in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and will aim to validate himself at Pimlico. The Mark Casse trainee is a talented sort with a versatile running style, and he will be a major factor if he is more relaxed early on this Saturday. Tyler Gaffalione retains the mount and he will have to overcome the rail post once again.
Bourbon War Career Racing Stats
*Top BRIS Speed rating (96) in Remsen Stakes (G2) fourth and allowance victory*
|5 Starts||Owner: Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable||Sire: Tapit|
|2 Wins||Breeder: Conquest Stables LLC (KY)||Dam: My Conquestadory|
|1 Place||Trainer: Mark Hennig||Color: Bay|
|0 Show||Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.|
Total Career Earnings: $202,100
This dangerous Triple Crown newcomer makes his first run since finishing fourth in the Florida Derby (G1) in March. The Mark Hennig trainee is bred for classic distances and will add blinkers in advance of his biggest test to date. The late runner could benefit from the expected healthy pace to run at late.
Warrior's Charge Career Racing Stats
*Top BRIS Speed rating (99) in allowance romp*
|5 Starts||Owner: Ten Strike Racing and Madaket Stables LLC||Sire: Munnings|
|2 Wins||Breeder: Al Shaquab Racing (FL)||Dam: Battling Brook|
|0 Place||Trainer: Brad Cox||Color: Dark Bay|
|3 Show||Jockey: Javier Castellano|
Total Career Earnings: $138,110
This peaking colt comes in with a pair of facile wins against lesser at Oaklawn Park. The dark bay colt has never been better and has flourished since showing speed from the start. The Florida-bred faces a tall task in a race with other speed in the fold but he benefits by picking up top jockey Javier Castellano.
Improbable Career Racing Stats
*Top BRIS Speed rating (100) in Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) score*
|6 Starts||Owner: WinStar Farm LLC, China Horse Club Int'l Ltd and Starlight Racing||Sire: City Zip|
|3 Wins||Breeder: St. George Farm LLC & G. Watts Humphrey Jr. (KY)||Dam: Rare Event|
|2 Place||Trainer: Bob Baffert||Color: Chestnut|
|0 Show||Jockey: Mike Smith|
Total Career Earnings: $769,520
Bob Baffert's Grade 1-winning star was hemmed in until late when favored in the Kentucky Derby (G1), though he still ran a fine race when elevated to fourth. The consistently very good son of City Zip has run quite well in every lifetime performance and deserves to be favored in Baltimore. The horse to beat could shine with the move to jockey Mike Smith.
Owendale Career Racing Stats
*Top BRIS Speed rating (99) in Lexington Stakes (G3) victory*
|8 Starts||Owner: Rupp Racing||Sire: Into Mischief|
|3 Wins||Breeder: Stonestreet Throughbred Holdings LLC (KY)||Dam: Aspen Light|
|1 Place||Trainer: Brad Cox||Color: Bay|
|1 Show||Jockey: Florent Geroux|
Total Career Earnings: $187,225
The recent Lexington Stakes (G3) victor made an eye-catching move at Keeneland to sweep by his foes en route to his initial graded win. The bay colt is two-for-three in 2019 and seems to be coming into his own in advance of his Triple Crown debut. The Kentucky-bred smoked a bullet five furlongs last weekend, and pilot Florent Geroux chose to ride him over his stablemate.
Market King Career Racing Stats
*Top BRIS Speed rating (88) for third-placing in Rebel Stakes (G2)*
|8 Starts||Owner: Robert C. Baker and William L. Mack||Sire: Into Mischief|
|1 Wins||Breeder: Flaxman Holdings Ltd. (KY)||Dam: Divine Presence|
|1 Place||Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas||Color: Bay|
|2 Show||Jockey: Jon Court|
Total Career Earnings: $148,007
This $550,000 yearling has yet to run to his price tag for the legendary D. Wayne Lukas. The Rebel Stakes (G2) third-placer would need a massive form reversal in the Preakness after being defeated by 37 lengths in the Bluegrass Stakes (G2) most recently. Jon Court will be in the irons atop the speedy sophomore.
Alwaysmining Career Racing Stats
*Top BRIS Speed rating (99) for consecutive wins in Private Terms Stakes and Federico Tesio Stakes*
|12 Starts||Owner: Runnymede Racing LLC||Sire: Stay Thirsty|
|7 Wins||Breeder: Avla Pitts (MD)||Dam: What Will Be|
|0 Place||Trainer: Kelly Rubley||Color: Dark Bay|
|1 Show||Jockey: Daniel Centeno|
Total Career Earnings: $386,192
This local standout is perfect in 2019 and rolls in on a six-race win streak for conditioner Kelly Rubley. The Maryland-bred owns big early foot and a strong closing kick in advance of his graded debut in the Preakness. This Stay Thirsty gelding will be an imposing figure if he clears the field early on from an ideal post position. He signaled his readiness for the Preakness with a bullet four-furlong drill in preparation of this assignment.
Signalman Career Racing Stats
*Top BRIS Speed rating (99) for third-placing in Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1)*
Tommie Lewis, Steve Crabtree, Dean Demaree,
David Bernsen, Jim Chambers, Magdalena Farm
|Sire: General Quarters|
|2 Wins||Breeder: Monticule (KY)||Dam: Trip South|
|2 Place||Trainer: Kenny McPeek||Color: Bay|
|2 Show||Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.|
Total Career Earnings: $552,990
This Grade 2 winner showed improvement in his second attempt of the season with a third-place finish in the Blue Grass Stakes (G3) most recently. The two-time Grade 1-placed colt showed his class as a juvenile, and he could be a longshot contender with another step forward in a third start off the layoff. Regular rider Brian Hernandez Jr. will be at the controls once again.
Bodexpress Career Racing Stats
*Top BRIS Speed rating (98) in Florida Derby (G1) second*
|6 Starts||Owner: Top Racing LLC, Global Thoroughbreds and GDS Racing Stable||Sire: Bodemeister|
|0 Wins||Breeder: Martha Jane Mulholland (KY)||Dam: Pied a Terre|
|3 Place||Trainer: Gustavo Delgado||Color: Bay|
|0 Show||Jockey: John Velazquez|
Total Career Earnings: $208,700
This interesting sort faded late in the Kentucky Derby after being part of the traffic along the backstretch. The maiden should take a big step forward in his second race in eight weeks, though he still picks a very ambitious spot to earn his first lifetime tally. The rider change to John Velazquez is a superb move, however.
Everfast Career Racing Stats
*Top BRIS Speed rating (94) for second in Holy Bull Stakes (G2)*
|10 Starts||Owner: Calumet Farm||Sire: Take Charge Indy|
|1 Wins||Breeder: Extern Developments (KY)||Dam: Awesome Surprise|
|1 Place||Trainer: Dale Romans||Color: Bay|
|1 Show||Jockey: Joel Rosario|
Total Career Earnings: $134,805
This longshot has been trounced in a trio of graded races
by a combined 43 lengths following his Holy Bull Stakes (G2) second at 128-1
odds. The Kentucky-bred late runner will have Joel Rosario in the reins, but he
still looks tough to envision with his current form line.
Laughing Fox Career Racing Stats
*Top BRIS Speed rating (96) in Oaklawn Invitational Stakes win*
|4 Starts||Owner: Alex and Joann Lieblong||Sire: Union Rags|
|3 Wins||Breeder: Chester and Anne Prince (KY)||Dam: Saskawea|
|0 Place||Trainer: Steve Asmussen||Color: Chestnut|
|0 Show||Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.|
Total Career Earnings: $338,518
This colt punched his Preakness ticket with a game victory in the inaugural Oaklawn Invitational Stakes two weeks back. The $375,000 auction purchase has a nice turn of foot and could be a viable contender if he receives a fast pace to rally into in the stretch. It's worth note that Laughing Fox was just one length behind Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Country House in the Arkansas Derby (G1) two back.
Anothertwistafate Career Racing Stats
*Top BRIS Speed rating (99) in El Camino Real Derby romp*
|6 Starts||Owner: Peter Redekop B C Ltd.||Sire: Scat Daddy|
|4 Wins||Breeder: Pursuit of Success LLC (KY)||Dam: Imprecation|
|2 Place||Trainer: Blaine Wright||Color: Dark Bay|
|0 Show||Jockey: Jose Ortiz|
Total Career Earnings: $303,505
This son of the late Scat Daddy has been very sharp in five races in succession for trainer Blaine Wright. The Kentucky-bred enters off runner-up finishes in both the Sunland Derby (G3) and Lexington Stakes (G3) after encountering traffic problems in each event. He will be fit following a bullet six-furlong drill at Golden Gate Fields.
Win Win Win Career Racing Stats
*Top BRIS Speed rating (101) in Pasco Stakes triumph*
|7 Starts||Owner: Live Oak Plantation||Sire: Hat Trick|
|3 Wins||Breeder: Live Oak Stud (FL)||Dam: Miss Smarty Pants|
|2 Place||Trainer: Michael Trombetta||Color: Dark Bay|
|1 Show||Jockey: Julian Pimentel|
Total Career Earnings: $367,300
The Kentucky Derby (G1) ninth never made an impact at Churchill Downs following a poor break, but the stakes-winning colt finished with energy in the stretch. This sophomore has Maryland roots from his juvenile campaign and wouldn't need huge improvement to be a factor in the Preakness Stakes. The homebred is training well but was saddled with the widest post in the field. A swift and contested pace would aid the late runner.