2019 Preakness Stakes Study Guide

May 16, 2019 John Mucciolo/TwinSpires.com

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.

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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)*

7 Starts   Owner: 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.

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