2016 Preakness Stakes Results
Winning the Kentucky Derby two weeks prior, Nyquist was the no-brainer preference by the 2016 Preakness Stakes oddsmakers. The three-year-old trainee of Doug O’Neill had continued to live up to the hype at every step of the way while heading into the Triple Crown. However, Nyquist would face off with the Derby runner-up, Exaggerator, in this second leg of the Triple Crown.
Rain was a key factor in the race, with downpours turning Pimlico into a proverbial mud bowl. But as they say, the show must go on, and the three-year-old class put on an absolute thriller.
Nyquist exploded out of the gate, much to the delight of the players that backed him as the 3/5 favorite. He led the field into the first-quarter mile with a blazing fast fraction of :22.38, a pace that seemed untenable given the conditions. Uncle Lino attempted to set the pace but found continuous pressure from Nyquist, making life difficult for the 20-1 longshot.
As is his usual style, Exaggerator sat well in the back, biding his time and waiting for the moment to show off his closing speed. Piloted and trained by the Desormeaux brothers, Exaggerator closed as the 3-1 second choice, with Stradivari (8-1) and Collected (10-1) also receiving decent odd values of their own in the Preakness.
The running pace seemed to ease as the 2016 Preakness Stakes field crested the half-mile in a time of :46.56. which is when Exaggerator began to make his move, devouring distance on an inside track that was left wide open. The move was a much earlier trigger for the son of Curlin than seen in his previous races, which is unsuprising with him barely losing the Kentucky Derby.
Nyquist continued to dig deep, and when asked for his best, he gave it. The problem was that Exaggerator had moved to a perfect stalking position at the start of the final turn, giving him a chance to move past Nyquist down the home stretch.
Exaggerator closed in on the rail-hugging Nyquist, who made the curious decision to jump to the outside. That move diminished all of Nyquist’s momentum, and he seemed disheartened in the final moments of the race, as Exaggerator literally ran away with the 2016 Preakness Stakes. As the favorite drifted, Cherry Wine stormed ahead to steal second place at the wire as Nyquist finished third.
Thanks to the incredible victory, Exaggerator paid a solid $7.20, $3.20 and $2.40 across the board. Those that were brave enough to take longshot Cherry Wine were rewarded with $9.80 and $4.20 to place while Nyquist covered $2.20 to show.
Stradivari was good for fourth, while fan favorite Lani pushed himself to fifth place overall. Laoban, Unlce Lino, Fellowship, Awesome Speed, Collected and Abiding Star rounded out the remainder of the order.
While the performance by Nyquist was certainly disappointing, his competitive fire was clearly on display until the final moments. The battle with Exaggerator will continue when the two face off in an expected rematch at the 2016 Belmont Stakes, a race that will feature a test of two champions.
2016 Preakness Stakes Contenders
The list of entrants for the second leg of the Triple Crown tends to be smaller than the first leg, and this season is no different. While twenty suitors lined up for the 2016 Kentucky Derby, the list of 2016 Preakness Stakes contenders is nearly half that.
While plenty of new shooters will enter the Run for the Black-Eyed Susans after skipping out on the Run for the Roses, not many can hold a candle to the standard set by both Nyquist and Exaggerator. This has the makings of a two-horse race with a handful of longshots filling out the gates.
The list of 2016 Preakness Stakes contenders is listed below. The race will run on Saturday, May 21 st out of Pimlico Park and will be the 141 st renewal.
Nyquist – The hype is real. Nyquist vanquished the 2016 Kentucky Derby field and will look to capitalize on his success in the first leg of the Triple Crown by taking the second. He will enter as the odds on favorite without a doubt, along with a massive target on his back.
Exaggerator – The Kentucky Derby runner-up has shown plenty of speed in various conditions, winning an extremely muddy Santa Anita Derby. His ability to close distance over the final measures of a race is certainly impressive, and there are many handicappers that believe he is the only horse amongst Preakness Stakes contenders that can truly rival Nyquist.
Stradavari - A new shooter to the Triple Crown ranks, Stradavari is gaining steam not only as a Todd Pletcher trainee, but as a noted speedster. His time of 1:48.00 over 1 1/8 miles at a recent allowance is considered unearthly, but he has yet to prove what he can do in a stakes race. His backers will be taking a chance on his talent despite lacking experience.
Collected – Winner of both the 2016 Lexington Stakes and the Sunland Park Festival of Racing earlier this season, this son of City Zip is also a new shooter who is trained by the legendary Bob Baffert.
Lani – The celebrated fan favorite, who has captivated mainstream audiences with his unique personality, has made the most of his migration from Japan. While a 9 th place finish at the recent renewal of the derby is respectable, he has a lot of ground to cover in order to be a favorable play against his fellow Preakness Stakes contenders.
Awesome Speed – A son of 1998 Breeders’ Cup Champion Awesome Again, there are reasonably high expectations for this three-year-old colt. He won the local Federico Tesio at Laurel Park.
Laoban – A pure longshot, Laoban is a son of Uncle Mo who finished 4 th at the Blue Grass Stakes, 2nd at the Gotham Stakes and 3 rd at the Sham Stakes prior to the start of the 2016 Triple Crown series.
Uncle Lino – Uncle Lino won the inaugural California Chrome Stakes in late April right before the Kentucky Derby kicked off, but was also a third place finisher to Exaggerator at the Santa Anita Derby. He forwent the Kentucky Derby while his connections are attempting to take advantage of a slimmer field. The expected frontrunner may not have the gas to go wire to wire.
Fellowship – Few Preakness Stakes contenders are as seasons as Fellowship, who has run in five races already this year. He placed third at the Holy Bull Stakes, Fountain of Youth Stakes and the Florida Derby during the prep race circuit, but skipped the Kentucky Derby itself to instead run the Pat Day Mile on the undercard. He placed 4 th in that race.
Cherry Wine - To put things simply, Cherry Wine will have to have the race of a lifetime to be a factor in this race. He placed 3 rd at the Blue Grass Stakes and 4th at the Rebel Stakes on the derby trail and skipped the Kentucky Derby.
Abiding Star – Instead of the 2016 Kentucky Derby, Abiding Star’s connections decided to make his stakes debut at the Parx Derby. He did not run in any prep races on the derby trail, and will be a low upside, new shooter amongst the Preakess Stakes contenders.