2018 Preakness Stakes Contenders
Notes and Information about the Preakness Stakes Contenders
There are typically 10 horses that enter the gates for the second leg of the Triple Crown, which is half the number found in the Kentucky Derby. With plenty of new comers running in the Run for the Black-Eyed Susans, after skipping the Run for the Roses, we will see who can competently take on Derby veterans Justify, Good Magic, Bravazo and Lone Sailor. The race may fall to pace and running style.
The 2018 Preakness Stakes is set to run on May 19th out of Pimlico Racecourse. NBC will be offering its full blown coverage of the event beginning at 2:30pm ET, with TwinSpires TV also broadcasting the event on desktop and mobile devices. Below is a rundown of the field of eight contenders, with Justify leading the way.
Justify (1-2 to win 2018 Preakness)
What Justify emerged quickly in February to become one of the most intriguing bets in his age grade. By vanquishing Bolt d’Oro with ease in the 2018 Santa Anita Derby, and then overwhelming his Kentucky Derby rivals on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs, this Bob Baffert trainee has absolutely established himself as the best in class. Besides living up to hype, Justify has also given horse racing fans something special – legitimate hope for a Triple Crown champion.
Being trained by a six-time Preakness champion in Bob Baffert also certainly helps. Weather is supposed to be unfavorable at Pimlico, and the fact that Justify passed the test so admirably at Churchill Downs suggests that there’s nothing that can stop him. Those heavy odds are the most cavernous we’ve seen since Big Brown in 2008. Yes, that means that Justify has better odds in the 2018 Preakness than both American Pharoah in 2015 and California Chrome in 2014.
Good Magic (3-1 to win 2018 Preakness Stakes)
Last season, Brown entered new shooter Cloud Computing in to the 2017 Preakness with fresh legs. He doesn’t have a prospect filling that bill this season, but Good Magic does enter the race in good form. Unfazed by the rain last time out with a second place finish in the Kentucky Derby, the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champion most certainly feels like the only horse that has a real chance of giving Justify a run.
If anything, Good Magic is a case study in reliability. He is a steady 2-3-1 in six starts throughout his young and prosperous career and has a proven track record for showing up when it truly matters. His losses came in his maiden debut, the 2017 Champagne Stakes and the Fountain of Youth Stakes. He dominated the 2018 Blue Grass on the derby trail. He likely stands out as the only realistic colt that give Justify a serious run for his money.
Quip (12-1 to win 2018 Preakness Stakes)
One of the interesting subplots of Quip’s entry into the Preakness Stakes is that he’s owned by both WinStar Farm and China Horse Club. Those are the same partners who oversee Justify. The conflict of interest doesn’t necessarily exist, partly because Justify has been so much ahead of his competition.
He won the 2018 Tampa Bay Derby in a somewhat average time as a 19-1 longshot, but fell to second against Magnum Moon in the 2018 Arkansas Derby. Magnum Moon went on to finish second last in the opening leg of the Triple Crown, much to the chagrin of his 6-1 odds. So it’s hard to tell what read with Quip. He’s certainly grown as a contender, but it’s difficult to suggest that he’s in the same realm of the favorites.
Lone Sailor (15-1 to win 2018 Preakness Stakes)
Still in search of his first stakes win is Lone Sailor, a GMB Racing product and son of Majestic Warrior. His 8th place finish in the 2018 Kentucky Derby followed a surprising run where he lost to Noble Indy in the Louisiana Derby. Prior to that, it’s been a bag of truly mixed results. His incredibly high odds are likely due to how well he ran in adverse conditions at Churchill Downs. The weather is expected to be similar at Pimlico on May 19th.
Bravazo (20-1 to win 2018 Preakness Stakes)
It seems like ages ago that Bravazo provided the biggest upset on the Kentucky Derby trail when he stormed the 2018 Risen Star as a 21-1 longshot. Since then, he’s been middle of the pack, finishing 8th in the Louisiana Derby and 6th in the Kentucky Derby. Unlike Quip, the other major longshot winner from the derby prep races, Bravazo’s triumph was more of a one-off than a momentum booster.
Tenfold (20-1 to win 2018 Preakness Stakes)
There’s a reasonable undercurrent heading into the Preakness that Tenfold has the potential to be a massive upset specialist. The son of 2007 Preakness winner Curlin is a homegrown product of Winchell Thoroughbreds and is 2-0-0 in three starts, with a pair of allowance wins and a 5th place finish in the Arkansas Derby, where he failed to fire down the homestretch. He’s trained by two-time winner Steve Asmussen and the gamble is that he has made leaps and bounds in maturing physically without much to truly test his mental vigor.
Diamond King (30-1 to win 2018 Preakness Stakes
Diamond King recently won the Federico Tesio, which is a Laurel Park race that acts as a tune-up for Preakness hopefuls. The problem is that only one horse has scored that elusive double result in history. Deupted Testamony won both races in 1983. The only other major race for Diamond King is the 2017 Kentucky Jockey Club, where he was disqualified to last place after losing his rider.
His odds are fair given that he covered 1 1/8th miles in 1:50.31, which isn’t far off from a strong time but still a full second behind the same pace that Justify matched. His speed rating is mid-pack. This Quality Road colt will be well rested for the Preakness, but is doubtful in scoring a win, but as far as hitting the board, he’s not to be overlooked.
Sporting Chance (20-1 to win 2018)
Purchased as a $575,000 yearling and trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Sporting Chance has had a challenging 3-year-old year. He most recently finished 4th in the Pat Day Mile after diverting from the Kentucky Derby. This was following a similar finish in the Blue Grass Stakes, which was preceded by a 5th place run in the Rebel and a 3rd place finish in the Southwest Stakes. You have to go all the way back to September of 2017, where he won the Hopeful, to find a win for Sporting Chance.