California Chrome is the favorite to win the 2014 Preakness Stakes. Credit: Getty Images
Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome was assigned post three for the Preakness Stakes, which will take place this Saturday at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland.
California Chrome, who will be ridden by Victor Espinoza, was tabbed as the decisive 3-5 morning line favorite. He will face nine others, many of whom are new to the Triple Crown trail.
Leading the parade of would-be spoilers is Social Inclusion, who was last seen finishing third in Aqueduct’s Wood Memorial. Two starts back, Social Inclusion set the track record for 8 1/2 furlongs at Gulfstream Park. He was set as the 9-2 second choice, and will break from post eight under Florida-based jockey Luis Contreras.
Another dangerous rival who missed the Kentucky Derby is Bayern, who faded after setting the pace in the Arkansas Derby in March and was disqualified from a win at Churchill Downs in April. He will most likely be part of what is expected to be a very fast early pace. He was set at 10-1 and drew post five. Bayern will be ridden by Rosie Napravnik, who will try to become the first female jockey to win the Preakness.
Kid Cruz, who won the Pimlico’s Federico Tesio Stakes last time out, will try to close into the expected hot pace. He was supposed to run in the Wood Memorial, but was scratched due to a fever. The colt named after New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz was set at 20-1 and will go from post seven.
Among the horses coming into the Preakness from the Kentucky Derby is Ride On Curlin, who had a tough trip from post 19. Things get a little easier for him here, but he is still on the extreme outside, assigned post 10. The owners were unhappy with the ride their colt received in the Kentucky Derby and decided to replace jockey Calvin Borel with Joel Rosario, one of the top riders in the country.
Ria Antonia, vying to become the sixth filly to win the Preakness Stakes, is a 30-1 longshot. Since winning the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Fillies by disqualification in November, she has failed to win in her three subsequent starts, including a sixth place finish in the Kentucky Oaks two weeks ago. She has controversially received two different trainer changes since February. Calvin Borel has the mount from post six.
Rounding out the field are Dynamic Impact, who won the Illinois Derby last time out, General A Rod, who finished 11th in the Kentucky Derby, Ring Weekend, who missed the Derby due to a sickness, and Pablo Del Monte, whose connections skipped the Derby due to the bad post draw as an also-eligible.
The full field can be seen here (post position, jockey, odds):