Post positions were selected for the 130th Preakness on Wednesday afternoon in the ESPNzone in Baltimore, Maryland. As in the past, the horses were drawn at random for a selection order and their connections then picked their post positions. A full field of fourteen was drawn for the first time since 1992, with Afleet Alex set as the morning line favorite at 5-2 while Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo was set at 6-1 as the fourth choice. The local hope in the race is 20-1 longshot Malibu Moonshine, winner of the Federico Tesio for longtime Maryland trainer King Leatherbury, a lifetime winner of over 6000 races. Malibu Moonshine will be his first Preakness starter in twenty years.
John Shirreffs and Jerry Moss
John Shirreffs, trainer of Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, had the unfortunate luck of being the 13th to select a post, and he had just the two outermost posts to choose from. He elected to take the 13 stall, leaving D. Wayne Lukas to take the 14 hole as the last remaining trainer to choose. Shirreffs said, "I thought by taking Post 13 he wouldn't be the last horse to load in the gate and it would give him a chance to settle a little bit." When asked about not being made the favorite, Giacomo's owner Jerry Moss said, "The horse doesn't know what his odds are. We're okay. Whatever happens, happens."
Tim Ritchey, trainer of Afleet Alex said, "He's trained well, he's eating everything, he'll be ready." Asked about his horse being named the morning line favorite and Derby winner Giacomo the fourth choice, he added, "It doesn't matter if you're 20-1 or 9-5, you still have to go out there and run the race and win the race, so hopefully we'll do that. Giacomo will be bet down a little more than people think. He is the Derby winner and he ran a tremendous race at the end and he finished strong. The fact that he's the Derby winner means he'll get more respect." Afleet Alex will have regular rider Jeremy Rose, who started his career in Maryland, aboard once again on Saturday.
Trainer Nick Zito has three entries this time, down from the five he had for the Kentucky Derby. When asked about the difficulties of having 3 horses entered for 3 different owners, Nick Zito said, "This isn't about the owners, it's about the horses. This is horse racing. They're equine stars. So, I happen to have the right owners, who are high class people, quality people, and I have no problem with them." Asked about the posts, "Every one of our horses drew well. They'll do fine. They are genuine Grade 1 horses." On High Fly being made the second favorite, he said "No question it's a compliment. Jerry Bailey's on the horse. High Fly is no bad horse he's run some beautiful races. Even his Derby he tried right to the very end."
Be sure to click the link on each horse's name to view full info, stats, and a photo where available. A star by the dosage indicates a dual qualifier.
Who will win the Preakness?
Triple Crown quick links:
Top Kentucky Derby Contenders - my list of the top horses headed to the Derby with profiles for each with photos, stats, and link to more info like past performances and pedigree.
Analyzing the top 2013 Kentucky Derby contenders - My annual analysis of the top contenders to try and select a winner by matching each to the profile of a Kentucky Derby winner using many of the more popular angles and statistical trends. This year there were is a 3-way tie for the top spot: Goldencents, Normandy Invasion, and Overanalyze.
2013 Kentucky Derby And Oaks Security - New enhanced stricter rules will be enforced this year. Be sure to read the rules as many have changed and more things are banned. There will still be magnetic wand searches of all patrons and many things are no longer allowed. Check here to make sure you don't bring anything they will confiscate.
Review: Triple Crown Handicapper 2013 - by Jim Mazur. Includes lots of stats for all 3 races and explains how to use a system of statistically derived negative angles to eliminate the "bad" picks.
Review: Kentucky Derby Greatest Moments - Commemorative DVD from Churchill Downs with video from 27 different runnings along with interviews, photos, and historical info. Definitely recommended for any racing fan!
Review: Churchill Downs - America's Most Historic Racetrack by Kimberly Gatto. An entertaining and informative account of the history of the track and it's most famous race, the Kentucky Derby, with lots of photos. Definitely recommended.