California Chrome in his stall at Pimlico on Wednesday afternoon.
Post positions were drawn for the 139th Preakness Stakes (G1) on Wednesday afternoon in the International Pavilion in the infield at Pimlico Race Course. A field of only 10 was drawn this year using the traditional double-blind system, with Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome, who drew post 3, set as the 3-5 favorite on the morning line set by Keith Feustle, who took for Frank Carulli who retired last year. Social Inclusion, who missed the Kentucky Derby due to lack of points, is the second choice at 5-1 from post 8. Bayern, disqualified winner of the Derby Trial, and Ride On Curlin, seventh in the Kentucky Derby, are the co-third choices at 10-1 from posts 5 and 10 respectively.
Drawing the posts with the Woodlawn Vase on display.
California Chrome's trainer Art Sherman said, "(No.) 3 might actually be an advantage for me. They have all the speed on the outside. If I was riding the race, I'd say, 'Well, I've got to get a clean break. See where they're going out of the gate. It gives me an idea of who will be sending, and they will be sending; get into that first turn with a good position and then down the backside, pick my spot where I want to be.' My horse is kind of push-button. People don't know that he's got enough lick that he can stay with any horse in the race. He likes a target to run at and I know that (jockey)Victor (Espinoza) is going to ride him well."
The post positions for the Preakness Stakes.
Ron Sanchez, owner of second choice Social Inclusion who drew post 8, said, "The first time I heard 8, I was a little concerned. But not now, with Ria Antonia and Kid Cruz inside with less speed and with two speed horses outside, that'll help us. We'll be in good position in the early stages. I didn't like being on the outside in the Wood, but the Pimlico front stretch is a little bit longer. My horse is more experienced now and he is multi-faceted. He has speed and strength. Everyone is impressed with California Chrome. I think he'll run a good race, but this is a better field. Every owner here thinks they can beat California Chrome, but obviously the oddsmaker didn't think so."
Kaleem Shah, owner of Bayern who drew post 5, said, "The post position is fine. He just has to run his race. We know that California Chrome is the horse to beat. We'll see what happens."
Ride On Curlin drew post 10 and his trainer Billy Gowan said, "It's OK; I'm an outsider anyhow. I don't think it's bad here. With the kind of pace we have in the field, I think it's fine. When I got the 19 in the Derby, I wasn't too pleased with it, but what are you gonna do?"
Be sure to click the link on each horse's name to view full info, stats, and a photo. Click here to skip straight to the entries. Free past performances are available here (look for Bayern).
Triple Crown quick links:
Who will win the 2014 Preakness?
Analyzing the Preakness Stakes Contenders for 2014 - Here my annual analysis of the current contenders to try and pick a winner based on angles and statistical trends to match them with the profile of a Preakness winner. This year the Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome was an easy top choice. Check out all the contenders here. New!
California Chrome wins the Kentucky Derby - California Chrome stalked the pace then took the lead after a mile and drew off to win the Kentucky Derby (G1) by 1 3/4 lengths over longshot Commanding Curve and Danza. Get the results, charts, and photos here. New!
Preakness Entry Rules - the field is limited to 14 starters, here is how they determine the order of preference if more than that enter.
Fillies in the Preakness Stakes - a look at the 53 fillies who have run in the Preakness and how they did. So far there have been 5 wins, 5 seconds, and 8 thirds.
Preakness Infield - After the massive tightening of the rules which resulted in a huge drop in attendance in 2009, things have relaxed slightly and you can buy a special "all you can drink beer" Mug Club ticket.