It appears we may have a large field for the $1 million Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico on May 15 with as many as a dozen likely to line up for the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
Leading the group is Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Medina Spirit, who took the field gate to wire under the Twin Spires last Saturday, returning $26.20. The win gave Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert a record seventh win in the Run for the Roses.
“So far he came out of the race well,” Baffert said. “I’ll watch them closely. I’ll come back next weekend. But right now, I don’t see anything that would discourage me.”
Baffert has won the Preakness Stakes seven times, tying for the all-time leader in wins with R. Wyndham Walden. Baffert ran second last year with the beaten favorite Authentic, who came up short by a neck, beaten by the filly Swiss Skydiver.
Baffert confirmed on Monday he will start Concert Tour, who won the Rebel (G2) and then ran third in the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park in his last outing.
“They’re both fast. Concert Tour, he’s quick, but the break is so important. They have to break. So many things can go wrong in a race,” Baffert said to Bob Ehalt of Bloodhorse. “I had Dortmund and American Pharoah, they were both fast horses and I just let them run their race and let the best horse win. I don’t worry about that.”
Medina Spirit Wins Kentucky Derby
Trainer Brad Cox, who saddled the Kentucky Derby beaten favorite Essential Quality has three colts possible for the Preakness. Essential Quality was fourth, Mandaloun ran a game second at 26-1 and Caddo River was knocked out of the Kentucky Derby after spiking a fever.
Cox said after the Derby he thought Essential Quality ran best. “I think he was the best horse. People can say what they want. But he was beaten a length and ran 68 feet farther than the winner and had a little bit of trouble at the start,” Cox said.
Out of his trio Caddo River may be the most likely to start in the Preakness. Cox’s first start in a Triple Crown race came in the 2019 Preakness, when Owendale finished third and Warrior’s Charge ran fourth.
Midnight Bourbon checked in sixth for trainer Steve Asmussen after getting bumped around coming out of the gate in the Kentucky Derby under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.
Other possible contenders according to the Maryland Jockey Club include Crowded Trade, who finished third in the Wood Memorial (G2); Rombauer, who finished third in the Blue Grass (G2) after winning the Preakness ‘Win and In’ El Camino Real Derby; Japan-based France Go de Ina, who finished sixth in the UAE Derby (G2); Lexington (G3) winner King Fury, who was knocked out of the Derby with a fever; and Unbridled Honor, who finished second in the Lexington.
Possible Starters for the Preakness Stakes
Get Her Number
France Go De Ina