10 Colts and 1 Filly Line Up For Classic Race
BALTIMORE, Md. – The $1 million, Grade 1 Preakness is finally here and the Kentucky Derby winner Authentic was made the 9-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s race at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. The race is also a “Win and You’re In” Challenge Race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by John Velazquez, Authentic drew the No. 9 post position in the field of 11.
“He’s handled everything that’s been thrown at him,” Velazquez said. “I don’t see why he won’t do the same thing (Saturday) that he’s done at other tracks.”
Traditionally the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, the Preakness will be the final race in this year’s revamped Triple Crown schedule. Belmont winner Tiz the Law will not run in the Preakness, skipping the race to prepare for the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 7 at Keeneland.
With seven Preakness victories, Baffert is tied with R. Wyndham Walden for the most in races history. The Hall of Fame trainer goes for win number eight on Saturday. He has two chances.
Along with Authentic, Baffert also has Thousand Words in the Preakness. Thousand Words (6-1 in the Preakness morning line) was scratched from the Kentucky Derby after falling in the paddock prior to the race.
Authentic had his final breeze for the Preakness on Monday at Churchill Downs, going four furlongs in 47.60 seconds. He’s scheduled to ship to Baltimore on Tuesday.
“He’s such an amazing horse,” exercise rider Martin Garcia said after Authentic’s breeze. “He worked awesome. I’ve worked a lot of nice horses for trainer Bob Baffert in California, and this horse is just as special. He’s doing amazing for the Preakness.”
Art Collector is the 5-2 second choice in the Preakness morning line. Trained by Tommy Drury Jr., Art Collector was scratched out of the Kentucky Derby four days before the race because of a minor injury to his left front heel.
Art Collector is four for four in 2020, including victories in the Grade 1 Blue Grass and the Ellis Park Derby.
The lone filly in the mix at 6-1, Swiss Skydiver is the co-third choice with Thousand Words. Swiss Skydiver finished second in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks on Sept. 4 and will try to become the sixth filly to win the Preakness and first since Rachel Alexandra in 2009.
Trainer Steve Asmussen, who just won his 9,000th race and was twice the Preakness victor with Curlin (2007) and Rachel Alexandra (2009) will be bringing three contenders: Fifth-place Kentucky Derby finisher Max Player, Pegasus winner Pneumatic and Rebel runner-up Excession.
145th Preakness Stakes
Post time: 5:36 p.m. Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. Purse: $1 million. Grade: 1. Distance: 1 3/16 miles. TV: NBC (4:30-6 p.m.).
Post, horse, trainer, jockey, odds
1. Excession, Steve Asmussen, Sheldon Russell, 30-1
2. Mr. Big News, Bret Calhoun, Gabriel Saez, 12-1
3. Art Collector, Tommy Drury Jr., Brian Hernandez Jr., 5-2
4. Swiss Skydiver, Kenny McPeek, Robby Albarado, 6-1
5. Thousand Words, Bob Baffert, Florent Geroux, 6-1
6. Jesus’ Team, Jose D’Angelo, Jevian Toledo, 30-1
7. Ny Traffic, Saffie Joseph Jr., Horacio Karamanos, 15-1
8. Max Player, Steve Asmussen, Paco Lopez, 15-1
9. Authentic, Bob Baffert, John Velazquez, 9-5
10. Pneumatic, Steve Asmussen, Joe Bravo, 20-1
11. Liveyourbeastlife, Jorge Abreu, Trevor McCarthy, 30-1
For more info visit Preakness.com.