May 21 is going to be an important day for the US horse racing season. That’s when the Preakness Stakes takes place at Pimlico in Baltimore. We could well see a horse win the race and be one win away from winning the Triple Crown.
This race has a long history and was first run back in 1873. It takes place two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, which is the first leg of the Triple Crown. The final leg is the Belmont Stakes which takes place on June 11.
May 7 is going to be an important day for those wanting to back the winner of the Preakness Stakes. History shows that the horses that perform well in that race will go on to run at Pimlico and be strong contenders. That was the case last year when all but one of the first four home had taken part in the Kentucky Derby.
The last two years have produced interesting winners of the Preakness Stakes 2020 saw Swiss Skydiver win and become only the sixth filly to win the Preakness. It’s an idea therefore to also look at the winner of the Kentucky Oaks on May 6 as the 2020 winner had won that race.
Current favourite for that race and possible Preakness Stakes entrant is Nurse. Trained by Todd Pletcher, this runner has had five runs and won four of them with a recent win in a Grade 1 race in April. That was a highly impressive win by eight-and-a-half lengths and the winner was eased down in the final furlong.
Another leading contender for the Kentucky Oaks who could head to Pimlico is Echo Zulu , trained by Steve Asmussen. Unbeaten in five races, his most recent success was the Fair Ground Oaks by just a nose.
The race did come after an absence of 141 days after winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies last November. Improvement in May is likely.
The 2021 race may have seen the Kentucky Derby runners doing well but they didn’t win the Preakness Stakes. First home was the 11/1 outsider Rambaeur, will we see another upset this year?
Grade 1 winner Zandon is the early 3/1 favourite for the Kentucky Derby. A win in Kentucky will see him favourite to win the Preakness, the Horse.Bet informed. This year has seen success in the Blue Grass Stakes. Rambauer finished fourth in that race last year before winning the 2021 Preakness Stakes.
The Steve Asmussen trained Epicenter is one to put in your notebooks. Just one loss in four races and the winner of the Louisiana Derby this year. He has a win over the nine-and-a-half furlongs the Preakness is run over, so must be considered.
Taiba hasn’t got a great deal of racetrack experience but has done little wrong in his two races to date. Both were won and the latter was the Santa Anita Derby. The success is needed as Taiba cost $1.7 million to purchase. There’s certainly lots of experience in the saddle with 56-year-old Mike E Smith looking to enjoy a very successful May.
Mo Donegal has a win over Zandon and has only been beaten once himself. That was in a Grade 3 race that was won by White Abarrio (who won the Florida Derby this year) and both could run well in the Preakness Stakes.