Preakness Betting News and Notes

Preakness Betting News and Notes

Preakness Countdown - Part I
By Anthony Stabile
VegasInsider.com

It appears as if just eight others will line up against Kentucky Derby winner Orb in the 138th Preakness Stakes this Saturday at Pimlico, and of those eight, five are conditioned by trainers that can already say they’ve won the second jewel of the Triple Crown, including Doug O’Neill, who trained last years’ Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another. This year, he’ll be represented by one of the biggest flops from the Derby, GOLDENCENTS.

Up until the Derby, Goldencents had done little wrong in his six prior starts. As a juvenile, Goldencents won two of his three starts, including the slot money-laden purse of the Delta Jackpot and was second to eventual B.C. Juvenile and Eclipse champ Shanghai Bobby in the prestigious Champagne at Belmont Park.

Goldencents started his sophomore campaign off on the right foot with a win in the Sham before failing as the 2-1 second choice in the San Felipe after getting cooked in an early speed duel. He rebounded nicely to take the Santa Anita Derby at better than 6-1 in his last start before the Run for the Roses.
   
In the Derby, Goldencents was sent hard early as was expected by regular rider Kevin Krigger but never got to the front, a spot occupied by unlikely pacesetter Palace Malice. By the time the real running began, Goldencents, a son of Into Mischief, had already called it a day and was eased up in the late stages, ultimately finishing seventeenth, beaten nearly 50 lengths. In his defense, Goldencents never appeared to take a hold of the sloppy track at Churchill in what was his first start over a wet course.

A son of Into Mischief, Goldencents will try to come back in just two weeks while trying to make O’Neill the first trainer to win back to back runnings of the Preakness since Bob Baffert pulled it off in 2001 and 2002.

Speaking of the Silver-Haired Fox, Baffert will send out GOVENOR CHARLIE in here after not having a runner in the Derby for the first time in five years. A five-time Preakness winner, with Silver Charm in 1997, Real Quiet in 1998 and Lookin at Lucky in 2010 being his other three, Govenor Charlie was in fact the last Baffert colt standing that was even being considered for the Derby before he was taken out of the mix just five days before the race because he had some missed some time in the weeks leading up to the race.

A lightly raced son of sprint champion and former Baffert trainee Midnight Lute, Govenor Charlie didn’t make his debut until mid-January where he finished second in a seven eighths maiden race at Santa Anita. He promptly broke his maiden in his two turn debut next out by a neck after alternating on the lead the entire way.

In his stakes debut last out, Govenor Charlie shipped to Sunland Park for the Sunland Derby and once again battled for the lead most of the way. But unlike in his maiden score, Govenor Charlie put his rivals away on the far turn and cruised to a five length win in track record time under his regular rider Martin Garcia, who piloted Lookin at Lucky for Baffert three years ago.

Since his last start in late March, has worked just five times but, as is Baffert’s custom, they’ve all been fairly serious moves, including his last going six furlongs on 5/13 at Churchill in a wicked 1:10 4/5.

Like Baffert, trainer D. Wayne Lukas will be looking for his sixth Preakness score on Saturday but, unlike Bullet Bob who has just one starter, Lukas will fire three bullets at the blanket of Black Eyed Susans. Lukas won the 1980 Preakness with Codex, Tank’s Prospect in 1985, Tabasco Cat in 1994, Timber Country in 1995 and Charismatic in 1999.

Two of his three Preakness starters, OXBOW and WILL TAKE CHARGE, come into this off of what many are considering sneaky, if not spectacularly good efforts in the Derby, where they finished sixth and eighth, respectively.

Under Gary Stevens, a two-time winner of the Preakness himself with Silver Charm and Point Given, Oxbow broke from stall two in the Derby and was actually the first horse into the gate after the scratch of rail drawn Black Onyx. The draw obviously hurt and Oxbow was never really able to get off the inside which clearly was not the place to be on Derby Day.

Still, Oxbow managed to grab the lead ever so briefly turning for home before getting passed by several late runners in mid-stretch. Lukas breezed Oxbow an easy half mile on 5/13 at Churchill in :49 4/5 for this.

Earlier in his career, Oxbow, by Awesome Again, broke his maiden in a seven furlong maiden race at Churchill late last fall before closing out his juvenile campaign with a fourth place finish in the CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park. He started this season with a daylight score in the LeComte at the Fair Grounds, was second in the Rebel and finished off the board in the Risen Star and Arkansas Derby.

Rebel winner Will Take Charge was making his first start in seven weeks last out in Louisville and was compromised a bit when making his run through the stretch, running up on the heels of a tiring Verrazano. Lukas has decided to switch riders to Mike Smith. Smith won the 1993 renewal aboard Prairie Bayou.

By Unbridled’s Song, Will Take Charge won once in four tries as a two-year-old before taking a pair of stakes at Oaklawn from four tries this year. Like Oxbow, he worked a half-mile at Churchill on 5 1/3 but in a much faster :48 1/5.

Finally, new shooter TITLETOWN FIVE, a son of Tiznow, will be ridden by Julien Leparoux and appears to be the quickest of the three Lukas runners, especially in the early going.

A winner just once in seven tries, Titletown Five finished between the now injured Violence and Orb in a maiden race at the Spa in his third start before breaking his maiden in the last start of his two-year-old campaign when adding Lasix.

This year, Titletown Five was second in a minor stakes at Oaklawn Park before finishing off the board in both the Louisiana Derby and Derby Trial. He finished his serious preparations for this with a sharp half-mile drill in :47 3/5 at Churchill on 5/7.

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Re: Preakness Betting News and Notes

Preakness Countdown - Part II
By Anthony Stabile
VegasInsider.com

Kentucky Derby winner ORB will try to make it six in a row and add the second jewel of racings’ Triple Crown to his already gaudy resume when he takes on eight rivals in the 138th running of the Preakness this Saturday at Pimlico. Five of his Derby foes are coming back for a second shot at Orb while three new shooters will be running in an American classic for the first time.

It took Orb, by the now fashionable sire Malibu Moon, four starts to break his maiden, which he did going, a mile at Aqueduct last fall. In those first three efforts, Orb encountered some trouble at the start and dealt with some bad gate problems he had early on in his training.

Orb certainly proved the past is the past this winter at Gulfstream, rattling off three straight come from behind victories in three races, including the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby, that couldn’t have set up more differently if they tried. Whether they sizzled or dawdled early on it made no difference to Orb who always came running late to take care of his business.

In the Derby they sizzled once again and Orb was probably further off the pace than anyone, including his trainer Shug McGaughey, could have imagined. Once again, though, it mattered little. Over a sloppy track, Orb was kept off the pace and out of any trouble by his rider Joel Rosario and began to pick horses off one by one. In the stretch, Orb stormed to the lead and drew away to a 2 ½ length score.

Beaming with confidence, McGaughey set Orb’s itinerary hours after his Derby tally, announcing the colt would have a work the Monday or Tuesday before the Preakness and would ship soon after. True to his word, Orb worked a sensational half mile in :47 on 5/13 and boarded a van for Baltimore several hours later.

Perhaps the horse with the best chance of stopping Orb’s impressive run is an old friend of his, DEPARTING. You see, like most of Orb’s fellow color-bearers he was born at the storied Claiborne Farm, who in turn is one of Departing’s owners. As yearlings, Orb and Departing shared a paddock for almost a year. Less than three years later, they’ll share a racetrack with Departing trying to stop Orb from making history.

No slouch himself, Departing has won four of his five starts and should be able to work out a pretty nice trip in the Preakness. After winning his first three starts for trainer Al Stall, Jr, including a minor stakes at Sam Houston, Departing tried the big boys in the Louisiana Derby, and in my opinion, got a terrible ride from B.J. Hernandez, who Stall has decided to stick with.

At the Fair Grounds that day, Departing was a bit further off the pace than usual then encountered a couple of blindswitches heading into the far turn. By the time Departng was free and clear of traffic it was over and Departing finished third , beaten 3 ¼ lengths.

Stall abandoned any Derby thoughts and pointed Departing to the Illinois Derby at Hawthorne Park, a race overlooked by the Kentucky Derby Points System, that was now being marketed as a Preakness prep. Sporting Lasix for the first time from post 13, Departing raced wide throughout but rolled to a 3 ¼ length score nonetheless.

Since that race, Stall hasn’t done much with Departing, working him a half mile twice at Churchill, in :49 on 5/2 and :50 2/5 on 5/12.

Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. has to be hoping the third time’s the charm for his colt ITSMYLUCKYDAY when it comes to toppling the Derby winner. He first tried in the Florida Derby as the 8-5 favorite and actually had the lead turning for home before Orb went by him in mid-stretch then made very little noise as one of those “under the radar” types in Louisville where he finished fifteenth, exactly 22 ¼ lengths behind his rival.

After the race, Plesa said the sloppy track was likely to blame for the poor performance despite having said on the walk over to the paddock that he’d already trained and run well over wet tracks in the past.

In his two starts this year before running into Orb, Itsmyluckyday has been the center of attention, galloping home by six lengths in the Gulfstream Park Derby on New Years’ Day before grinding out a two length score over Eclipse champ Shanghai Bobby in the Holy Bull.

By Lawyer Ron, Itsmyluckyday has won five or his eleven starts overall and will get a huge rider change to John Velazquez on Saturday. After not breezing Itsmyluckyday in the nine days before the Derby, Plesa worked his colt a sharp half mile in :47 1/5 between races at Monmouth Park on 5/12.

One Derby also-ran that did seem to relish the off going was MYLUTE, a fast closing fifth, beaten a shade under four lengths despite having raced wide and encountering some early traffic under Rosie Napravnik, who’ll be riding in her first Preakness after cutting her teeth and first making somewhat of a name for herself on the Maryland circuit.

Napravnik and Mylute, a son of Midnight Lute, teamed up once prior to the Derby and the result was a resounding 10 ¾ length allowance score in the final start of his two-year-old campaign that included a pair of wins and placings in a couple of stakes at Delta Downs, including a third place finish in the Delta Jackpot.

While that allowance win was easily his most visually impressive performance to date, his two fastest have been in his last pair of starts since trainer Tom Amoss removed the blinkers Mylute had worn throughout his career. Two starts back, Mylute just missed capturing the Louisiana Derby when he fell a neck short to third place Kentucky Derby finisher Revolutionary.

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Re: Preakness Betting News and Notes

Preakness Picks and Odds
By: The Linemakers   
Sportingnews.com

No one will argue that Orb's Kentucky Derby-winning performance wasn't impressive. The 5-to-1 favorite, under jockey Joel Rosario, took command in mid-stretch en route to a 2½-length victory and a 104 Beyer Speed Figure. It was the Shug McGaughey-trained colt's fifth-straight victory.

McGaughey is super-confident about his three-year-old, gushing about the colt's “breathtaking” workout Monday at Belmont Park and proclaiming, “it sent cold chills up my back.”

But the sloppy Churchill Downs conditions and quick pace favored Orb on Derby day. Saturday’s Preakness is bound to play out a little differently.

While he brushed off any concern, McGaughey can’t be pleased with Orb drawing the inside post, which doesn’t suit the horse’s late-running style well.

Besides, playing even-money favorites just isn’t our thing here at The Linemakers. So, as you might expect, we’ll look elsewhere.

Lou D'Amico, our go-to guy for horse racing, offers his top-four selections.

WIN – WILL TAKE CHARGE. One of three entrants from Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, Will Take Charge gets a major jockey upgrade, from Jon Court to Mike Smith. His eighth-place effort in the Derby may have been hampered by a 49-day layoff after his win in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park, as well as having to check to avoid the drifting Verrazano. We don’t think we’ve seen his best race yet.

PLACE – ORB. Yes, we’re taking a shot against the Derby winner with our win bet, but leaving him out of our exotics is too tall an order. Play him in your exactas, trifectas and superfectas.

SHOW– MYLUTE. This colt came from 19 lengths back to finish fifth in the Derby, despite not being bred for an off-track. Jockey Rosie Napravnik knows every inch of this Pimlico course, and her mount should be closing hard at the end of the Preakness.

FOURTH – DEPARTING. The Illinois Derby winner skipped the Derby but comes in with four victories in five career starts. He could get a piece of this, and we'll throw him in our exotics.

1 Orb Even-money
2 Goldencents 8-1
3 Titletown Five 30-1
4 Departing 6-1
5 Mylute 5-1
6 Oxbow 15-1
7 Will Take Charge 12-1
8 Govenor Charlie 12-1
9 Itsmyluckyday 10-1

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Re: Preakness Betting News and Notes

Preakness Breakdown
By Anthony Stabile
VegasInsider.com

Orb    

I almost feel like I’m wasting our time writing about the Derby winner because there really isn’t much left to say, and what is left has been said by Shug, who normally doesn’t say a peep. I’ve had the absolute privilege of knowing and looking up to Shug for the better part of the past 25 years and never, ever heard him use the words “freaky” and “breathtaking” about any other horse. The rail draw doesn’t bother me because he’s going to be coming from off the pace anyway and has the best in the business on his back. Rosario is plenty aggressive enough to not allow any of his fellow riders to keep him trapped down inside because it’s not like Orb has to come from so far back. I think the morning line is a pipedream but if he’s even money or higher, everyone who bets him to win should be arrested for stealing.

Goldencents    

You’d have to say this guy was one of the top three disappointments in the Derby because he ran about three steps. Never got to the front, let alone loose on the lead, and was an afterthought at the half-mile pole. I don’t think he liked the slop at all and Krigger did the right thing by protecting him and pulling him up through the stretch. O’Neill looking for back-to-back wins in this and you’d have to think he’s telling the jock one thing in the paddock: GO!!! Like in the Derby, however, I’m pretty sure he’s not going to be the only one giving those instructions and while the others might not be as emphatic as he should be, it should be enough to take this guy out of the picture at somewhere around the top of the stretch.

Titletown Five

The first of three from the Hall of Fame Lukas’ barn, I have to think this colt will give Goldencents fits on the front end. I know Lukas has said he wasn’t sending but from that draw I don’t think he has a choice. Not only is he inside but he’s right next to the main speed. Look for him to pack it in even earlier than his next door neighbor will.

Departing    

This isn’t much of a spoiler alert but I’m just letting you know that you’re not going to read an excessive amount of positive comments after I finish with this gelding. If Orb falls, it almost has to be at the hooves of Departing. I’ve been known to do goofy things sometimes and they actually work out, like picking Bernardini in the 2006 renewal over the ill-fated Barbaro, and would have tinkered ever-so-briefly with the idea of making him my ttop pick IF he had a rider change. I know Hernandez had ridden him to four wins in five career starts but when the real money, and coveted Derby points were on the line in the Louisiana Derby, he gave this horse a terrible, terrible ride. Jammed up in traffic a bunch, had to start and stop on him….it was a nightmare, yet he still finished third. Crushed them in the Illinois Derby last out when racing in mid-pack from his outside post and could be awfully dangerous should he sit the same trip. A must use on all exotic tickets and the only horse I would save with on a pick three or pick four ticket.

Mylute

My friend Veronica ALWAYS asks me “who’s the mudder?” before the Derby each year, whether the forecast is for perfect weather or a monsoon. I was ready for her this year with two answers: Oxbow and Mylute. I also told her I didn’t think it would matter with Mylute and it didn’t. Sure he came flying late but he didn’t hit the board and wasn’t in any gimmicks. I honestly believe that he ran the best race he possibly could and still wasn’t relevant. The only reason he’s second choice on the morning line is because he was closest to the favorite at the end of the Derby. He figures to take a lot of “bad” money as Napravnik always gets action and figures to get even more than usual as this is a homecoming of sorts. Plus, I’m not sure what kind of trip he’s going to sit. Too many questions along with zero value translates to a toss for me.

Oxbow    

“Mudder 2” actually grabbed the lead turning for home in Louisville under his 50 year old rider who wasn’t even riding seven months ago. Got the worst of it at the draw in the Derby but faired much, much better in Baltimore with this pull. He won’t be stuck down along the inside on Saturday like he was at Churchill, a place you rarely want to be, especially over a wet course unless your name is Calvin Borel. He’s outside the two main speeds and should be with the second flight of horses going down the backside. His best races have come against a notch below the best of what we’ve seen of this crop so far but I think the trip he should work out can grab him a minor award. Using on bottom on trifectas and superfectas.

Will Take Charge

Normally after the Derby, you’ll hear from about half the trainers that their horse encountered trouble or had an overall bad trip. Most of it is hogwash but in such a large field a few usually do get a rough run of it. Apparently, if you’re drinking the Kool=Aid, it was this colt two weks ago. Yes, he got stopped behind a tiring Verrazano and just so happened to be moving with Orb when it happened. But anyone who thinks he’d have hit the board is out of their mind. Lukas ran him in the Derby off a seven week rest and now wheels him right back. The rider change to Smith should help and while I think he can sneak his way into tris and supers if he gets a perfect set-up, I honestly think Lukas is using his last race and this one to have hime primed for the Belmont Stakes in three weeks. I will use him on bottom of tris and supers but it’s more of a knock against the rest of these than a testament to him.

Govenor Charlie

Not sure what was going on with him in the weeks leading up to the Derby I just know he didn’t enter and for Baffert to not run in the Derby this horse wasn’t right. So the question is: if he wasn’t right two weeks ago hy should I think he’s right now? Earlier this week Baffert was still saying he wasn’t definite for the race until he stepped on the plane, and he didn’t do that until Wednesday, which was draw day. He’s lightly raced, beat absolutely nothing in his lone stakes try when he set the track record in the Sunland Derby but that was nearly two months ago. Baffert always takes some money on big race days but he won’t take any of mine in the Preakness.

Itsmyluckyday

On the walk over to the Derby paddock, Plesa was aked about how his horse would like the wet track. He said he’s won over it, trains fantastically over it and it would definitely improve his chances. Plesa must be a big Meatloaf fan because he must think that two out of three ain’t bad because this guy didn’t run two steps. Form has really tailed off since winning back to back stakes at Gulfstream this winter and while he did finish second to Orb in the Fla. Derby someone had to. He gets a huge rider switch to Johnny V but he’s not a magician. Post doesn’t mean anything in the Preakness, but the Preakness is still a horse race and the nine hole is the nine hole. Not sure what type of trip he’ll pull from out there but I’m not sure it will matter. Likely a cut below some of these and not for me.

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Re: Preakness Betting News and Notes

At the Gate - Preakness Stakes
By Mike Dempsey
VegasInsider.com

It’s time to get our Preak On.

Kentucky Derby winner Orb will take on eight foes in the $1 million Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico, and I cannot seem to find anyone that thinks the colt will get beat.

In Friday’s early betting the colt was 4-5, down from the even money morning line, and I don’t think his price is going to go up much by post time. In fact if Mother Nature makes an appearance, his price may actually go down.

Yesterday the forecast called for a 30% chance of showers, but as of 1:30am eastern as I write this (I can sleep in on Sunday) the chance of rain has risen to 50%, from early morning right up until post time.

Basically what that means is despite all of that sophisticated equipment, The Weather Channel has no idea whether it is going to rain or not. As I have said before, if the talking heads at The Weather Channel picked and wagered on horses like they predict the weather, Jim Cantore would be living in a cardboard box.

We know Orb will have no problem handling an off-track if the rains do come, but keep in mind the Pimlico surface does dry out rather quickly.

I am hoping the weather does not affect the earlier races on the card which includes five races carded for the grass.

I have attended about a dozen Preakness Days at Pimlico, and have pretty much seen it all. From a drunken fan taking a swing at Artax, to the Running of the Urinals on the infield, to a power outage where I had to spend the afternoon in the jockey’s room to get away from the stifling heat.

This year I will be watching and wagering from the comfort of home in Florida and while I may not have a huge wager on the Preakness itself, the other races on the card are just outstanding. There is going to be a ton of value to be had.

In addition, do not forget that Belmont Park is running today. I have been on a nice roll, with nine winners on top the past couple of days.

With $178,780 in the win pool this is how the early odds for the Preakness shake out:

1. Orb   4-5
2. Goldencents   7-1
3. Titletown Five   23-1
4. Departing   11-1
5. Mylute   7-1
6. Oxbow   14-1
7. Will Take Charge   12-1
8. Govenor Charlie   11-1
9. Itsmyluckyday   9-1

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Re: Preakness Betting News and Notes

Preakness Odds and Outlook
By: The Linemakers   
portingnews.com

Orb goes for his sixth straight victory in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, and he won’t even have to contend with the Kentucky Derby’s second-, third- or fourth-place finishers, whose connections all decided to pass on the Triple Crown’s middle jewel.

Should Orb get the job done Saturday, he’ll have the chance to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978 in three weeks at the Belmont Stakes.

There are five Derby also-rans and three new shooters entered in the Preakness. The nine-horse field is the shortest for the $1 million, mile-and-three-sixteenth race since 2007.

Here’s a horse-by-horse look at the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes:

No. 1 Orb

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Trainer: Shug McGaughey

Morning-line odds: Even-money

Credentials: This colt has improved with each race, banging a 104 Beyer Speed Figure in his 2 1/2-length win two weeks ago at Churchill Downs. The Kentucky Derby marked his second career Grade 1 win – he also won the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on March 30. Orb appears to be in fine shape, breezing four furlongs in 47 seconds flat Monday at Belmont Park, a workout McGaughey crowed about. It will take a big effort to beat this guy on Saturday.

No. 2 Goldencents

Jockey: Kevin Krigger

Trainer: Doug O’Neill

Morning-line odds: 8-1

Credentials: Had a momentary early lead at Churchill two weeks ago but faded badly and was eventually eased by Krigger, a move O’Neill says may benefit his colt in the Preakness. Goldencents finished 17th in the Derby, nearly 50 lengths behind Orb. But the 105 Beyer from his win in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby is better than anyone in this field has ever posted, including Orb. O’Neill said his three-year-old did not take a liking to the sloppy Churchill Downs track, and if you throw out that race, Goldencents has had a pretty impressive career: three wins, a second and a fourth in graded stakes company. He's the only Preakness entrant, other than Orb, with a Grade 1 win.

No. 3 Titletown Five

Jockey: Julian Leparoux

Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas

Odds: 30-1

Credentials: The longest shot in the field in the morning line, this colt has flashed some speed during his career. But in his only race longer than seven furlongs, the mile-and-and-eighth Louisiana Derby in March, he tired and finished in ninth. Owner Paul Hornung, the Packers legend and noted gambler, predicts a first- or second-place finish, but that’s probably false confidence – his entrant appears to be overmatched by this group.

No. 4 Departing

Jockey: Brian Hernandez

Trainer: Albert Stall

Morning-line odds: 6-1

Credentials: This new shooter has won four of his five career starts, but he takes a big step up in class Saturday. The best of those four wins was on April 20 in the Illinois Derby. The gelding’s other victories came in a low-level stakes at Sam Houston Race Park, an optional claimer at the Fair Grounds and a maiden special weight at the New Orleans track. He finished third in the Louisiana Derby behind Revolutionary (who ran third in the Kentucky Derby) and Mylute. Which brings us to ... .

No. 5 Mylute

Jockey: Rosie Napravnik

Trainer: Thomas Amoss

Morning-line odds: 5-1

Credentials: He finished fifth in the Derby, 3 ¾ lengths behind Orb, and didn’t have the best of trips around the Churchill oval. Mylute beat a few of these in the Louisiana Derby, but ran third to Goldencents as a two-year-old at Delta Downs last November. Class doesn’t exactly emanate from this three-year-old, who has just two wins, the best of which came in an optional claimer at the Fair Grounds back in December, and boasts career earnings of less than $500,000 over 10 starts. Napravnik is one of the nation’s leading riders, however, and made her bones here at Pimlico.

No. 6 Oxbow

Jockey: Gary Stevens

Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas

Morning-line odds: 15-1

Credentials: Oxbow had a brief lead in the final turn at the Derby, but tired down the stretch and finished sixth. To win the Preakness, it will take a better performance than we’ve seen out of him yet, as he’s never really come close to beating Grade 1 competition. He did win the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes at the Fair Grounds in January by 11 lengths and finished second in the Grade 2 Rebel to Will Take Charge. Which brings us to ....

No. 7 Will Take Charge

Jockey: Mike Smith

Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas

Morning-line odds: 12-1

Credentials: He had a rough trip in the Derby, where he was five-wide around the second turn, had to check when Verrazano drifted out on him and finished in eighth. His best effort was in the Rebel at Oaklawn Park, which he won by a head, posting a 95 Beyer. The jockey change from Jon Court to Mike Smith is certainly a positive, but he’ll have to take a big step forward to win Saturday.

No. 8 Govenor Charlie

Jockey: Martin Garcia

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Morning-line odds: 12-1

Credentials: The Preakness will be this lightly-raced colt’s fourth career start. His last outing was a five-length victory in the Sunland Derby, but his status as the 6-5 favorite in that race after just breaking his maiden is an indication of the weakness of that field. Baffert’s lone entrant has been on the shelf since March 24. A lot is being asked of this horse on Saturday.

No. 9 Itsmyluckyday

Jockey: John Velazquez

Trainer: Edward Plessa

Morning-line odds: 10-1

Credentials: This is the only horse in the field to have posted two 100-plus Beyers, a 104 in the Grade 3 Holy Bull at Gulfsteam and a 102 in a $100,000 stakes race at the same track, both wins. But he hasn’t fared well against the competition he faces again on Saturday, finishing 15th in the Derby, second to Orb in the Florida Derby and sixth at the Delta Downs Jackpot behind Goldencents and Mylute.

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