BALTIMORE, MD – Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s Authentic, winner of the Kentucky Derby (G1), drew post 9 and was given 9/5 favoritism for Saturday’s $1 million Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico.
Baffert will saddle two runners in search of his record-breaking eighth Preakness score, though it deserves mentioning that he has won all 5 Preakness attempts with horses who won the Kentucky Derby (1997, 1998, 2002, 2015, and 2018).
Authentic enters as the deserving favorite after taking the Run for the Roses from gate to wire. The Into Mischief colt has only lost once from 6 starts, finishing second in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), and has over $2.8 million in earnings. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, aboard in the Kentucky Derby, will try to win his first Preakness, the only Triple Crown victory missing from his illustrious resume.
Baffert will also try to put Thousand Words into the starting gate after the Pioneerof the Nile colt flipped in the Kentucky Derby paddock and was a late scratch. The multiple graded stakes winner won the Shared Belief Stakes prior to shipping to Kentucky and will get the riding services of Florent Geroux, who rode Owendale to a third-place finish in last year’s Preakness.
Trainer Kenny McPeek’s Swiss Skydiver will be the 55th filly to compete for the Preakness and attempt to become the first since Rachel Alexandra in 2009 to beat the boys in this event. The daughter of Daredevil has won 4 graded stakes races and was most recently second in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) behind fellow Daredevil offspring Shedaresthedevil.
Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen will saddle three runners while searching for his third Preakness title (following Curlin in 2007 and Rachel Alexandra). Max Player leads the charge as the only horse to have competed in all three legs of the 2020 Triple Crown series. The Honor Code colt was third in both the Belmont Stakes (G1) and the Travers Stakes (G1) before transferring to Asmussen’s barn and running fifth in the Kentucky Derby.
Excession makes his first start since finishing second in one division of the Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park back in March. Pneumatic has won 3 of his 5 career starts, including the Pegasus Stakes last time out, but his best finish against graded stakes rivals was a third in the Matt Winn Stakes (G3).
For the first time in the race’s 145 runnings, the Preakness will be a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series event. The winner will receive an all-fees-waived berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), to be held at Keeneland on November 7. Authentic earned his spot in the starting gate by way of winning the Haskell Stakes (G1) prior to the Kentucky Derby.
Here’s the full field for Saturday’s Preakness:
|1||Excession||Steve Asmussen||Sheldon Russell||30/1|
|2||Mr. Big News||Bret Calhoun||Gabriel Saez||12/1|
|3||Art Collector||Tom 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|