Preakness: Field includes Justify, Good Magic, and…
Exaggerator prior to the 2016 Preakness. Photo by Maryland Jockey Club.
From Maryland Jockey Club releases and other sources
Now, less than a week before the 143rd running of the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes, here’s what the field looks like:
- Justify — The Kentucky Derby winner is confirmed for the Preakness, and if he starts, it will mark the 22nd consecutive Derby winner to start the Preakness. The Bob Baffert trainee is expected once again to have Hall of Famer Mike Smith in the irons. Smith’s lone win in the Preakness came aboard 1993 champ Prairie Bayou.
- Good Magic — The Kentucky Derby runner-up is now also confirmed for the Preakness, trainer Chad Brown saying the Eclipse champion juvenile is “doing exceptionally well” since his effort in the Run for the Roses. Jose Ortiz rode Good Magic in the Derby.
- Bravazo — The sixth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby had a half-mile maintenance breeze Sunday morning at Churchill Downs, cruising the distance in 50 3/5 seconds. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas, owner of six Preakness titles, said that he expects observers “to see a horse moving forward off the Kentucky Derby now” when Bravazo faces the starter in Baltimore. Luis Saez will ride.
- Lone Sailor — The Tom Amoss trainee was eighth in the Run for the Roses after running second in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. His owners, G M B Racing, confirmed Saturday evening that the son of Majestic Warrior would tackle Justify and the Preakness on May 19. “All systems point to go for us,” said Greg Bensel, who oversees racing operations for G M B’s Gayle Benson. Irad Ortiz, Jr. will ride.
- Quip — The winner of the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby breezed a half-mile in 48 1/5 seconds Sunday morning at Keeneland with trainer Rodolphe Brisset aboard. Florent Geroux will ride in the Middle Jewel, as he has in all five of the Distorted Humor colt’s prior starts. “We’re ready, he’s fit,” Brisset said of his charge.
- Sporting Chance — The other Lukas-trained runner who’s Preakness-bound, Sporting Chance hasn’t been better than third thus far in 2018 and was fourth in the Grade 3 Pat Day Mile on the Derby undercard after traffic troubles. Luis Contreras will ride.
- Tenfold — The Steve Asmussen trainee’s first foray into added money company, in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, saw the Curlin colt make a four-wide bid before faltering to finish fifth. He’ll need to take a significant step forward to compete here — but Asmussen is a Hall of Famer whose eight previous Preakness starters include winners Curlin and Rachel Alexandra and with just three starts to his credit, this one still has some upside. Ricardo Santana, Jr. will ride.
- Diamond King — The John Servis-trained son of Quality Road earned a Preakness start with a win in the Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel Park, his second stakes win at Laurel. He worked five furlongs Sunday morning at Parx Racing, getting the distance in 1:01 2/5. Javier Castellano is slated to ride Diamond King, replacing Parx stalwart Frankie Pennington, who had ridden the colt in his first six starts.
- Pony Up — Also reportedly under consideration for the Preakness is Pony Up. The Todd Pletcher-trained son of Aikenite has a single win to date from seven starts. The Calumet Farm homebred’s best results were a near-miss second in the Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks (no, that’s not a typo, just a bad name) and a third in the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland.
- Givemeaminit — The Dallas Stewart trainee, third at 21-1 in the Pat Day Mile on Derby day, now is expected to pass on the Preakness.
- Bolt d’Oro — The multiple Grade 1 winner, owned and trained by Mick Ruis, will not contest the Preakness after being under consideration earlier.