PREAKNESS: AUTHENTIC 9-5 FAVORITE, GETS POST 9

Authentic
Authentic won the Kentucky Derby. Photo by Coady Photography.

Authentic has been installed as the 9-5 favorite in Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. The Kentucky Derby winner will leave from post nine with Hall of Famer John Velazquez up.

Authentic won’t have to contend with Tiz the Law, the Belmont Stakes winner who was the beaten favorite in the Derby. His connections, trainer Barclay Tagg and owners Sackatoga Stable, decided to pass on the the final leg of this year’s Triple Crown and instead to trainer the horse up to the Breeders’ Cup in November.

However, Authentic will see 10 rivals, including a filly, three runners he bested in the Derby and two others originally intended to contest the Run for the Roses.

The filly Swiss Skydiver will attempt to become the sixth distaffer, and first since Rachel Alexandra in 2009, to win the Preakness. The Kenny McPeek trainee will have Robby Albarado in the irons. The runner-up in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks is 6-1 on the morning line and will leave from post number four.

Derby show horse Mr. Big News, who was three lengths-and-change behind Authentic that day, will leave from the two-hole for trainer Bret Calhoun with regular pilot Gabriel Saez up. He’s 12-1 on the morning line.

The Derby fifth-place finisher Max Player is 15-1 on the morning line for trainer Steve Asmussen. Paco Lopez will ride a horse that Asmussen described as “a very happy camper.” Also out of the Derby is Ny Traffic, who finished eighth. The Saffie Joseph, Jr. trainee will have local pilot Horacio Karamanos in the irons and is 15-1 on the morning line.

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Bob Baffert, trainer of Authentic, will have two in the race, while fellow Hall of Famer Asmussen will saddle three.

Baffert will also send out Thousand Words (6-1), with Florent Geroux in the irons. Thousand Words was a late scratch from the Kentucky Derby after flipping in the paddock, but according to vets on the scene, he came out unscathed.

Asmussen’s trio also includes Pneumatic (20-1) and Excession (30-1). Pegasus Stakes winner Pnematic will have Jersey Joe Bravo in the irons and leave from the 10-hole. Excession, with Sheldon Russell up, breaks from the rail and is 30-1 on the morning line.

The morning line second, Art Collector, choice did not compete in the Derby. The Blue Grass Stakes and Ellis Park Derby winner missed the Kentucky Derby with a minor foot issue but looks to be ready to tackle the Preakness. Trained by Tommy Drury, Jr., he’s 5-2 on the morning line and will leave from post three with Brian Hernandez, Jr. up.

In addition to the bevy of Baffert and Asmussen horses, another storyline is the presence of four riders based in Maryland. In addition to Russell and Karamanos, Trevor McCarthy and Jevian Toledo both will have rides.

McCarthy will ride Liveyourbeastlife, who was second in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy, while Toledo will be aboard Jesus’ Team, who was third in that race. Both runners have been supplemented into the Preakness, and both are 30-1 on the morning line.

PREAKNESS POST POSITIONS AND MORNING LINE ODDS

  1. Excession (30-1) – owner Calumet Farm/trainer Steve Asmussen/jockey Sheldon Russell
  2. Mr. Big News (12-1) – Allied Racing Stable LLC/Bret Calhoun/Gabriel Saez
  3. Art Collector (5-2) – Bruce Lunsford/Tommy Drury, Jr./Brian Hernandez, Jr.
  4. Swiss Skydiver (6-1) – Peter Callahan/Kenny McPeek/Robby Albarado
  5. Thousand Words (6-1) – Albaugh Family Stables and Spendthrift Farm/Bob Baffert/Florent Geroux
  6. Jesus’ Team (30-1) – Grupo Seven C Stable/Jose D’Angelo/Jevian Toledo
  7. Ny Traffic (15-1) – John Fanelli, et. al./Saffie Joseph, Jr./Horacio Karamanos
  8. Max Player (15-1) – George Hall & SportBLX Thoroughbreds/ Steve Asmussen/Paco Lopez
  9. Authentic (9-5) – Spendthrift Farm LLC et. al./Bob Baffert/John Velazquez
  10. Pneumatic (20-1) – Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC/Steve Asmussen/Joe Bravo
  11. Liveyourbeastlife (30-1) – William Lawrence/Jorge Abreu/Trevor McCarthy

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