Preakness Stakes 2012: Field of Competitors Mount as Race Time Nears

Robin Jutkiewicz@EllaMentryBRCorrespondent IIIMay 9, 2012

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05:  Mario Gutierrez celebrates atop I'll Have Another after winning the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

With the Preakness Stakes less than two weeks away, trainers are beginning to throw their silks into the ring. Trainer Doug O’Neill was first to confirm, reports The Baltimore Sun, that I’ll Have Another will race for the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

Two other horses have been confirmed as well, Went The Day Well and Creative Cause. Eight others are pending, including Bodemeister, Dullahan and Hansen. Bodemeister has something to prove, losing the Derby by one and one-quarter lengths after leading from the gate.

Bodemeister will more than likely run as he always does, fast out of the gate to take the lead. The Preakness Stakes is slightly shorter than the Derby and may make all the difference for the speed horse.

Noticeably missing in the lineup is Union Rags. Michael Matz plans to rest the animal and prepare for the Belmont Stakes on June 9, according to Union Rags had a miserable run at the Derby, placing seventh.

Under normal circumstances, horses usually race every four weeks or so, giving them plenty of time to recuperate. The Triple Crown challenge is the exception to that rule. Three races in five weeks time will test the young athletes like never before.

Pundits are not too excited about I’ll Have Another’s chances, but fans seem to love the notion of a Triple Crown winner and the odds at this point are 4:1 compared to Bodemeister at 3:1.

Once again, the draw for gate position will play a key role in whether or not he and Mario Gutierrez will share yet another win.