The 137th Preakness Stakes is finally here. The horses are just hours from entering their respective gates and getting the second leg of the 2012 Triple Crown underway.
Each horse has been designated a starting gate. Some are advantageous while others are not.
Let's rank the starting spots in this year's Preakness Stakes, from best to worst.
Post Position: 4
This Year's Horse: Zetterholm
Zetterholm will benefit from the No. 4 gate this year. He is a long shot with virtually no hope of winning, but it will not be his gate's fault.
Fourteen horses have won out of the fourth gate in the history of the Preakness. Two of those, Curlin in 2007 and Red Bullet in 2000, were recent winners.
Post Position: 6
This Year's Horse: Creative Cause
Smarty Jones won from the sixth gate in 2004 and Creative Cause will be a threat to do so this year.
Creative Cause's fifth place finish in the Kentucky Derby was the first time he finished lower than third in his career.
He is in a great starting position and should be taken very seriously in this race.
Post Position: 7
This Year's Horse: Bodemeister
Not only is Bodemeister probably the best horse in the this year's edition of the Preakness Stakes, but he also has one of the best starting gates.
Two horses have won at Pimlico from the seventh gate since 2008. Big Brown in 2008 and Lookin at Lucky in 2010.
Bodemeister is I'll Have Another's biggest threat in this race. His gate and racing prowess make him a tough horse to pick against.
Post Position: 5
This Year's Horse: Went the Day Well
Went the Day Well may be the fastest horse in this race. He will benefit greatly from the fifth gate.
Shackleford won the Preakness from the fifth gate last year. Eleven horses have won from the fifth gate in the race's history.
Went the Day Well closed the Kentucky Derby with an impressive run down the backstretch. Pimlico's short track is more suited to his running style and gives him a great chance at victory.
Post Position: 3
This Year's Horse: Pretension
Pretension will try perform like Prairie Bayou did from Gate 3 in 1993 by winning the Preakness.
He has had a successful racing year, finishing first in two of his five races.
Gate 3 is one of the Preakness's best starting spots and could make Pretension an interesting underdog.
Post Position: 2
This Year's Horse: Teeth of the Dog
Teeth of the Dog has run in three races this year, finishing no lower than third each time. His beneficial post position could make the Preakness his fourth successful performance this year.
No horse has won from the No. 2 gate since Snow Chief in 1986, but 11 horses have done it.
Teeth of the Dog will do his best to make it 12.
Post Position: 8
This Year's Horse: Daddy Nose Best
Daddy Nose Best will try to follow in Bernardini and War Emblem's footsteps by winning the Preakness from the eighth starting spot.
Daddy Nose Best has had a successful year despite his disappointing Kentucky Derby performance.
He is one of the favorites entering the race and will finish as such.
Post Position: 1
This Year's Horse: Tiger Walk
Tiger Walk will try to overcome long-shot odds in this year's Preakness.
He does not start from the race's best gate, but it is definitely not the worst. Nine horses have won from this starting spot, most recently Tabasco Cat in 1994.
Tiger Walk must get off the rail if he wants to win this year's race.
Post Position: 9
This Year's Horse: I'll Have Another
I'll Have Another's Triple Crown hopes will certainly not be aided by his starting position.
Three horses have won from the ninth gate in the past. Funny Cide stole the show in 2003 and Canonero II won in 1971.
I'll Have Another is the favorite entering today's action, but he will have an uphill battle.
Post Position: 11
This Year's Horse: Cozzetti
Cozzetti envies every horse but Optimizer in this year's Preakness. Honestly, with two all-time winners from each, the 10th and 11th gates are equally awful.
Only two horses have won from the 11th gate, Point Given in 2001 and Display in 1926.
Cozzetti has only raced three races this year without any substantial success.
Post Position: 10
This Year's Horse: Optimizer
Optimizer has only finished third once in his five contests this year. As if that wasn't bad enough, he also landed the worst gate in this year's Preakness.
Only two horses have ever won from the 10th gate, Real Quiet in 1998 and Greek Money in 1962
History doesn't like Optimizer's chances, and his performance in this year's Preakness will prove that.
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