California Chrome is the king of horse racing, and it will stay that way until someone ends his Triple Crown chances. The next opportunity to do so is at the Preakness on May 17 at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.
It is only natural to look to the Kentucky Derby field for potential challengers, but as Jay Privman of Daily Racing Form points out, that isn’t exactly a long list:
If California Chrome and Ride On Curlin are only 2 Derby runners in Preakness, would be first time so few since 2008 -- Big Brown, Gayego.— Jay Privman (@DRFPrivman) May 8, 2014
With that in mind, we can only go by the official Preakness website for the horses that will be in the race. The list is sure to expand by May 17, but a couple of contenders will fare better than they did at Churchill Downs.
Still, it is difficult to imagine anyone but California Chrome capturing the Preakness.
He is on an absolute roll (five straight wins in dominating fashion) and has the closing speed necessary to take home another Triple Crown title. Look for California Chrome to position himself in the middle of the pack early, much like what happened at the Derby, and then finish with a strong kick to win his second major competition.
Even if that happens, the following horses will do better than they did during the Run for the Roses.
Ride On Curlin
Who you got?
Ride On Curlin’s pedigree suggests there are big things in store, even if we haven’t seen them yet. He is the son of 2007 Preakness winner and two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, so there is a history of success in place.
Ride On Curlin has been on the brink of impressive victories. He placed in third at the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont Park, third in the Street Sense Stakes, third at the Southwest and Grade 2 Rebel at Oaklawn Park and second at the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby.
He finished in seventh place at the Derby, but jockey Calvin Borel didn’t get him in the best position and will be replaced for the Preakness. David Grening of Daily Racing Form filled in fans on the news:
Joel Rosario will be aboard Ride On Curlin in Preakness, per trainer Bill Gowan.— David Grening (@DRFGrening) May 5, 2014
Perhaps the new jockey will finally get that elusive win for Ride On Curlin.
Pablo Del Monte
Pablo Del Monte has to do better than a scratch at the Preakness, right?
That is what happened at Churchill Downs, but his trainer Wesley Ward spoke about how he and his team are focused on the upcoming race now, via the Lexington Herald-Leader:
The way the race played out with soft fractions for a Derby and a slow final time, I really think I would have had a great chance to be at least second. I was speaking to my good friend Paul Shanahan and I told him just that. He said, 'Listen Wesley, nobody remembers who was second. If you really feel that way and the horse worked as good as he did, maybe we can win the Preakness and that will be forever.
The fact that Pablo Del Monte is fresh and rested will help him in the final stretch against California Chrome and company. Pablo Del Monte almost won the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland before losing his lead at the end. Look for a stronger performance this time around.
If nothing else, it will be better than his recent scratch at the Derby.
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