Preakness Contenders 2014: Compelling Odds for Favorites in This Year's Field

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIMay 12, 2014

Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome jogged the wrong way around the track with exercise rider Willy Delgado aboard for the first time since his big win at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Wednesday morning, May 7, 2014.  (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
Garry Jones/Associated Press

This Saturday features the second jewel of the Triple Crown—the Preakness Stakes.

With the 2014 Kentucky Derby now in the rear view, we can fully give our undivided attention to Pimlico.

The full field of contenders has not yet been set for the Preakness, but plenty of top contenders have already declared their participation in the upcoming race.

This includes Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome, seventh-place finisher Ride On Curlin and 11th-place finisher General A Rod. At this time, those are the only three Derby horses slated to run in the Preakness.

Earlier in the week, it appeared as though Danza—the Derby's third-place finisher—would be competing as well; however, that appears to be changing.

According to David Grening of the Daily Racing Form, Danza's participation is unlikely:

Among other contenders are Pablo Del Monte, Kid Cruz, Social Inclusion, Dynamic Impact, Bayern, Ring Weekend and Ria Antonia.

The post draw has yet to take place, and as we know from the draw at the Kentucky Derby, it holds plenty of importance.

Starting in the right position can elevate a middle-of-the-pack horse to a front-runner. Conversely, a favorite horse drawing a poor starting position can be devastating.

The Preakness will only have up to 14 competitors, so the post positions here may not be quite as crucial as the jam-packed Kentucky Derby, but still, plenty can change once the draw takes place.

As of now, we have the current odds for the announced contenders, courtesy of OddsShark.com:

2014 Preakness Stakes Odds
HorseOdds
California Chrome-155
Social Inclusion+600
Ride On Curlin+800
Dynamic Impact+800
Bayern+1000
General A Rod+1200
Kid Cruz+2000
Pablo Del Monte+2000
Ring Weekend+3000
Ria Antonia+5000
OddsShark.com

With a field which doesn't resemble the strength of the Kentucky Derby, favorite California Chrome should be poised for another victory here. The horse doesn't come with big-money odds, but that's for a good reason.

It's easy to imagine California Chrome will be pulling away from the pack with authority.

Ride On Curlin has a great chance to improve from his Derby performance. At Churchill Downs, he was given the unfortunate 19th post position.

Starting from so far outside is a daunting task, and with a smaller field at the Preakness Stakes, he won't have to cover so much ground. It's a good possibility we'll see this horse place in Baltimore.

In three starts this year, Social Inclusion has placed first twice and third once. With veteran jockey Luis Contreras aboard, this horse could be one of the race's top finishers as well.

Plenty will change between now and race day. New contenders will enter the field, post positions will be drawn and odds will fluctuate. One thing is for certain: like every year, we are in for a wild ride in Baltimore on May 17.