The 2014 Preakness Stakes begins on Saturday, and the second leg of the Triple Crown has a couple of intriguing dark-horse contenders as well as some clear favorites.
Last year, legendary jockey Gary Stevens helped lead Oxbow to a dominant win, becoming the first wire-to-wire winner at the Preakness since 1982. This year, all eyes will be on the Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome, as the Kentucky Derby winner will be looking to head into the Belmont Stakes with a chance at the Triple Crown title.
With the race coming up this weekend, let's take a look at the most recent entry list and Vegas odds as well as a couple of contenders flying under the radar.
|California Chrome||Art Sherma||Victor Espinoza|
|Pablo Del Monte||Wesley A. Ward||Jeffrey Sanchez|
|Kid Cruz||Linda Rice||Julian Pimentel|
|Social Inclusion||Manny Azpurua||Luis Contreras|
|Ride On Curlin||William Gowan||Joel Rosario|
|Dynamic Impact||Mark E. Casse||Miguel Mena|
|Bayern||Bob Baffert||Rosie Napravnik|
|Ring Weekend||H. Graham Motion||Alan Garcia|
|Ria Antonia||Tom Amoss||Calvin Borel|
|General a Rod||Mike Maker||Javier Castellano|
Entry list up to date as of May 12 at 1:15 p.m. ET
|Ride On Curlin||+800|
|General A Rod||+1200|
|Pablo Del Monte||+2000|
After a somewhat slow start to his racing career, Kid Cruz is starting to bloom into a legitimate contender at the Preakness given his recent success.
Kid Cruz has won back-to-back races heading into the Preakness, including rallying from last to first at the Private Terms Stakes back in March. In April, he had a much easier victory, winning by 3 1/2 lengths at the Federico Tesio Stakes.
Trainer Linda Rice is especially excited for the race, considering Kid Cruz would be the first horse she's had in the Preakness.
“He’s sharp and he’s ready for a race,” Rice told WBAL Baltimore. “It’s a very prestigious race, and it’s very exciting to have a horse go to the Preakness that deserves mention. Frankly, I’m really not interested in going to a race unless I think we have a legitimate chance.”
As the son of Lemon Drop Kid, the 1999 Belmont Stakes winner, Kid Cruz will be looking to win a Triple Crown race of his own, and given his recent success, that appears to be a legitimate possibility.
While he might not have the best odds to win, it's hard to ignore the success that Bayern has had this year.
In four races in 2014, Bayern finished in the top three in every single one, winning his first two, coming in third at the Arkansas Derby and finishing in second at the Grade 3 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs.
A lot of credit for Bayern's success has to go to his legendary trainer Bob Baffert. Baffert has had plenty of success over his career, winning nine total Triple Crown races, including five wins at the Preakness. Rosie Napravnik will be riding Bayern for Baffert, and she's happy with the horse so far, according to Jay Privman from the Daily Racing Form.
Baffert says "Rosie was happy with it" following Bayern's 1:02.60 work this morning at CD. Said track was dull, "All systems go." #preakness— Jay Privman (@DRFPrivman) May 12, 2014
Napravnik wasn't able to win at the Kentucky Derby, but she'll be looking to ride Bayern to victory this Sunday.