The 2014 Preakness Stakes is inching nearer, and the starting spot of every horse in the field for Saturday's race will be decided at a draw Wednesday.
An awful lot of stock is put into the post positions of every horse, as a favorable one can skyrocket one's odds and relative chances of victory while a poor one can be the demise of a favorite. Each of the 14 horses and their trainers will be all ears to hear where they land on the post.
Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome is the certain favorite to take home victory at Pimlico Race Course with -155 odds per Oddsshark.com, but a number of horses in the field could spoil his Triple Crown chances with a bold race Saturday.
Regardless of post position, keep an eye out for the horses below to make noise at Pimlico over the weekend.
2014 Preakness Stakes: Post Position Draw
When: Wednesday, May 14 at 6 p.m. ET
Where: Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Maryland
TV/Live Stream: HRTV.com (subscription required)
Top Horses to Watch
Heavy favorite California Chrome comes into Pimlico with five straight victories, and a sixth would make him the 12th horse since the last Triple Crown in 1978 to come within one race of winning the vaulted honor.
The Art Sherman-trained horse has been on a tear in recent races. He won his four races before the Kentucky Derby by a whopping combined 24 lengths, and took off down the stretch at Churchill Downs—looking poised for a massive victory before Commanding Curve finished less than two lengths behind him in the end.
Now, he ascends upon Pimlico looking to move one step closer to history, per Daily Racing Form's Barbara Livingston:
California Chrome will hope not to follow the trend of last year's Derby winner, Orb, whose exciting Kentucky Derby victory vaulted him into Triple Crown talk before Oxbow defeated him at the Preakness.
General a Rod
General a Rod comes to Pimlico searching for some redemption.
After a disappointing finish at the Kentucky Derby, General a Rod will have his shot at glory again as he enters the Preakness. Being jockeyed by Javier Castellano, who won the Preakness in 2006, he figures to be a serious contender.
There were no qualms in getting General a Rod to Pimlico and he looks ready to go, per Preakness.com:
“The trip was no problem, everything was very good,” said Joel Berrenlos, exercise rider for General a Rod, who will be stabled in Barn D. “He looks good and he’s ready to go to work, so we’re hoping for the best.”
Despite a bad finish, General a Rod looked strong early on at Churchill Downs before struggling to get to the front before reaching the stretch. At a shorter track this time around, he should be able to make that hot start mean more than it did at the Derby.
Ride on Curlin
While General a Rod is looking to make up for his Kentucky Derby performance at Pimlico, Ride on Curlin is hoping to do just the opposite. He wants to build off it.
Ride on Curlin posted one of the more impressive runs at Churchill Downs less than two weeks back, finishing in seventh place and being in the second tier of horses down much of the stretch of the race. Another race like that could be enough to take down California Chrome on an off day.
A shorter track should also do wonders for this horse, who was one of many to fade when California Chrome pulled away from the field and Commanding Curve and Danza closed the gap.
Joel Rosario will be hoping to redeem himself from a year ago. Ride on Curlin's jockey is 29 years old and one of the up-and-coming names in the sport, but he rode Orb in 2013 when he was defeated by Oxbow at the Preakness and saw his Triple Crown bid end.