After starting the Kentucky Derby as a heavy favorite and then racing to a comfortable win, California Chrome is a huge favorite in the early odds for the 2014 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday, May 17.
The field is not yet complete, but Preakness.com has 10 horses listed as pending or confirmed. Up to 14 horses will be allowed in the field.
As you will see by the below odds, which come to us via OddsShark at 8 p.m. ET on May 12, the widely held thought is that California Chrome will keep his shot at the Triple Crown intact at the Preakness.
|Ride On Curlin||+800|
|General A Rod||+1200|
|Pablo Del Monte||+2000|
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California Chrome is a heavy favorite for good reason. This isn't just due to his recent form. Although, his form has been excellent. Including the Derby, Chrome has won five straight races, and all have been comfortable.
Chrome also has history on his side. Of the last 16 Kentucky Derby winners, eight have gone on to win the Preakness.
The Preakness has been a race for favorites. Ten of the past 13 winners have left the starting gate at 3-1 odds or smaller. As it is now, Chrome is the only horse with odds smaller than 3-1, and I wouldn't be shocked to see that hold true right up until post time.
For his part, Chrome has traveled to Pimlico and is on track for another great start. The Daily Racing Form's Marcus Hersh passed along this photo:
A calm California Chrome heads into the Preakness barn. pic.twitter.com/e4bZW9Q5Hj— Marcus Hersh (@DRFHersh) May 12, 2014
Of course, just because Chrome is a runaway favorite, it doesn't mean we should forget about the other horses.
Social Inclusion has the second-lowest odds in the field, and that isn't likely to change. As Hersh reported in an article, Inclusion is showing no ill effects from a foot bruise that forced him to withdraw from a Gulfstream stakes race on May 3. Hersh passes along that "Social Inclusion worked a fast, strong four furlongs with a powerful gallop-out Monday morning at Pimlico in a prep for the Preakness Stakes on Saturday."
Hersh also passed along this quote from jockey Luis Contreras: "He feels great. He feels very light on this racetrack. We wanted to get a good work into him today."
This is a horse who set a track record at Gulfstream and was undefeated until he couldn't keep up his early pace. He earned show behind Wicked Strong and Samraat at the Wood Memorial.
Social Inclusion will have a hard time pressing California Chrome, but he is a great bet to finish in the money.