California Chrome's odds of making it 2-for-2 in the Triple Crown races already look great, but could they get even better?
Only 10 horses have entered the Preakness Stakes, much different from a field of 19 at the Kentucky Derby. That also means limited concerns about getting caught up in traffic during the pivotal running.
Now it might get even easier for the Golden State gelding with the post draw coming up. While it's not quite as important as the Derby draw, getting prime placement at Pimlico can certainly pay off.
Before the race gets underway on Saturday night at 6:18 p.m. ET on NBC, here's a look at the post draw information and a breakdown of the latest on the middle jewel.
Preakness Post Draw Information
Where: Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Maryland
When: Wednesday, May 14, 6 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Following a huge run at the Derby, a win at Pimlico seems all but guaranteed for California Chrome, right? Well, maybe not.
While many have tabbed the Run for the Roses winner as the first to claim the Triple Crown in over three decades, Tim Layden of Sports Illustrated isn't quite sold. Layden explains his reasoning on Twitter:
California Chrome's slow Derby may be indicator of weak class of 3yos or small chance at Triple Crown. But he still won the Derby.— Tim Layden (@SITimLayden) May 7, 2014
The son of 2009 Kentucky Derby runner-up Pioneerof the Nile, Social Inclusion enters the second leg of the Triple Crown with hopes of bettering his father's Preakness placement.
While he comes in lightly raced, Social Inclusion is a front-runner with a nose for the lead. After winning his maiden race and entering his first stakes race, the gelding fell just short at the Wood Memorial. But finishing behind Samraat and Wicked Strong isn't such a bad placement.
Trainer Manny Azpurua spoke about his colt's chances, per KY Derby Contenders:
Trainer Azpurua on Social Inclusion: “He is feeling good. He ate up everything. I really think he is going to run a big race.”— KY Derby Contenders (@DerbyContenders) May 13, 2014
Another outsider looking in is not a colt at all, but rather filly Ria Antonia.
Becoming just the 54th female to compete in the Preakness, Ria Antonia also has a little more luck in her corner. Historic jockey Calvin Borel will mount the filly, per the Lexington Herald-Leader, bringing his experience of the 2009 Preakness and three Kentucky Derby wins with him.
Ria Antonia's trainer Tom Amoss noted what the legendary jockey can do for his horse, per Jennie Rees of USA Today:
Both Ron and I wanted to put someone on Ria who would have an opportunity to work her, and feel good about her after the work. I know Calvin's confidence is very strong after that work. And that's what I like – a rider who buckles his chin strap and says, 'I'm going to win this race,' and I know that's how Calvin feels.
Borel is also one of only five jockeys to win the race mounting a filly, doing so on Rachel Alexandra in 2009. But that came after Rachel Alexandra won the Kentucky Oaks, while Ria Antonia came in sixth at the Oaks.
Thanks to an intriguing field and a huge storyline with Cali Chrome, this year's Preakness promises to be an exhilarating one.
Follow R. Cory Smith on Twitter.