With a much smaller field than the Kentucky Derby, the post position draw is not as pivotal at the Preakness Stakes.
Up to 14 horses are allowed in the Preakness field, but as it is now, Preakness.com has 10 horses listed as pending or confirmed for the May 17 affair at Pimlico Race Course.
Of course, one horse is hogging all the attention leading up to the race, as California Chrome will look to keep his hopes for a Triple Crown alive after a dominant showing at the Kentucky Derby.
California Chrome's dominance undoubtedly is playing a factor in the relatively small field shaping up for the Preakness.
Only two other holdovers from the Derby, Ride On Curlin and General A Rod are on the Preakness confirmed or pending list. Those horses finished seventh and 11th, respectively, in the Derby.
As USA Today's Jennie Rees passed along, if this field holds true, it will be just the third time in the last 34 years that three or fewer Derby participants have attempted the Preakness.
Have a look at the information for Wednesday's draw, and then we'll look in on some of the contenders.
What: 2014 Preakness Post Position Draw
When: Wednesday, May 14 at 6 p.m. ET
Where: Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Maryland
Live Stream: HRTV.com (subscription required)
On the verge of the draw, California Chrome is a massive favorite. As of May 13 at 11 p.m. ET, Odds Shark has Chrome listed at 5-8 odds, with the next lowest odds coming on Danza at 7-1. Of course, as Rees reports, Danza isn't going to run in the Preakness.
Todd Pletcher, Danza's trainer, has not run in the Preakness since 2011. He is not a fan of the short turnaround.
So, the next lowest odds fall on Social Inclusion at 8-1. Social Inclusion didn't run in the Derby and was actually scratched from his last start on May 3, a Gulfstream stakes race, with a foot bruise. Appearances suggest that Inclusion is no longer hindered by the bruise.
The Daily Racing Form's Marcus Hersh reported that Inclusion was looking healthy and has turned in at least one strong workout at Pimlico. Hersh also passed along this quote from Inclusion's jockey Luis Contreras: "He feels great. He feels very light on this racetrack."
Inclusion came in third in the high-profile Wood Memorial behind Wicked Strong and Samraat. That doesn't lead one to believe he can hang with Chrome, but he tired in that race after a fast, early pace. On top of that, Inclusion has shown the kind of speed that saw him set a track record at Gulfstream.
Bayern checks in with the next lowest odds at 12-1, and BloodHorse.com's J. Keeler Johnson likes his chances. Johnson said: "There is a horse pointing toward the Preakness Stakes that should not be overlooked. ... The horse is Bayern."
Bayern was last in action at the Derby Trial Stakes, where he led wire to wire but was disqualified.
Still, neither Bayern, Social Inclusion nor any other horse has the kind of resume that would suggest they can topple California Chrome.
Chrome has now won five straight races, and each comfortably. On top of that, his sprint down the homestretch at Churchill Downs was dominant enough that jockey Victor Espinoza didn't have to ask Chrome to overexert himself.
Beth Harris of the Associated Press passed along a quote from Chrome's trainer Art Sherman on the subject:
'(Espinoza) said he didn't ask him for too much thinking about saving something for the next one, for the Preakness,' Sherman said, adding that his colt is 'peaking now. He's full of himself.'
This will help Chrome hit Pimlico fresh and ready to race. It also helps, as Hersh tweets, that Chrome is already comfortable at Pimlico:
All signs are pointing toward Chrome extending his winning streak, and no matter what post position he draws, Chrome will be a huge favorite at post time.
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