2014 Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome has been simply unstoppable of late, emerging victorious in his last five races in decisive fashion.
That won't be the case at the Preakness Stakes.
Now, this isn't to say California Chrome will not win his upcoming race at Pimlico; after all, he's a heavy favorite with 3-5 odds. But, due to the strength of some other contenders, we may not see the same type of dominant win we've become accustomed to.
It all starts with Social Inclusion.
This horse is one of the fastest set to take the track on Saturday. Back in March, he was phenomenal at Gulfstream Park, defeating big favorite Honor Code by 10 lengths while setting a new 1 1/16-mile track record of 1:40.97.
Here's a look at Social Inclusion's sparkling performance:
Not only did Social Inclusion get a great break out of the gate, he kept up a fantastic pace and had plenty of gas left in the tank to come away with a dominant victory.
Jerry Bossert of the New York Daily News tweeted a confident message from owner Ron Sanchez:
Upon arriving at Pimlico, Sanchez reflected on what he saw at this year's Kentucky Derby and addressed the speed of his horse during an interview with Jennie Rees of USA Today:
Probably everybody thinks there's going to be a lot of speed and then they try to stalk. But it wasn't a good decision. We'll have a lot of speed here, I'm sure. I'm really sure. We'll take the lead, or at least be 1-2-3. No farther back than that. It wouldn't make any sense. This is a horse with speed, and you have to use it.
The way Social Inclusion has looked this year, plenty of speed will be a certainty.
Bayern is another horse figuring to be well in the mix on Saturday.
He may not have the speed of Social Inclusion, but he has plenty of endurance and is a great closer. Earlier this year, Bayern torched the field at Santa Anita, proving he was in a league of his own:
Trainer Bob Baffert decided not to run Bayern in the Kentucky Derby due to a short turnaround after running him in Arkansas just one week prior, according to an interview with Don Markus and Aaron Dodson of The Baltimore Sun.
Now, after some much-needed rest, Bayern appears poised to make a big splash at the Preakness.
Marty McGee of the Daily Racing Form tweeted some blazing numbers posted by Bayern during workouts:
Of course, California Chrome has the most momentum of any horse in the field; however, after a short two-week turnaround from the Kentucky Derby, he'll have a difficult time pulling ahead of these horses in a big way.
There's a great chance California Chrome will go on to win the 2014 Preakness Stakes, but he certainly has his work cut out for him.
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