With the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes set to take place on Saturday, 10 horses will be competing for a $1.5 million guaranteed purse, and there are some clear favorites to win the big race.
As the winner of this year's Kentucky Derby, California Chrome is the obvious favorite. The colt has won five straight races, and people are already talking about whether or not he can win the Triple Crown. It won't be easy, however, as no one has won the Triple Crown since 1978.
Below is a look at the latest purse payout for this year's Preakness as well as the Vegas betting odds, official lineup and preview of a couple of the horses competing.
|2014 Preakness Purse Payout|
|Place||Payout %||Projected Payout*|
|* Total purse=$1,500,000 guaranteed (per TheTripleCrown.com)|
|2014 Preakness Lineup, Vegas Odds|
|2||General a Rod||15-1|
|9||Pablo Del Monte||20-1|
|10||Ride On Curlin||10-1|
It took Ring Weekend five races before he finally broke his maiden, but he's come into his own since finally doing so.
Ring Weekend won for the first time in February, then was able to grab a win at the Tampa Bay Derby one month later despite heading into the race at just 14-1 odds. He came back about one month later and finished in second at the Calder Derby.
Things were looking good for Ring Weekend after the Calder Derby, as he was in consideration to run in the Kentucky Derby. Unfortunately, a fever the week of the race kept him out of consideration, but now he'll be able to compete at the Preakness on Saturday.
Graham Motion, Ring Weekend's trainer, has felt good about his horse since the Derby, according to Alicia Wincze Hughes of The Kansas City Star, saying:
I'm inclined to take a shot (in the Preakness). To be honest, I wanted to see him work like he did leading up to the Derby because I thought he worked awesome that week. It was important he had a decent work because he's obviously missed a bit of training. He had a good work, he galloped out a mile in 1:41 so I felt very good about the way he did it.
Ring Weekend will come out of the No. 4 post, giving him a favorable spot in the middle of the pack but closer to the inside. Given how well he's raced since breaking his maiden, this horse might surprise people on Saturday.
Ride On Curlin
As one of the horses that ran in the Kentucky Derby, Ride on Curlin will be trying to make up for a seventh-place finish at Churchill Downs by finishing in the money at Pimlico Race Course.
Although Ride on Curlin has never won a stakes race, he's consistently placed, doing so in four grades stakes and two Grade 1 races. Before the Kentucky Derby, he had only finished out of the money in one of his nine races. Ride on Curlin also has a strong pedigree, as he's the son of 2007 Preakness Winner and Hall of Fame horse Curlin.
The good news for Ride on Curlin is that he apparently looks better than he did before the Kentucky Derby, according to Jay Privman from the Daily Racing Form.
Once again, Ride on Curlin drew an outside post, this time drawing the outermost post at No. 10. Trainer Billy Gowan doesn't seem too concerned, however, as he apparently prefers to be on the outside.
"It's OK, I'm an outsider anyhow," Gowan told the Associated Press. "I don't think it's bad here. With the kind of pace we have in the field, I think it's fine. He's a tough horse and he can take a lot of work. He moves good over this track."
Ride On Curlin will have to get over quickly if he wants to keep up with horses like California Chrome and Social Inclusion, as this short track will require plenty of speed.
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