The entire horse racing world turns its sights to Pimlico Race Course as the 2014 Preakness Stakes is now just hours away.
After easily pulling away from the pack to win the Kentucky Derby, California Chrome enters as the runaway favorite. Despite the fact that there aren't many familiar horses in the field from the Derby, several contenders could emerge to take the middle jewel of the Triple Crown.
Before the race officially gets underway, here's a look at the odds, forecast and jockey information for Saturday's marquee race. A look at the forecast in Baltimore can be found on The Weather Channel.
2014 Preakness Stakes Information
Where: Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Maryland
When: Saturday, May 17
Post Time: 6:18 p.m. ET
TV: NBC (coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. ET)
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
|1||Dynamic Impact||Miguel Mena||12-1|
|2||General a Rod||Javier Castellano||15-1|
|3||California Chrome||Victor Espinoza||3-5|
|4||Ring Weekend||Alan Garcia||20-1|
|6||Ria Antonia||Calvin Borel||30-1|
|7||Kid Cruz||Julian Pimentel||20-1|
|8||Social Inclusion||Luis Contreras||5-1|
|9||Pablo Del Monte||Jeffrey Sanchez||20-1|
|10||Ride On Curlin||Joel Rosario||10-1|
Preakness Jockey Information
Victor Espinoza (California Chrome)
After winning his second career Kentucky Derby, Victor Espinoza will look to do the same at Preakness.
Espinoza rode War Emblem in 2002 to wins in the two illustrious races before falling just short of the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes. But since that point, Espinoza has rarely ridden at Pimlico, as David Grening of Daily Racing Form notes:
Victor Espinoza has ridden 1 horse at Pimlico in the last decade,an 8th-place finish on Mr Commons in 2011 Preakness being his last ride.— David Grening (@DRFGrening) May 16, 2014
While he might not have as much experience as other jockeys, Espinoza does have a win at the course. The former bus driver in Mexico City also has a second-place finish with A P Valentine from 2001 at Pimlico.
The 41-year-old jockey spoke about his colt, per Jeanine Edwards of ESPN.com:
Victor Espinoza is confident in Chrome, says his only question is the 2-week turnaround cause "good horses give their all every race"— Jeannine Edwards (@jeanninee12) May 16, 2014
Given the fact that he has a win on a strong horse just over a decade ago, Espinoza could pull away again and be just one race away from the illusive Triple Crown.
Calvin Borel (Ria Antonia)
If any jockey knows what it's like to ride a filly to victory at Pimlico, it's Calvin Borel.
The legendary jockey rode Rachel Alexandra to a win in 2009, the last time a female horse won the Preakness. After an unsuccessful mount with Ride On Curlin in Louisville, Borel was given another chance, as the Lexington Herald-Leader reported earlier this week:
Calvin Borel will have mount on Ria in Preakness.— horseracinghl (@horseracinghl) May 12, 2014
Borel has also taken several other horses to victory, including Mine That Bird, Street Sense and Super Saver, at the Kentucky Derby.
With his ground-saving, rail-skimming riding technique, expect Borel to give it his all with Ria Antonia. But after she was unable to finish near the top of the pack at the Kentucky Oaks, expecting the filly to win the entire race might be far-fetched.
Rosie Napravnik (Bayern)
Who will win the Preakness Stakes?
While she wasn't able to capture the Derby earlier this month, Rosie Napravnik has a much better starting point in Pimlico.
Riding Vicar's In Trouble in Louisville, Napravnik drew the unfortunate No. 1 post and stumbled out of the gate to fall to the 19th position. But leading up to the Derby, Napravnik rode Untapable to an easy win in the Kentucky Oaks.
One stroke of good luck for the rider heading into Pimlico is her post with Bayern. Starting from the No. 5 post, Bayern should be able to keep close with the pack and potentially overtake Cali Chrome for the win.
Coming in with 10-1 odds to take the coveted race, the 26-year-old jockey has a chance to win her first race in the Triple Crown. In a field with California Chrome and Social Inclusion, Napravnik will need a perfect ride to do so with Bayern.
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