The next installment in the Triple Crown hunt of California Chrome will take place on Saturday, as the 2014 Preakness Stakes and Pimlico Race Course will decide whether or not history can be made at the Belmont Stakes on June 7.
Even though you've probably been hearing all about Chrome ever since he won the Kentucky Derby, there are nine other horses in the field of 10. Not every horse has the talent to compete with Chrome and jockey Victor Espinoza, but there are a few horses that actually have a shot at upsetting the favorite.
Below you'll find the entire field, including post positioning and the jockeys that are looking to get to the winner's circle:
|1||Dynamic Impact||Miguel Mena|
|2||General A Rod||Javier Castellano|
|3||California Chrome||Victor Espinoza|
|4||Ring Weekend||Alan Garcia|
|6||Ria Antonia||Calvin Borel|
|7||Kid Cruz||Julian Pimentel|
|8||Social Inclusion||Luis Contreras|
|9||Pablo Del Monte||Jeffrey Sanchez|
|10||Ride On Curlin||Joel Rosario|
Chrome is obviously the favorite in the race, but which horses should Espinoza be on the lookout for? Bayern and Social Inclusion are both fast horses with talented jockeys that have the speed to overtake Chrome on a short track.
A short track with a small field means that there should be more room for these horses to open it up and show off their speed, but that will all depend on how the race begins. If it begins quickly, look for them to outrun everyone else. If it begins at a slower pace (like the Kentucky Derby), then expect them to turn the jets on later in the match.
Bayern has been impressively fast lately. Jay Privman of Daily Racing Form noted that Bayern "sizzled" in one of his pre-Preakness workouts:
Bayern, prepping for Preakness, sizzled 5f in 58.20 this morning at CD. #preakness2014— Jay Privman (@DRFPrivman) May 5, 2014
Bayern and Social Inclusion are likely Chrome's biggest competitors on Saturday.
Dynamic Impact, General a Rod and Ride on Curlin are among the next tier of competitors. Eyes will be on Ride on Curlin for a multitude of reasons. For one, the colt is the son of Curlin, the 2007 Preakness winner. Ride on Curlin also made up ground to come in seventh at the Kentucky Derby, and his owner will be expecting more in the Preakness.
With a new jockey riding him, Ride on Curlin will be looking for better early success. Joel Rosario will likely help the horse start faster and run the race more consistently. That was his biggest issue at the Derby.
It's going to be tough for Dynamic Impact to crack the superfecta, despite the colt's great speed. The pack ahead of him will simply prove too strong to overcome.
Horses like Ria Antonia, Ring Weekend, Kid Cruz and Pablo Del Monte represent the third tier of horses in this one. Pablo Del Monte is a mystery of sorts, as he has only raced twice on conventional dirt in his career.
It would be surprising to see Ring Weekend finish in the top four at Pimlico. His races were, for the most part, ordinary. Nothing really stands out about this horse, and he will need some luck and a great start to make noise.
In the end, this race will be all California Chrome. There are a few other horses that have the potential to surprise some people, but it would be the ultimate surprise to see Chrome go down. I like his chances to win the second leg of the Triple Crown.