If California Chrome runs anything like he did in the Kentucky Derby then no other horse in the field will have a chance to beat him.
Art Sherman's horse is looking to win the 139th Preakness Stakes on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course—keeping the dream alive for a Triple Crown.
The 77-year-old trainer and his three-year-old colt will have to overcome a historically bad post position to win.
California Chrome drew the third slot. As you can see from this tweet from Sporting Charts, the first three post positions haven't been kind to horses in recent Preakness Stakes history.
Here's a look at the full field. The horses are listed in order of their predicted finish.
|Preakness Stakes Post Positions and Predicted Finish|
|1||3||California Chrome||Victor Espinoza|
|3||6||Ria Antonia||Calvin Borel|
|4||10||Ride on Curlin||Joel Rosario|
|5||1||Dynamic Impact||Miguel Mena|
|6||2||General A Rod||Javier Castellano|
|7||8||Social Inclusion||Luis Contreras|
|8||4||Ring Weekend||Alan Garcia|
|9||7||Kid Cruz||Julian Pimentel|
|10||9||Pablo Del Monte||Jeffrey Sanchez|
|Post positions per Preakness.com, predictions per Brian Mazique|
Post Position History
|Post Position History at Preakness Since 1984|
|Post Position||Starts||Wins||Win Percentage|
Lucky No. 7
If history matters at all, Social Inclusion may have drawn lucky No. 7. Since 1984, no post position has generated more winners. The winner has emerged from that spot seven times in 30 starts.
Noted for his dynamic speed, Social Inclusion's owner Ron Sanchez told Jennie Rees of USA Today that they have every intention of using the horse's natural talent come Saturday:
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.
It'll take more than blazing speed to lead Social Inclusion to a win. California Chrome has already shown he has the closing gene. That could be the best talent to possess at the Preakness.
The Bookends Haven't Produced
Similar to the first post position, the 10th slot has also only rendered just one winner in the last 30 years. Running on the rail or running close to the outside of the pack hasn't been advantageous in recent Preakness history.
As it happens, another one of the more highly touted horses in the field, Ride on Curlin, will begin his run from No. 10.
At 10-1 odds, per Preakness.com, Ride on Curlin shouldn't be ignored. Even so, it's hard to overlook such consistent mediocrity out of his post position.
But things could be different this year from that spot.
With just 10 horses in the field, No. 10 becomes an outside slot—as opposed to calling for the horse to run with as many as four competitors on its right side.
Could that be the difference? We'll find out on Saturday at Pimlico.
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