If you've been following horse racing even a little over the last month, you know California Chrome has become all the rage.
The horse captured the 140th Kentucky Derby earlier this month and is the favorite to win the 139th Preakness Stakes on Saturday.
Some might tell you to avoid California Chrome because of the hype, but we won't play the cynic role here. If he runs like he did at Churchill Downs, he'll be tough to beat.
That said, there are a few horses you'll probably want to steer clear of if you're betting. Here's a look at the odds for the field, per Preakness.com.
|Post||Horse||Odds to Win|
|10||Ride On Curlin||10-1|
|2||General A Rod||15-1|
|9||Pablo Del Monte||20-1|
Horses to Avoid
Don't Fool with the Filly
A filly has won the Preakness four times, per Sporting Charts, but don't expect this year to be the fifth. Ria Antonia is a 30-1 underdog for a reason.
Some might want to play the long shot because of the potentially high payout. This year, you may as well donate that money to a worthy cause as opposed to wasting it.
Not only is Ria Antonia already a heavy underdog, she's also coming from the sixth post position. Jammed right in the middle of the action, it seems the horse could quickly get pressed to the back of the pack.
It wouldn't be crazy to wonder just how this filly landed in the Preakness Stakes.
However, her owner, Ron Paolucci, isn't listening to anyone who suggests that his horse doesn't belong. Per John Meoli of The Baltimore Sun, Paolucci said:
Is there any other Grade 1 Stakes-winning horses in here besides California Chrome? Does she belong? I mean, do the rest of them belong? She absolutely belongs. Absolutely.
It sounds like Paolucci is really saying this: "My horse may get blown away by California Chrome, but so will all the others."
Don't believe the hype. Look elsewhere for an improbable winner.
Less-Than Dynamic Impact
This tweet from Sporting Charts tells us that the first three post positions haven't been good to horses in recent history at the Preakness:
Since 1995, there hasn't been a Preakness winner from post positions 1 through 3.— SportingCharts (@sportingcharts) May 14, 2014
California Chrome is in the third slot, but he has demonstrated the type of talent that could go above and beyond post position.
Dynamic Impact has not.
He did win the Illinois Derby last month, but that was a Grade 3 race. This is the big time, and the horse isn't prepared to succeed against an elite field from a less-than favorable post position.
The winner of the 2013 Eclipse Jockey of the Year award is one of the most consistent jockeys in the sport.
He'll be aboard General A Rod on Saturday. Castellano has already won the Preakness—riding Bernardini to victory in 2006.
He's one of three jockeys in the field who have won the race. That experience will help him guide General A Rod to a surprising finish. He probably won't win, but the result should be respectable.
Rosario trails only Castellano on the 2014 earnings list, per Equibase.com. Rosario rode Orb to victory at the 2013 Kentucky Derby, but he has never won the Preakness.
One could argue he might be due.
He's riding Ride on Curlin—a horse that many think could present California Chrome with the most competition.
It's hard to see California Chrome losing, but it's also difficult to see Rosario not guiding Ride on Curlin to at least a place or show finish.