California Chrome was able to steal the attention of the sports-loving public at the Kentucky Derby on May 3, and that was a day when the NBA playoffs were in full swing and Floyd Mayweather had a boxing match. Imagine the microscope that the champion horse will be under if he wins the Preakness on Saturday.
If you want to join in on the buzz, here is the broadcast information for the second leg of the Triple Crown, as well as the odds and a few of the notable jockeys to watch during the race.
139th Preakness Stakes
When: Saturday, May 17
Where: Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore
Time: Broadcast begins at 4:30 p.m. ET
Post Time: 6:18 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
These odds are via Odds Shark as of Friday, May 16.
|General a Rod||15-1|
|Pablo Del Monte||20-1|
|Ride On Curlin||10-1|
Jockeys to Watch
Victor Espinoza will once again be under the bright lights atop California Chrome, but he has been in this situation before.
He won the Kentucky Derby in 2002 with War Emblem and also won the Preakness that very same year. This isn’t Espinoza’s first rodeo with the favorite coming off an impressive showing at Churchill Downs, which will pay dividends going forward.
Much of the responsibility for winning this race will ultimately fall on his shoulders thanks to the No. 3 posting that he and California Chrome drew.
Espinoza will have to ride California Chrome out of the gates harder than he did at the Kentucky Derby in order to avoid potentially being trapped against the rail from one of the inside positions.
He will do just that and guide his dominant horse to victory. As long as he avoids getting caught early, California Chrome will turn on the jets down the stretch run, just like he did at Churchill Downs.
Rosie Napravnik will try to become the first female jockey to win the Preakness by guiding Bayern to victory.
She failed to make that type of history at the Derby, but she is still one of the most notable jockeys in the sport. She has more than 1,500 wins in her career and was the first woman to win the Louisiana Derby, Kentucky Oaks and a title at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans.
Of particular note is the fact that she will be riding for Hall of Fame trainer and five-time Preakness winner Bob Baffert, who commented on his choice of jockeys, via Steve Ginsburg of Reuters:
A lot of jockeys are intimidated when they ride for me. She's not. She just rides her horse. I never say hardly a word to her. I just throw her on there, that's it, and I just leave her alone. She does her homework and I don't have to say too much to her.
Having a jockey that isn’t easily intimidated by an important moment like the Preakness will go a long way toward improving Bayern’s chances.
Calvin Borel may be the most famous jockey in the sport, but the Hall of Famer didn’t have a great run at the Kentucky Derby, as Tim Sullivan of The Courier-Journal pointed out:
Ride On Curlin's trainer, Billy Gowan, has yet to watch a replay of Kentucky Derby. Fired jockey Calvin Borel based on first impression.— Tim Sullivan (@TimSullivan714) May 15, 2014
He will try to redeem himself atop the filly Ria Antonia, and he may just be the jockey to lead this long shot to victory. After all, he won the 2009 Preakness atop Rachel Alexandra, so he has a history with taking fillies to the winner's circle.
Borel has three Kentucky Derby crowns under his belt (2007, 2009 and 2010) to go along with that Preakness championship, so he knows how to win the big race. Whether he can do so with a long shot against California Chrome remains to be seen.
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