While California Chrome will continue to dominate headlines heading into the 2014 Preakness Stakes, there are a number of other contenders capable of making noise on Saturday.
The Kentucky Derby winner is the clear favorite to continue his Triple Crown run with a victory in the second leg, but the payout is only 3-5 in the morning line. This means that a $5 bet on California Chrome would only net you $3 if you win.
As a result, bettors should look towards other options in the field that would provide them with a bigger payout. Although these horses might not earn a win, they are worth a bet to place or show at Pimlico.
|1||Dynamic Impact||Miguel Mena||Mark E. Casse||12-1|
|2||General a Rod||Javier Castellano||Mike Maker||15-1|
|3||California Chrome||Victor Espinoza||Art Sherman||3-5|
|4||Ring Weekend||Alan Garcia||H. Graham Motion||20-1|
|5||Bayern||Rosie Napravnik||Bob Baffert||10-1|
|6||Ria Antonia||Calvin Borel||Tom Amoss||30-1|
|7||Kid Cruz||Julian Pimentel||Linda Rice||20-1|
|8||Social Inclusion||Luis Contreras||Manny Azpurua||5-1|
|9||Pablo Del Monte||Jeffrey Sanchez||Wesley A. Ward||20-1|
|10||Ride On Curlin||Joel Rosario||William Gowan||10-1|
There is not much of a "home-field advantage" when it comes to horse racing, but Kid Cruz is certainly familiar with Maryland racetracks. He earned a win at Laurel Park in March and then earned another at Pimlico in his last race in April.
This most recent win at the Federico Tesio Stakes truly showed what he can do. He was seemingly out of the running on the final turn before completely dominating on the home stretch and winning with ease.
While the field will be tougher at the Preakness Stakes, he is certainly capable of having a similar performance on the same track.
Additionally, Kid Cruz has the pedigree of a champion as the son of 1999 Belmont Stakes winner Lemon Drop Kid, who was also in the family of Seattle Slew. The pure speed is there to surprise the field and come out with a late close once again at Pimlico.
Pablo Del Monte
After Hoppertunity scratched at the Kentucky Derby, Pablo Del Monte was the next up and could have replaced him from the outside post. However, trainer Wesley Ward figured it would be better to save him for the Preakness.
With the extra rest, Ward feels like his horse will be ready to challenge California Chrome and the rest of the field, via Brisnet.com:
He's certainly ready. He worked (six furlongs in) 1:10-and-change last week and he came back with a 1:12 1/5 on Saturday. He's had the spacing between the Blue Grass and the Preakness now. If ever you'd want to take on a Kentucky Derby winner it's when he's coming back on short rest, like these two weeks.
The rest is a good thing, but it is important to note that Pablo Del Monte also has a great deal of speed and more experience than a majority of the field. He earned a top-three finish at the Grade III Hutcheson Stakes before replicating the feat at the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes.
Jockey Jeffrey Sanchez should have plenty of freedom at the start while coming out of the No. 9 post, and the pure speed of the horse will give him a chance to contend for a spot in the money.
As the only filly in the field, Ria Antonia has an uphill battle to contend for a spot in the winner's circle. However, she has as much experience in big races as any horse in the field.
Ria Antonia has competed in four Grade I races in her career, including a win at the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. She also finished in second place at the Santa Anita Oaks. Still, competing in the Preakness is a big jump for any female, when compared to recent history:
The @PreaknessStakes field will include Ria Antonia, who will become the 54th filly to run in the middle jewel but just the 5th in 75 years— Preakness Stakes (@PreaknessStakes) May 12, 2014
On the other hand, she will have a lot of help from jockey Calvin Borel, who was aboard Rachel Alexandra in 1999, who was the last filly to win the Preakness.
The experienced jockey will help out a horse who has not raced at this distance in her career and make sure there is enough left in the tank for the final stretch. He will do his best to get to the rail and surprise the world with the biggest long shot on the board.
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