The No. 7 post position was quite fortunate for Justify in the Kentucky Derby, and the big red thoroughbred trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert has that post again for Saturday's Preakness Stakes.
Justify was a 2½-length winner in the Kentucky Derby, withstanding the challenge of 19 other runners.
He won't have to defeat that man this time, as the Preakness field consists of just eight horses. One of those is Good Magic, who challenged him in the Kentucky Derby and came away second.
Good Magic will start from the No. 5 post, and trainer Chad Brown has liked the way his horse has looked since the Derby, per Horse Racing Nation's Matt Shifman. His initial thought right after he fell short of the winner's circle on the first Saturday in May was that he did not want to challenge Justify again, but the trainer changed his mind.
Here's a look at the post positions for the upcoming race.
According to OddsShark, Justify is a -250 favorite in the race at Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course, which converts to 1-2 in standard North American race track odds.
Here's a look at the morning-line odds (standard race-track odds in parentheses):
Justify, -250 (1-2)
Good Magic, +300 (3-1)
Diamond King, +1600 (16-1)
Quip, +1600 (16-1)
Bravazo, +1800 (18-1)
Sporting Chance, +2200 (22-1)
Tenfold, +2500 (25-1)
Lone Sailor, +2500 (25-1)
Quip did not run in the Kentucky Derby, largely because he was slow to return to form after finishing second in the Arkansas Derby, per Shifman. Trainer Rodolphe Brisset has said Quip is back in form and should be able to run a solid race. Quip likes to run at or near the front, similar to Justify. If he gets in an early battle with the Derby winner, he is likely to come out on the wrong end. Additionally, the rail has been quite slow at Pimlico, and that could work against him.
Predicted finish: Fourth place.
Lone Sailor finished in eighth place in the 20-horse Kentucky Derby field. He should have a somewhat easier time of it in the Preakness, but he has just one victory in nine races. He is not likely to be a major factor.
Predicted finish: Fifth place.
Sporting Chance is a talented horse who is running out of the three hole. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, he can be an excellent competitor, but he doesn't always do what his trainer and jockey want. Sporting Chance has won two of seven races he has entered, but he was unwilling to run at a practice Sunday morning, Shifman.
Predicted finish: Sixth place.
Diamond King is trained by John Servis and has won four races in six attempts. He gained his entry into the Preakness as a result of his victory in the Federico Tesio and should run a strong race. However, Shifman noted he is not as fast as the horses that ran in the Derby and will have to come up with a sensational effort here.
Predicted finish: Third place.
Good Magic is very strong and came through with an impressive second place in the Kentucky Derby. He likely would have been the winner of that race in most years, but Justify was too impressive in finding a second gear. Brown should have Good Magic prepared to run another excellent race, and he could come closer to Justify this time around:
Predicted finish: Second place.
Tenfold has won two of the three races he has entered, and trainer Steve Asmussen is one of the best in the business. While he wouldn't enter a horse in the race if he didn't think he had a legitimate chance to contend, Tenfold just does not have enough experience to beat the better horses in this field.
Predicted finish: Seventh place.
Justify appears to be the best horse among the three-year-old class, and he proved it in the Derby. He got out of the gate quickly to avoid the traffic, and hen he made his move to get the lead, he was not about to give it up. When Good Magic challenged him, he simply found another gear. Big, strong and powerful, Justify should be able find his way to the front again and turn it on when he approaches the wire.
Predicted finish: First place.
Bravazo is another Lukas entry, and he could benefit from a fast, early pace that involves at least three competitors. Bravazo wants to come from behind, so he is hoping for a speed duel. However, if this is a tactical, slower race, he is not likely to make up much ground.
Predicted finish: Eighth place.