After an unprecedented and controversial finish to the 2019 Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes was all set up to be one of the most anticipated in years. Unfortunately, that's not likely to be the case with no chance at a Triple Crown contender crossing the finish line first on Saturday.
Country House won the Run for the Roses on May 4, but only after the first horse to cross the finish line, Maximum Security, was disqualified. Neither horse will be taking to the track at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore for health reasons.
So there will be Triple Crown (or pseudo-Triple Crown, for those who think Maximum Security deserved better) this year, clearing the way for another horse to make a claim to fame and fortune at the 144th running of the Preakness Stakes.
2019 Preakness Stakes
Date: Saturday, May 18
Post Time: 6:48 p.m. ET
Where: Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live
Post Position Info
According to HorseRacingNation.com, there are 12 prospective horses in the Preakness Stakes field as of Sunday. Post positions will be drawn on Wednesday, so as of right now, we just have the horses and their pedigrees, trainers and jockeys to go on.
Here's the field, according to HorseRacingNation.com:
War of Will
Win Win Win
Of those 12 thoroughbreds, four ran in the Kentucky Derby.
Improbable, a Bob Baffert-trained horse, did the best by finishing in fourth place. War of Will also raced well, placing seventh. Win Win Win did little to live up to its name in ninth place, and Bodexpress brings up the rear with 13th place at Churchill Downs (it should be noted that all of these horses were bumped up a spot after Maximum Security was relegated to 17th because of the disqualification).
The early favorite for the Preakness is Improbable. The horse is becoming increasingly popular with bettors, moving from 10-1 opening odds to 2-1 odds as of Monday, per SportsLine.com.
Improbable was one of the favorites heading into the Kentucky Derby after the initial front-runner, Omaha Beach, had to drop out of the race. Baffert has done well at the Preakness, with seven of his horses winning the Run for the Black-Eyed Susans.
Other top contenders, per SportsLine.com, include War of Will, Alwaysmining and Win Win Win.
While there won't be the excitement of a Triple Crown chase this year, there is another reason to tune in for the Preakness. This could be one of the last times the race is run in Baltimore.
The Los Angeles Times' John Cherwa explained:
"The people of Baltimore seem to adore the Preakness and believe it is part of the city's fabric. The problem is the place is a dump. This year they closed down 7,000 grandstand seats because they are unsafe. The track needs to be rebuilt at a cost of about $400 million. Pimlico currently runs only 12 days a year. This is yet another crisis the Stronach Group is dealing with, in addition to the horse deaths at Santa Anita. The Maryland Jockey Club, which is Stronach, in the last few days averted a strike by union workers at the track. They have been without a contract since the end of 2017."
Pimlico has hosted the Preakness since 1873. It seems impossible the race should be run anywhere else, and yet it's a distinct possibility.
According to Cherwa, Pimlico will host the Preakness for at least another year, but beyond that, it's impossible to say. One of the jewels of the Triple Crown might have to find a new place to call home.