Through no fault of its own, the 2020 Preakness Stakes lost plenty of pre-race hype.
After all, the usual second leg of the Triple Crown was bumped back to third this year because of delays in the schedule caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The advantage of being second and after the Kentucky Derby means a Triple Crown is always still in play.
Not so much for the third race.
After Tiz The Law won the Belmont Stakes in June, Authentic won Saturday's Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. It held off a strong closing kick from Tiz the Law, who was attempting to make a move to the front from the outside, and landed trainer Bob Baffert his sixth career victory at the Run for the Roses.
That means there will not be a Triple Crown on the line at the Preakness Stakes, which is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 3, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.
Here is a look at the early odds, courtesy of Oddschecker, as of Sunday at 11:30 p.m. ET.
Tiz the Law, 11-10
Honor A. P., 5-1
Thousand Words, 10-1
Mr. Big News, 10-1
Max Player, 16-1
King Guillermo, 20-1
Ny Traffic, 20-1
Tap It To Win, 20-1
Money Moves, 20-1
Storm the Court, 25-1
No Parole, 33-1
Sole Volante, 33-1
Major Fed, 40-1
Necker Island, 40-1
Attachment Rate, 50-1
Winning Impression, 50-1
South Bend, 50-1
Finnick the Fierce, 66-1
It needs to be mentioned that this is an extremely early list and not necessarily indicative of what the odds and field will look like closer to the race.
After all, trainers and owners will take the coming weeks to determine whether their horses should run in the third leg of the Triple Crown, and the field will undoubtedly change and impact the betting lines.
Many may ultimately decide to rest their horses during the Preakness with an eye on November's Breeders' Cup. There could also be less motivation for the trainers to run their top horses since a Triple Crown and place in the history books is no longer at stake.
Still, the most intriguing storyline is whether there will be another showdown between Authentic and Tiz the Law.
After all, they put on a show Saturday, with the victor holding off a drama-filled charge at the end. It was a testament to Authentic's closing kick, which will be key at the Preakness. The Preakness is the shortest of the Triple Crown races at 1 3/16 miles in length, meaning that finishing stretch will surely come into play with less space to build a commanding lead.
Tiz the Law has never lost away from Churchill Downs, where he came in second place on Saturday and third place in November's Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes.
A shift away from the famed location could help him return to form, although Authentic has won three of his last four races. In addition to the Derby, he captured the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park in March and the Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park in July.
The thought here is Authentic will keep that hot streak rolling.
He already proved he can outlast Tiz the Law on a finishing stretch in Saturday's race and will do so again at the Preakness with less distance to cover. Look for yet another victory for the Baffert-trained horse.