Authentic comes into the Preakness Stakes at a disadvantage compared to every other Kentucky Derby champion.
Because of the rescheduling of the Kentucky Derby in the Triple Crown sequence, the Bob Baffert-trained horse will not chase a Triple Crown through a Derby-Preakness double.
Instead, Authentic will try to become the third horse since 2000 to win the final two legs of the Triple Crown. Point Given in 2001 and Afleet Alex in 2005 took victories in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
Art Collector is expected to be the top threat to Authentic Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. Swiss Skydiver and Thousand Words are viewed as the other top contenders with odds lower than 10-1.
If Authentic does not capture first place, there will be three different winners of Triple Crown races in four of the last five years.
Preakness Stakes Odds
1. Art Collector
3. Max Player
4. Thousand Words
5. Ny Traffic
6. Swiss Skydiver
7. Mr. Big News
11. Jesus' Team
A minor injury cost Art Collector the opportunity to showcase his skill on the Triple Crown stage at the Kentucky Derby.
Art Collector has not lost in his last five starts and the last two victories occurred with Triple Crown race participants in the field.
At the Blue Grass Stakes in July, he outlasted Swiss Skydiver, who entered the event as the favored horse.
In August at the Ellis Park Derby, Art Collector defeated a field with a trio of Kentucky Derby participants while cashing in on his favorite status.
Art Collector will face an upgrade in competition at the Preakness with Authentic and Thousand Words among the new horses he will face, but the win over Swiss Skydiver may be a good indicator of what he is capable of against the best three-year-old horses.
The primary challenge Art Collector faces is keeping up with the pace of Authentic, who put away Tiz the Law in the final lengths of the Kentucky Derby.
The key to avoiding a run from behind against Authentic will be getting off to a fast start from an inside starting spot at Post 3.
American Pharoah, Cloud Computing and War of Will all took advantage of the inside line to win the Preakness in three of the last five years.
A year ago, four of the top six finishers at Pimlico started from the six inside post positions. Anothertwistafate and Alwaysmining struggled to back up their odds below 10-1 from the outside starting spots.
That could be a bad sign for Authentic, but he captured the Kentucky Derby title from post 18. Even if he struggles a bit to start, the Churchill Downs winner should at least find his way near the front by the end of the race.
Max Player may not receive as much pre-race buzz as the favorites, but he is worth considering as a top-three finisher.
Max Player took third behind Tiz the Law and Dr Post at the Belmont Stakes, and he ran to a respectable fifth-place mark at the Kentucky Derby.
As the only horse with two races of Triple Crown experience, Max Player could be a decent long shot to win, or a horse to use for exotic bets.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90
Statistics obtained from HorseRacingNation.com