The post positions for the 2020 Preakness Stakes have been announced, the field is set and Authentic will look to join an elite group of horses that have won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
Only 23 horses have claimed both the Derby and Preakness. A win in these two races traditionally means a shot at the Triple Crown but that isn't the case this year as the race calendar has been shuffled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still, there are plenty of memorable horses who have taken these two gems of the crown. California Chrome was the last to do it in 2014.
Claiming another leg of the series won't be easy, though. The Baltimore race will provide new and familiar challenges for Authentic amid the competition for a share of the $1 million purse.
Here's a look at the complete lineup for the race along with predictions for the entire field.
2020 Preakness Post Positions, Odds
1. Excession (30-1)
2. Mr. Big News (12-1)
3. Art Collector (5-2)
4. Swiss Skydiver (6-1)
5. Thousand Words (6-1)
6. Jesus' Team (30-1)
7. Ny Traffic (15-1)
8. Max Player (15-1)
9. Authentic (9-5)
10. Pneumatic (20-1)
11. Liveyourbeastlife (30-1)
Odds via Preakness Stakes
Bob Baffert is hoping to once again make history on Saturday. The trainer is just one win away from having sole possession of the record for most Preakness wins should Authentic or Thousand Words cross the line first.
Authentic is the favorite after his performance against Tiz the Law in the Kentucky Derby. The colt showed off his talent with a comprehensive win in which he set the pace early and had enough gas in the tank to hold off a late charge from Tiz the Law rather easily.
The Belmont Stakes winner isn't around this time to challenge, but there's no reason to believe Authentic will cruise to another win. There will be plenty of competition at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday.
Art Collector is a part of that. Trainer Thomas Drury and the colt's connections made the decision to pull him from the Derby with a minor injury, but he likely would have been the second-favorite behind Tiz the Law had he been healthy.
He's four-for-four in his only starts as a three-year-old, and this is one of the last times he'll have to shine in a premier race. In a year when the Preakness is taking place in early October, having fewer starts could be an advantage.
Baffert's other entry shouldn't be slept on entirely, either. Much like Art Collector he was an intriguing play for the Run for the Roses until he fell in the paddock just before the race and was also forced to scratch.
Still, Thousand Words won his last start at the Shared Belief Stakes over Honor A. P., another contender in the Derby. So, on his best day, he's a colt worthy of consideration, but his 11th-place finish at the Oaklawn Stakes in April should give backers pause.
Swiss Skydiver is getting respect from oddsmakers. As the only filly in the lineup, her connections are hoping she'll become the first to win the race since Rachel Alexandra in 2009. The second-place finisher at the Kentucky Oaks has the same odds as Thousand Words.
A long shot worth keeping tabs on as race day approaches is Pneumatic. He emerged with a win Pegasus Stakes in August and scored a 113 Equibase speed figure in the process. That's a better figure than Authentic has in any of his appearances along with anyone else in the field.
The key will be not only registering that kind of speed but showing he has the ability to stay in the race long enough for that finish to matter or have enough endurance to hold off the pack.
1. Art Collector: It's incredibly difficult to even win two of these races. Drury's patience pays off and a fresh and healthy Art Collector gets his big moment.
2. Authentic: Too much talent not to pick to hit the board but winning two legs of Triple Crown is simply too tall a task.
3. Pneumatic: Seems to be peaking at the right time and should be one of the freshest horses in the field.
4. Thousand Words: Closing speed would have been a bigger factor in the Derby. Still a talented colt but the shorter track makes his lack of top-end speed a bigger issue.
5. Mr. Big News: A surprising third-place finish at the Derby showed he can't be discounted. Won't have as much time to make his move at the end, though.
6. Swiss Skydiver: Finished second only behind Art Collector in the Blue Grass Stakes but has been busy this year with eight starts.
7. Ny Traffic: Hasn't won a race since January. An eighth-place finish in the Derby doesn't inspire confidence.
8. Liveyourbeastlife: Most intriguing of the long shots. Coming off a second-place finish in the Jim Dandy, but he doesn't seem to have the speed for this venture.
9. Max Player: Best suited for longer races where he can make a push at the end. Doesn't have the top-end speed for this one.
10. Jesus' Team: Has had seven starts to prove he's up to this kind of challenge but has shown very little.
11. Excession: Hasn't raced since March. Feels like a huge step up in competition for that long of a layoff.