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Preakness 2020: Entries, Contenders, Odds and Lineup Analysis

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistOctober 2, 2020

Max Player works out on a track at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., Thursday, June 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

With the Preakness Stakes set to take place Saturday, the horses have all been taken to Baltimore and the final preparations are being made for the 145th run for the Black-Eyed Susans.

Authentic enters the race as the favorite coming off an impressive Kentucky Derby win. Unfortunately, the Triple Crown is not in the cards this year, as Tiz the Law, who came second at Churchill Downs in September, won the Belmont Stakes to open up the modified Triple Crown schedule.

However, there's still plenty of intrigue as to whether Bob Baffert's colt can go two-for-three in the big races.

Joining him in the field will be a slew of interesting contenders both old and new to the Triple Crown series, including Art Collector, Swiss Skydiver and Mr. Big News.

                      

Preakness 2020 Start Time and TV Schedule

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Date: Saturday, Oct. 3

TV: NBC (Coverage starts at 4:30 p.m. ET)

Live Stream: NBCSports.com

Post Time: 6:45 p.m. ET

                  

Post Positions and Odds

1. Excession 40-1

2. Mr. Big News 16-1

3. Art Collector 5-2

4. Swiss Skydiver 8-1

5. Thousand Words 8-1

6. Jesus' Team 66-1

7. Ny Traffic 20-1

8. Max Player 20-1

9. Authentic 6-4

10. Pneumatic 25-1

11. Liveyourbeastlife 50-1

Odds via Oddschecker.

                    

Contenders and Lineup Analysis

Authentic is at the center of the conversation surrounding the Preakness for good reason. The Baffert-trained colt put on a show at Churchill Downs. He showcased the speed to set the pace early and the endurance to hold off a late-charging Tiz the Law.

He will need to run every bit as well to hold off some of the horses at Pimlico as well, though.

Art Collector was installed as the second-favorite in the Derby before a minor foot injury forced him out. Trainer Thomas Drury Jr. will hope that his patience pays off. The colt has won all four of his starts as a three-year-old.

The only question surrounding Art Collector this time around is his top speed. His highest Equibase speed figure is just 106, and he reached that in June in an allowance race. That's not going to blow anyone away, but he's looked good over 1  miles.

Swiss Skydiver is the only filly entered in this year's race. Five have won, with Rachel Alexandra being the most recent in 2009. Her connections weren't sure about entering the Preakness but couldn't pass up on the opportunity to run for a share of the $1 million purse.

"If they had written a three-year-old filly race at a mile and an eighth or a mile and a quarter, a Grade 1, it would have been a no-brainer," trainer Kenny McPeek said, per Paulick Report. "We'd probably be in that. In the case of running against older fillies and mares, we've got a lot of time to do that."

Her most recent start saw her finish second in the Kentucky Oaks against her fellow fillies, but she also came second in the Bluegrass Stakes, finishing just behind Art Collector.

Thousand Words is another interesting contender. Baffert's other entry in the race was set up to run in the Derby, but a fall in the paddock just before post time led to a late scratch.

He is a strong finisher who will need to keep up with the pace more than he would like in the early going. The Preakness is slightly shorter than the 1 ¼-mile Derby, so he will need to be in good position to make a push a little earlier than he would like.

Mr. Big News is another closer to watch for. He ruined a lot of exotics with his third-placed finish in the Derby. He showcased a good gas tank and closing speed to hit the board as a 46-1 long shot. Now that bettors have seen what he's capable of, his odds are much shorter.

Breaking from the second gate, it will be important that he doesn't get left behind early.

Pneumatic is another long shot to keep an eye on. His speed figures paint a picture of one of the faster horses in the field, and a fourth-placed finish in the Belmont leads one to believe his endurance shouldn't be an issue. If jockey Joe Bravo can get a clean break from the 10th post, Pneumatic could be the horse that ruins some trifectas this time around.

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