The unusual 2020 Triple Crown circuit comes to a close four months later than it typically does, and at a different track. The 2020 Preakness Stakes caps off the three-race stretch that began in June at the Belmont Stakes.
Just four weeks ago, Authentic ended Tiz the Law's Triple Crown pursuit by taking first at Churchill Downs. While Tiz the Law is out of the Preakness field, Authentic is in and he is expected to face a challenge from Art Collector, whose odds to win at Pimlico Race Course lowered throughout the week.
Preakness Stakes Information
TV: NBC (Coverage starts at 4:30 p.m. ET)
Post Time: 5:45 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBCSports.com or NBC Sports app
Post Positions and Odds
1. Art Collector
3. Max Player
4. Thousand Words
5. Ny Traffic
6. Swiss Skydiver
7. Mr. Big News
11. Jesus' Team
Art Collector shifted into the favorite role Friday over Authentic.
The current favorite, who enters Pimlico on a five-race winning streak, was expected to challenge Authentic and Tiz the Law at the Kentucky Derby, but an injury prevented that from happening. Even as the courses and competition have gotten tougher, Art Collector found a way to dominate the field and end up in the winner's circle.
Saturday presents his first head-to-head meeting with Authentic and Thousand Words, who is the other horse trained by Bob Baffert in the field.
Authentic should get a good start from the outside, which could lead to a carbon copy of the strategy that saw him win the Kentucky Derby from an outside post position.
But one difference between the Preakness and the Derby, where he lined up alongside the second-place finisher Tiz the Law and fourth-place Honor A.P., is the lack of fast horses coming out of the outside to push Authentic.
Art Collector is expected to be flanked by Thousand Words and Swiss Skydiver, who start in the two positions to the right of the pre-race favorite.
Thousand Words would not be a surprise winner at the joint-second-best odds, but it would be a bit of a shock if he takes first away from Authentic or Art Collector. The Bob Baffert-trained horse is coming off two straight top-two positions.
If a long shot is going to come away with a Triple Crown win for the first time in 2020, Max Player may be the best candidate. He took third at the Belmont and fifth at the Kentucky Derby and is among the most experienced horses in longer races. He has competed in four straight races of 1 1/8 miles or longer, while others only have two or three on their resumes.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
Statistics obtained from HorseRacingNation.com.