Preakness 2021: Horses, Favorites and Contenders for This Year's Field

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IMay 12, 2021

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit, left, leaves the track at Pimlico Race Course after a morning exercise ahead of the Preakness Stakes horse race, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit has been cleared to race at the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, and he'll be starting from the No. 3 post. However, it's not yet certain whether he'll have a legitimate chance at the Triple Crown this year, even if he races to victory in each of the final two legs of the schedule.

It's not been decided whether Medina Spirit will be disqualified and lose his Derby victory (which would then be given to second-place finisher Mandaloun) after he tested positive for the steroid betamethasone. That won't be determined until the blood sample is retested at a laboratory.

In the meantime, Medina Spirit will be one of the 10 horses racing in the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore on Saturday. He's one of only three horses that competed in the Kentucky Derby in the field, along with Midnight Bourbon and Keepmeinmind.

Here's a look at the full field for the 146th Preakness Stakes.


Preakness Post Draw, Odds

1. Ram (30-1)

2. Keepmeinmind (15-1)

3. Medina Spirit (9-5)

4. Crowded Trade (10-1)

5. Midnight Bourbon (5-1)

6. Rombauer (12-1)

7. France Go de Ina (20-1)

8. Unbridled Honor (15-1)

9. Risk Taking (15-1)

10. Concert Tour (5-2)


Top Contenders

Although trainer Bob Baffert won't be attending the Preakness (a decision he made after Medina Spirit's failed drug test), he's going to have the top two favorites in the race. In addition to Medina Spirit (9-5), Concert Tour (5-2) is also expected to be among the contenders to win.

Concert Tour didn't race the Kentucky Derby, as Baffert opted to have the colt skip the event and prepare for the Preakness instead. Concert Tour won his first three career races, then finished third at the Arkansas Derby last month.

However, Medina Spirit remains the horse to watch. When he breaks strong from the gate and gets off to an early lead (as he did in the Kentucky Derby), he is difficult to beat. And he's finished first or second in each of his first six career races.

"To me, if everyone runs their race that we have seen from them in the past, I think this is Medina Spirit's race to lose," NBC Sports analyst Matt Bernier said, per Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press.

Baffert has won the Preakness a record seven times, with his most recent victory at the event coming with 2018 Triple Crown champion Justify. There's a strong chance he could win it again with either Medina Spirit or Concert Tour.

But there are some other strong horses in the field that could upset that pair. Among them is Midnight Bourbon (5-1), who got off to a slow start at the Kentucky Derby and ended up finishing sixth. Before that, the colt hadn't placed worse than third in his first seven career races.

Trainer Steve Asmussen is a two-time Preakness winner, but it's been a while since he was victorious with Curlin (2007) and Rachel Alexandra (2009).

"Midnight Bourbon was very consistent coming into the Derby," Asmussen said, per Horse Racing Nation. "He wasn't exactly in position to run his best race that day, by the break, traffic, different reasons."

Starting from the No. 5 post in the Preakness, Midnight Bourbon could have a better showing and potentially challenge for the win late.

Crowded Trade (10-1) and Rombauer (12-1) also have solid odds heading into the Preakness. And neither of these horses competed in the Kentucky Derby, so they're likely fresh and ready to go.

Crowded Trade has finished third or better in each of his first three races and is coming off a third-place finish at the Wood Memorial Stakes last month. Rombauer has raced twice in 2021, winning the El Camino Real Derby in February and finishing third in the Blue Grass Stakes last month.