A 10-horse field is set to run for the Black-Eyed Susans in the 146th Preakness Stakes amid Medina Spirit's controversial bid for the Triple Crown.
The Kentucky Derby winner's status as the winner at Churchill Downs is in dispute. Bob Baffert's winning colt tested positive for excess amounts of betamethasone, an anti-inflammatory steroid. Whether the Derby's results will be upheld is going to rely on his split sample coming back negative.
Those results won't be back in time to make a ruling before the Preakness, so Medina Spirit's quest for the Triple Crown continues, but there are conditions.
Officials at Pimlico have agreed to allow the horse to race, but he and Baffert's other entrants will be subjected to additional testing.
That includes Concert Tour, another Baffert colt that didn't run in the Derby but will break from the 10th post at the Preakness.
Here's a look at the latest odds after the post positions were announced and a preview of the race.
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)
Odds via Preakness Stakes
This field is light on contenders from the Derby, so Medina Spirit will see plenty of fresh faces. The second- through fifth-place finishers in Louisville are sitting this one out for various reasons. There's a chance more will show up at the Belmont but for now, Midnight Bourbon is the top Derby finisher (sixth) that Medina Spirit will see again.
The Tiznow offspring had a poor trip at the Derby. His positioning in the 20-horse field was as much to blame for him missing the money than anything. The smaller field should give him a better opportunity to showcase his talent.
Trainer Steve Asmussen was disappointed in the Derby showing but still holds high hopes for the horse in Baltimore.
"We had disappointing results in the race. He didn't get away from the gate the way we wanted. You walk back and you're disappointed and stuff. And here we are less than two weeks later and we're all jazzed up, ready to go to Baltimore, and we love our chances," he said, per BloodHorse.
The reduced field certainly helps the chances of a repeat for the Florida-bred colt. As the odds indicate, this isn't an especially deep field.
The biggest challenge for the Derby winner comes from Concert Tour. A fellow Baffert-trained horse, Concert Tour would have likely been the favorite at Churchill Downs. However, his connections chose to bypass the Derby and focus the horse on the Preakness.
The son of Street Sense won his first three starts this year, including two Grade 2 stakes races before a disappointing third-place finish at the Arkansas Derby.
Still, he's a fast horse who likes to set the pace early. It's a good running style for the shorter Preakness, and Baffert obviously knows that given his decision to save him for this race.
Among the horses with double-digit odds, Crowded Trade could be a sleeper worth keeping an eye on. He only has three career starts and has finished in the top three in all of them.
"He's only raced three times. He's run three really credible races and he's going in the right direction," trainer Chad Brown said, per BloodHorse. "He's had six weeks between races, and I could see him running a really big race on Saturday."
Getting a great break from the fourth post will be important for him on Saturday. He's a closer who can't afford to fall too far behind early as the 1 3/16-mile length won't allow a lot of time for a late charge. Starting beside Medina Spirit should help as it will be easy to locate the pace he needs to stalk.
France Go de Ina is the biggest mystery in the field. The colt has been prepared by Japanese trainer Hideyuki Mori, who shipped the horse from Japan to the United Arab Emirates for his last start. He finished a disappointing sixth in the UAE Derby.
The well-traveled colt has already made his way to Pimlico and had an opportunity to get some workouts in at the track. Winning one of the American Classics after just one race in 2021 would be a huge story.