Medina Spirit will be looking to follow up his Kentucky Derby win with another victory. Two other horses that raced in the Derby (Midnight Bourbon and Keepmeinmind) are seeking bounce-back performances. And seven other colts (including Concert Tour) will try to race to victory after not participating in the Derby.
It's a talented field of 10 horses that will be taking part in the 146th Preakness Stakes on Saturday evening at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. After last year's Preakness was postponed to October because of the coronavirus pandemic, things are a bit more normal in 2021, as the race has returned to being the second event on the Triple Crown schedule.
Medina Spirit had a dominant showing at the Kentucky Derby, leading wire to wire, but the performance has been a bit overshadowed by a failed drug test showing he had tested positive for the steroid betamethasone. It's not yet been decided whether the colt will keep his Derby win, but he's been cleared to race in the Preakness after passing three additional drug tests this week.
Here are the lineup and odds for Saturday's race, followed by predictions for how the top contenders will cross the finish line.
Preakness Lineup, 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
No trainer has won the Preakness more times than Bob Baffert, who won the race for the seventh time with Justify in 2018. However, Baffert won't be in attendance this year, as he opted not to travel to Baltimore following Medina Spirit's failed drug test.
That doesn't mean Baffert won't have a horse win the race, though. In addition to Medina Spirit, Baffert has another top contender in the Preakness field in Concert Tour, who didn't race the Kentucky Derby and has been preparing for this event.
While Medina Spirit may not be as dominant as he was at the Derby, it's still likely he's going to have a solid showing and be close to the front at the finish. The colt has never placed worse than second in six career races, so it seems likely he'll at least be in the top three at the Preakness.
Among the non-Baffert-trained horses in the field, the one to watch could be Midnight Bourbon. Heading into the Kentucky Derby, he had never finished worse than third in seven career races. That included a second-place showing at the Louisiana Derby in March.
But Midnight Bourbon got off to a slow start at the Kentucky Derby, and he couldn't make his way to the front of the field in time to place in the top three. Instead, he finished sixth. But that could have him set up for a better showing at the Preakness.
Trainer Steve Asmussen, who has previously won the Preakness with Curlin (2007) and Rachel Alexandra (2009), will hope that Midnight Bourbon can lead him back to victory at Pimlico.
"He's a fun horse to train," Asmussen said, per Claire Crosby of BloodHorse. "[He's] obviously very strong-minded and willful, but he's exciting to be around. He's extremely physical. He's just a gorgeous horse to watch."
Midnight Bourbon will place better than he did at the Kentucky Derby. Medina Spirit will again be near the front at the finish. But neither horse is going to win the race.
Instead, it will be Concert Tour that races to victory and helps Baffert extend his all-time record at the Preakness. Perhaps the most challenging feat for Concert Tour will be getting off to a strong start from the No. 10 post. But even a slow start won't be enough to prevent this colt from winning.
Concert Tour has a strong pedigree, as he is a son of Street Sense, who was the 2007 Kentucky Derby champion. He's been trained by Baffert, and he'll be ridden by jockey Mike Smith, who is a two-time winner of the Preakness.
Those are all factors working in Concert Tour's favor. It may also help that he's fresh, having not raced since the Arkansas Derby on April 10. The colt finished third in that race after winning each of the first three events of his career.
According to the Maryland Jockey Club Press Office (h/t Paulick Report), there's only been one previous instance of a Kentucky Derby champion going on to lose to a stablemate in the Preakness. In 1995, Timber Country won the race, ending the Triple Crown bid of Thunder Gulch (who finished third).
History will repeat itself this year. Concert Tour will win the Preakness, with Medina Spirit finishing third. And while there won't be a Triple Crown in 2021, it will be another strong showing for Baffert-trained horses.
Prediction: 1. Concert Tour; 2. Midnight Bourbon; 3. Medina Spirit.