Now that the dust has settled (or more appropriately mud has dried) on the 2018 Kentucky Derby we of the horse racing world turn our attention to The Preakness Stakes. Held next Saturday, the 19th of May at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, MD. Estimated post time is 6:20.
It is a quick turnaround for the connections who choose to run-back their horses two weeks following the KD. Trainers normally prefer 3-5 weeks between races in order to give the animal(s) sufficient time to rest and recover from the previous contest. It is not unusual for KD entrants to take a pass on The Preakness, after not having won the first leg horse racing’s Triple Crown. Half of last years KD field did not run in The Preakness.
Who could blame this years KD runners if they didn’t want to go up against JUSTIFY again. Despite track conditions, it was a dominate performance by the Bob Baffert trained colt. When GOOD MAGIC took a run at him down the stretch, JUSTIFY dug in, found another gear and rebuffed the challenge. The Preakness is a shorter distance than The Derby which bodes well for the speedy JUSTIFY. Jockey Mike Smith will no doubt gun him out of the gate, and look to be on or near the lead (sound familiar?) most of the way, before hitting the afterburners on the turn for home.
Once The Preakness field is confirmed, DRB will take a look at the KD holdovers as well as the ‘new shooters’. The common thinking is that the horses who did not race in the KD, but set their sights on The Preakness will be rested and have fresher legs. But remember, the winner of the 2018 Kentucky Derby did not race as a two year-old, and The Preakness will be only his 5th career start, so you could certainly JUSTIFY winning again.