After all of the controversy in the Kentucky Derby with the first ever disqualification, Derby winner Country House will be skipping the Preakness along with the disqualified horse Maximum Security. The betting favorite for the second jewel of the Triple Crown will be Bob Baffert’s Improbable at 3/1 — fresh off a fourth place effort in the Derby.
Seven new faces will be gracing a field of 11, including two longshot runners that look to have an impact in this year’s running of the shortest distance of the Triple Crown legs, the Preakness Stakes.
Here are two longshots that look to benefit from the shorter distance of the Preakness Stakes.
Although he is third choice in the betting odds, 8/1 is a very generous price on a runner that enters on a six race winning streak.
With not much speed entered, this runner will almost surely be on the front end attempting to rate and win in wire-to-wire fashion. Speed wise, although he has been competing against lesser competition at Laurel Park, his times have still been very quick. As we have seen time and time again with Maximum Security, speed left uncontested is exceptionally dangerous in horse racing.
One early notch in his belt is already having a victory over Win Win Win, who was a Derby “wise-guy” horse and finished a respectable eighth only four and a half lengths back.
Alwaysmining is a horse that should garner a lot of attention due to his flashy resume and impressive win streak. Skipping out on the Derby should benefit this horse and allow ample time to freshen up and mature as a runner.
Try to lock in fixed odds early, as he will likely be a popular option on Preakness day.
He has logged two runner-up finishes, mostly due to troubled stretch runs and no clear racing room. In the Sunland Derby two starts ago, he was shuffled back and forced to angle wide in the stretch. He narrowly missed tracking down the eventual winner, showing a powerful late closing kick and a solid turn of foot. All good qualities to see out of young, mostly inexperienced runners.
In his most recent start in the Stonestreet Lexington Stakes, he settled third early and was forced into racing inside, instead of angling out. Although he put forth another solid effort, he was no match for the eventual winner off a perfect trip.
He gets the services of Jose Ortiz which is a huge jockey upgrade and may be exactly what this horse needs to find the winners circle. He should be fresh having sat out the Kentucky Derby and looms as a major threat at nice odds.