Darron Cummings/Associated Press
The Triple Crown series will finally come to a conclusion Saturday with the running of the Preakness Stakes.
Tiz the Law kicked off the American Classics with a win at the Belmont Stakes, but Authentic came through with a victory at the Kentucky Derby in early September. It leaves the Preakness, moved to the third leg due to the coronavirus pandemic, wide open with 11 competitors trying to land the top prize.
Authentic is the favorite win Saturday’s race, but fresh faces could create plenty of trouble for him at Pimlico.
Preakness Draw and Odds
1. Excession (30-1)
2. Mr. Big News (12-1)
3. Art Collector (5-2)
4. Swiss Skydiver (6-1)
5. Thousand Words (6-1)
6. Jesus’ Team (30-1)
7. NY Traffic (15-1)
8. Max Player (15-1)
9. Authentic (9-5)
10. Pneumatic (20-1)
11. Liveyourbeastlife (30-1)
Morning lines odds courtesy of official Preakness Twitter account.
Win: Art Collector
Art Collector was forced to scratch at the Kentucky Derby due to a foot injury, but trainer Tommy Drury said the issue was minor and he quickly turned his eyes to the Preakness.
If he was healthy, Art Collector likely would have been the second favorite behind Tiz the Law and a legitimate contender to take the title ahead of Authentic. Now he will get the chance to prove it on Saturday.
The colt has won five straight races, including the Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes in July, and is clearly one of the top horses in his age group.
Starting from the No. 3 post could also be a benefit for the horse.
“I’m happy with it,” Drury said, per Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press. “If this horse gets away good, he’s tactical enough that he can be forward and give (jockey Brian Hernandez) a little chance to see how the race is developing and then we can kind of take it from there.”
Speed will be the most important factor in the 13/16-mile race and Art Collector has what it takes to come away with the victory.
Place: Swiss Skydiver
Swiss Skydiver will be the first filly to enter the Preakness Stakes since 2014, but she has what it takes to become the first since Rachel Alexandra in 2009 to win the event.
Even with an upset loss at the Kentucky Oaks, Swiss Skydiver has finished in the top three in nine of her 10 starts. She hasn’t finished lower than second in any of the last six races, all of them graded events, winning four times in this stretch.
She also held her own against males in the Blue Grass Stakes, finishing second to Art Collector.
Experienced jockey Robby Albarado should help, bringing with him a resume that includes a Preakness win in 2007 aboard Curlin.
Swiss Skydiver has the talent to finish in the money and potentially win it all if the breaks go right.
Authentic is clearly among the best horses in this race, but an adjusted schedule could lead to some long shots among the top three.
Pneumatic is one to watch after taking fourth in the crowded field at the Belmont Stakes in June in just his third career race. Instead of going to the Kentucky Derby, the colt competed at the Pegasus Stakes and took first place.
The whole team should enter the Preakness with a lot of confidence while being fresher than those who competed at Churchill Downs.
“Pneumatic is doing great. He seems to be coming up to the race in great shape,” racing manager David Fiske said, per Paulick Report. “He’s typically forwardly placed and he usually breaks well…so we’ll see how it goes.”
Trainer Steve Asmussen has three horses entered in this event along with Excession and Max Player, but Pneumatic has a chance to surprise people.
1. Art Collector
2. Swiss Skydiver
5. Thousand Words
6. Max Player
8. NY Traffic
9. Jesus’ Team
10. Mr. Big News