The field is set for Saturday’s 137th Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course.
Bodemeister, runner-up in the Kentucky Derby (G1), has been installed as the 8-5 morning-line favorite, while Derby winner I’ll Have Another is the second choice at odds of 5-2.
Following are owner and trainer quotes from the post position draw, courtesy of Maryland Jockey Club Publicity
“I think it’s a good post,” trainer Bob Baffert said of Bodemeister’s No. 7 post position. “With him, anything in the middle would have been fine. In the Preakness you just don’t want to be stuck down on the inside, where you have to use your horse a little bit. The Derby winner drew well also. Everybody is in a good post.”
I’ll Have Another drew outside of Bodemeister in post No. 9.
“I thought the draw was really good,” said I’ll Have Another’s trainer Doug O’Neill. “I’m very happy with that. Being outside of the legitimate speed, most jockeys would be real happy with that. We’re OK with that. I’m confident. You never know, but as long as we continue to train like our horse has trained, we won’t be that far off Bodemeister. If anything, Bodemeister might be behind us early. I could see him chasing us, I really could.”
Went the Day Well was finishing fastest of all in the Kentucky Derby. The son of Proud Citizen drew post position No. 5.
“I think it’s good,” said Team Valor’s Barry Irwin. “I didn’t want to be on the rail. It’s too claustrophobic for him. This is a green horse. He hasn’t run too many times, and we didn’t want to have an outside post if we could avoid it, because he’d have veered off to the right. Being in the middle, hopefully it’ll be better. This horse, I think he could have won the Derby if he had broken right, but he didn’t. Once he broke bad, he caused himself a whole bunch of trouble. We have to make sure the horse gets out of the gate this time. If he does, I think we’ve got a good shot.
“This horse has an enormous amount of ability.” Irwin added. “He can really run. I think everybody saw it there, and hopefully we’ll see it again.”
Creative Cause, who traveled eight paths wide in the Kentucky Derby and also finishing willingly, returns for the Preakness. He drew post position No. 6.
“It’s fine, right in the middle,” said trainer Mike Harrington. “It doesn’t make a whole lot of difference to me. It’s a good post; that’s all I know.”
Daddy Nose Best, who also exits a troubled trip in the Derby, will start from post No. 8.
“He came out of the Derby great, or we wouldn’t be here,” said Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen. “We thought he trained super into the Derby, and he deserves another chance off of what he’s done. No excuses last time; it just wasn’t our day. We’re very proud of the position he’s put himself in, and we’re looking forward to giving him another chance.”
Jose Singer, owner of Teeth of the Dog, is hopeful is 15-1 shot on the morning line can make his presence felt.
“It’s a long stretch at Pimlico, so I’m OK with post position two,” Singer said. “I want to win. We went into the race thinking that perhaps the two top finishers in the Derby might be off the edge a little bit and bounce. I’ve got a lightly-raced horse who is fresh and I’m hoping he comes into collect the spoils.”
Tiger Walk, a local horse, drew the rail for trainer Ignacio Correas.
“Somebody had to start from the rail, and it looks like it’s going to be us,” said Correas. “I just read that 15 percent won from there. Most likely, Bodemeister is going to set the pace, and somebody is going to be out there, but it’s not going to be us. That’s not our style.”
Preakness Post Position Draw/McCue photo