Bob Baffert has a strong hand and controversy entering Saturday’s $1 million Preakness S. (G1) at Pimlico. The Hall of Fame trainer will not attend the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, but he will be represented by the top two choices on the morning line, Medina Spirit (9-5) and Concert Tour (2-1).
|Post Position||Horse||Jockey||ML Odds|
|1||Ram||Ricardo Santana Jr.||30-1|
|3||Medina Spirit||John Velazquez||9-5|
|4||Crowded Trade||Javier Castellano||10-1|
|5||Midnight Bourbon||Irad Ortiz Jr.||5-1|
|7||France Go De Ina||Joel Rosario||20-1|
|8||Unbridled Honor||Luis Saez||15-1|
|9||Risk Taking||Jose Ortiz||15-1|
|10||Concert Tour||Mike Smith||2-1|
Results of a post-race split sample test are still pending for Medina Spirit following his half-length victory in the Kentucky Derby. The Florida-bred colt led wire-to-wire at Churchill Downs, but Medina Spirit may have to change tactics Saturday due to the presence of his speedy stablemate. John Velazquez will be up.
Concert Tour led wire-to-wire, and established himself as a prominent Kentucky Derby contender, when dominating the Rebel S. (G2) at Oaklawn Park, but the Street Sense colt faltered when tracking the speed as the Arkansas Derby (G1) favorite, weakening to third. After skipping the Kentucky Derby, Concert Tour is eligible to revert to front-running ways with Mike Smith.
Maryland Jockey Club officials revealed that Medina Spirit and Concert Tour underwent pre-race testing this week for the Preakness.
Ten are entered for the 1 3/16-mile event, and Grade 3 winner Midnight Bourbon (5-1) is only other contestant listed at single digits on the morning line. Winner of the Lecomte S. (G3) and second in the TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (G2), Midnight Bourbon rallied for sixth after getting off to a slow start in the Kentucky Derby. Irad Ortiz Jr. picks up the mount for Steve Asmussen.
Chad Brown will send out the duo of Crowded Trade and Risk Taking. Crowded Trade has been pegged at 10-1 following a second in the Gotham S. (G3) and a third in the Wood Memorial (G2), and Javier Castellano has the call. Withers S. (G3) winner Risk Taking will try to rebound from a seventh as the Wood favorite, and Jose Ortiz guides the early 15-1 shot.
Blue Grass S. (G2) third Rombauer (12-1) adds the services of Flavien Prat. Lexington S. (G3) runner-up Unbridled Honor (15-1); Kentucky Derby seventh Keepmeinmind (15-1); last-out allowance scorer Ram (30-1); and Japanese invader France Go de Ina round out the field.