Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Justify sets off for Baltimore ahead of Preakness Stakes

Justify draws 7 post is heavy 1-2 favorite for Preakness Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Cary Erickson | 17 May, 2018, 03:30

The stallion takes his shot on Saturday at a third classic victor with Tampa Bay Derby victor Quip, who bypassed the Kentucky Derby to await the Preakness.

Having the Preakness favorite has never bothered Bob Baffert before and it doesn't bother him with Justify.

The morning line odds had Justify as the chalk at 1-2, and that number made Baffert wince a little.

Other proven classics sires represented in this Preakness include the late Scat Daddy, whose son Justify gave him a breakthrough victory in the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago, and Tiznow, who sired 2008 upset Belmont victor Da' Tara and now has Sporting Chance in the Preakness. Four horses that did not run in the Derby, including Parx-based Diamond King, will be in the starting gate for the mile-and-3/16 race.

Post positions for the eight-horse race will be drawn at about 5 p.m.

Also worth considering is Coach Rocks (#3), victor of the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks for trainer Dale Romans.

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Roswell, New Mexico native Mike Smith will ride Justify for Baffert, who is trying for a record-equaling seventh Preakness win.

Champion Good Magic was non-threating second to Justify in the Kentucky Derby and is back to take a second shot at Justify in the Preakness. "So you have wiggle room when you have two superior horses like that".

If Quip's fresh legs help him stay near the front of the first half of the race, he could make a sprint for the finish line in first while the favorites try to figure out a way to get around him. Bravazo was 66-1 in the Derby. Prior to the Kentucky Derby, he won the Santa Anita Derby.

After Apollo's win, no other horse who hadn't been raced by age 2 won the Derby. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas also has six Preakness victories and will have longshots Bravazo and Sporting Chance in the Preakness.

"I think it's less pressure for us because the Kentucky Derby, for me, it was so special", Baffert said.

According to kentuckyderby.com, a long-standing horse racing belief held that no horse could ever win the Kentucky Derby if it hadn't raced by the time it was two years old.