The Preakness, normally the second leg of the illustrious Triple Crown, is being held last this year as the Belmont Stakes kicked off the series back in June.
NBC will televise live coverage of the Preakness as well as an exciting undercard of racing on October 3.
Authentic, the winner of the Kentucky Derby, will be breaking from post No. 9 and has been installed as the prohibitive morning-line favorite in the $1 million Preakness.
Art Collector, who was scratched just days ahead of the Derby due to a foot injury, is one of the biggest threats to Authentic and has been installed at odds of 5/2 breaking from post No. 3 for Tom Drury.
The talented filly Swiss Skydiver, who will look to join the elite company of five females who have won the prestigious race, drew post No. 4 and is listed at odds of 6-1. The last time a filly won the Preakness was back in 2009 when Rachel Alexandra accomplished the rare feat.
Let’s take a look at the field and the opening odds following the post position draw earlier today for the distinguished race.
A LOOK AT THE FIELD:
# 1 Excession (30/1)
JOCKEY: Sheldon Russell / TRAINER: Steve Asmussen
RECORD: 9 starts: 1-1-3
He ran a respectable runner-up to Nadal in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn, but has not raced since then. He is massively in deep against this field, heading in off a long layoff that dates back to March.
#2 Mr. Big News (12/1)
JOCKEY: Gabriel Saez / TRAINER: Bret Calhoun
RECORD: 8 starts: 2-1-1
This horse was added to the Kentucky Derby field just days before the race and was a huge longshot. He surprised many when he hit the board coming in third at odds of 40/1 and is rightfully much shorter in the morning-line for the Preakness.
#3 Art Collector (5/2)
JOCKEY: Tom Drury / TRAINER: Brian Hernandez
RECORD: 9 starts: 5-1-0
Art Collector, who was forced to withdraw from the Kentucky Derby after suffering a foot injury in training, is now back to show off his talents. The winner of the Blue Grass Stakes, who helped us all here at SI Gambling score one of our biggest payouts of the summer, is easily the biggest threat to Authentic.
#4 Swiss Skydiver (6/1)
JOCKEY: Robby Albarado / TRAINER: Kenny McPeek
RECORD: 10 starts: 5-3-1
This talented filly was ultra impressive in the Alabama Stakes and then failed to get the job done with a runner-up finish in the Kentucky Oaks. She was second behind Art Collector in the Blue Grass Stakes when she last took on the boys and she looks to be in an even tougher spot here.
#5 Thousand Words (6/1)
JOCKEY: Florent Geroux / TRAINER: Bob Baffert
RECORD: 7 starts: 4-1-0
The talented colt was a late scratch just minutes before the Kentucky Derby after rearing up and falling in on his back after acting up in the Paddock. He opened some eyes when he went gate-to-wire in the Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar in August, defeating prohibitive favorite Honor A.P.
#6 Jesus' Team (30/1)
JOCKEY: Jevian Toledo / TRAINER: Jose d’Angelo
RECORD: 10 starts: 2-3-2
Was seen finishing finishing third in the Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga back on September 5 and has failed to find the winners circle in four consecutive races. It will be a tall order to end that streak in this field.
#7 Ny Traffic (15/1)
JOCKEY: Horacio Karamanos / TRAINER: Saffie Joseph
RECORD: 10 starts: 2-3-2
Ran a disappointing 8th in the Kentucky Derby and it was later revealed he suffered some cuts and bruises in the race. Will certainly see attention on the tote board by those willing to toss his finish after hitting the board in four consecutive Derby preps.
#8 Max Player (15/1)
JOCKEY: Paco Lopez / TRAINER: Steve Asmussen
RECORD: 6 starts: 2-1-2
Asmussen has done a great job with this colt evidenced by his respectable fifth place finish in the Derby. He accomplished that after a third place finish behind Tiz the Law in the Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes. He is a likely exotic ticket target.
#9 Authentic (9/5)
JOCKEY: John Velazquez / TRAINER: Bob Baffert
RECORD: 6 starts: 5-1-0
He is now five-for-six in his career after taking down Tiz the Law in the Derby and will likely go off as a prohibitive favorite on Saturday. This improving colt is a legitimate favorite to win the Preakness for top trainer Bob Baffert.
#10 Pneumatic (20/1)
JOCKEY: Joe Bravo / TRAINER: Steve Asmussen
RECORD: 5 starts: 3-0-1
This son of Uncle Mo is one of my favorite longshots in the race off his impressive win last out in the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth back on August 15. His works have been solid leading up to this race.
#11 Live Your Best Life (30/1)
JOCKEY:Trevor McCarthy / TRAINER: Jorge Abreu
RECORD: 8 starts: 2-1-1
Last seen finishing runner-up in the Jim Dandy Stakes, one spot ahead of Jesus’ Team, is being asked to take a major step up in class. Will likely go off as one of the biggest longshots at post.
Be sure to check back on Derby Week here at SI Gambling as myself and Winstar Farms trainer Destin Heath will have our picks for the Preakness Stakes later this week!