Early Tuesday, trainer Bob Baffert acknowledged that Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit was treated with Otomax after suffering dermatitis following the Santa Anita Derby. The ointment contains the banned medication betamethasone - which could have led to Medina Spirit testing positive following his win in the Run for the Roses.
As a part of an agreement reached late Tuesday, Baffert will allow Maryland Jockey Club officials to "conduct rigorous testing and monitoring" throughout the week leading up to the race in exchange for Medina Spirit being permitted to compete.
Integrity, accountability and safety in our sport are principles that 1/ST RACING puts above all else...We are well aware of the public outcry and calls for action that have been the natural outcome of a medication positive in one of the most iconic races in our sport and we share the disappointment and concern. While the integrity of our sport is of utmost importance it is the responsibility of those in authority to follow the rules even as we seek to enforce them. We cannot make things up as we go along and we trust that the competitors, bettors and fans will understand the importance of adhering to that principle. (Craig Fravel, Chief Executive Officer, 1/ST RACING)
The Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown, witnessed its post draw and opening odds unveiled on Tuesday with Medina Spirit listed as the prohibitive 9/5 morning-line favorite breaking from post No. 3 in the $1 million Preakness.
Concert Tour, who did not run in the Derby after a shocking third-place finish in the Arkansas Derby (G1), is easily the biggest threat to Medina Spirit and has been installed at odds of 5/2 on the morning line. Baffert's 'other' entry will be breaking from post No. 10.
Midnight Bourbon, who finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby, drew post No. 5 and is listed at odds of 5-1.
According to the oddsmakers, of all the newcomers in the field, Chad Brown's lightly raced - Crowded Trade - slots in with the most respect as the fourth betting at odds of 10-1.
Let's look at the field and the opening odds following the post position draw earlier today for the illustrious race.
2021 PREAKNESS STAKES BETTING PROFILES
A LOOK AT THE FIELD
Medina Spirit (9/5)
- POST NUMBER: No. 3
- JOCKEY: John Velazquez / TRAINER: Bob Baffert
- RECORD: 6 starts: 3-3-0
- TOP EQUIBASE SPEED FIGURE: 110
After Medina Spirit ($26.20) won Kentucky Derby 147, all #SIPRO members were also treated to hitting the $2 exacta ($503) with Mandaloun. My formula has now correctly picked the winner and exacta in 7 of the last 11 Kentucky Derby races - while cashing trifecta tickets in six of the last 14 runnings of the prestigious race. Baffert, who now has seven career wins in the Run for the Roses, has won four of the last five runnings with American Pharaoh in 2015, Justify in 2018, and Authentic last year. This son of Prontico is the horse to beat in the Preakness Stakes.
Concert Tour (5/2)
- POST NUMBER: #10
- JOCKEY: Mike Smith / TRAINER: Bob Baffert
- RECORD: 4 starts: 3-0-1
- TOP EQUIBASE SPEED FIGURE: 105
Concert Tour, who was scratched from the Derby, was last seen finishing third in the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park back on April 4. Baffert's 'other' entry found the winners circle in the first three starts of his career - highlighted by wins in the Rebel and San Vicente Stakes.
Midnight Bourbon (5/1)
- POST NUMBER: No. 5
- JOCKEY: Irad Ortiz / TRAINER: Steve Asmussen
- RECORD: 8 starts: 2-2-3
- TOP EQUIBASE SPEED FIGURE: 99
This son of Tiznow looked great in his win in the Lecomte Stakes and was very consistent - before his sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby - hitting the board in all seven of his previous career races. Trainer Steve Asmussen switches to Irad Ortiz in the irons for the Preakness Stakes. This colt seems to always be up to the task and is not a horse that bettors should easily look to toss off any wagers.
Crowded Trade (10/1)
- POST NUMBER: No. 4
- JOCKEY: Javier Castellano / TRAINER: Chad Brown
- RECORD: 3 starts: 1-1-1
- TOP EQUIBASE SPEED FIGURE: 105
Crowded Trade finished third in the Wood Memorial in his last race after posting a career-best figure in his runner-up finish in the Gotham Stakes on March 3. Chad Brown should always be respected and this lightly raced horse - who has only raced at Aqueduct - is more attractive with the addition of Javier Castellano in the saddles.
- POST NUMBER: No. 6
- JOCKEY: Flavien Prat / TRAINER: Michael McCarthy
- RECORD: 6 starts: 2-1-1
- TOP EQUIBASE SPEED FIGURE: 100
Rombauer posted his best speed figure last out but still finished third at odds of 24-1 behind Essential Quality and Highly Motivated in the Blue Grass Stakes back in April. He earned a 100 Equibase Speed Figure despite being bumped and compromised at the opening break.
Unbridled Honor (15/1)
- POST NUMBER: No. 8
- JOCKEY: Luis Saez / TRAINER: Todd Pletcher
- RECORD: 5 starts: 1-1-0
- TOP EQUIBASE SPEED FIGURE: 98
This son of Honor Code has improved in each of his three starts in 2021 - highlighted by a career-best number in the Lexington Stakes earning a solid runner-up finish to King Fury at odds of 20/1. You can be assured that trainer Todd Pletcher will have Unbridled Honor in prime shape to hit the board at attractive double-digit odds on Saturday.
- POST NUMBER: No. 2
- JOCKEY: David Cohen / TRAINER: Robertino Diodoro
- RECORD: 7 starts: 1-2-1
- TOP EQUIBASE SPEED FIGURE: 98
Keepmeinmind ran seventh in the Kentucky Derby and has really struggled in 2021. After posting a solid third in the Breeders Cup Juvenile last November, his three races this year as a three-year-old, have been disappointing to say the least. Prior to his effort in the Derby, he finished fifth in the Rebel Stakes and sixth in the Blue Grass Stakes. His recent form makes him hard to endorse.
Risk Taking (15/1)
- POST NUMBER: No. 9
- JOCKEY: Jose Ortiz / TRAINER: Chad Brown
- RECORD: 5 starts: 2-0-0
- TOP EQUIBASE SPEED FIGURE: 102
This son of Medaglia D’ Oro was an impressive winner in the Withers Stakes back in February, but then followed up that with a disappointing seventh place finish in the Wood Memorial. After bobbling at the start he never seemed to recover in the Wood. However, with a clean trip at Pimlico he poses as an attractive target for exotic tickets but a ‘risk’ to put on top in the Preakness.
France Go de Ina (20/1)
- POST NUMBER: #7
- JOCKEY: Joel Rosario / TRAINER: Hideyuki Mori
- RECORD: 4 starts: 2-0-0
- TOP EQUIBASE SPEED FIGURE: N/A
The only attractive part of this entry is seeing the red-hot Joel Rosario in the irons. Upon initial glance, this is a horse I will be looking to toss on Saturday after his sixth-place finish in the UAE Derby overseas in March.
- POST NUMBER: No. 1
- JOCKEY: Ricardo Santana / TRAINER: D. Wayne Lukas
- RECORD: 9 starts: 2-1-0
- TOP EQUIBASE SPEED FIGURE: 88
Ram is an intriguing newcomer in the field for the Preakness Stakes. He has made tremendous strides winning his last two races at the maiden and allowance ranks. This son of American Pharoah is an improving horse for trainer D. Wayne Lukas, but his top speed figure of 88 puts him well below this entire field.
BY THE NUMBERS : EQUIBASE TOP SPEED FIGURES
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!
Over the course of 2020 and into 2021, our Senior Gambling Analyst and Vegas Insider- Frankie Taddeo - has shared his horse racing handicapping formula which has correctly predicted the following winners at SI Gambling:
Travers Stakes - Exacta (8/1), Trifecta (36/1)
Blue Grass Stakes - Exacta (12/1), Trifecta (60/1) and Superfecta (443/1)
Frizette Stakes - Exacta Cold
Desi Arnaz Stakes - Exacta (31/1)
Ontario Derby - Trifecta (72/1)
Tropical Turf Stakes - Trifecta (37/1) - 2021*
Rebel Stakes - Concert Tour - Winner
Kentucky Derby - Medina Spirit (13/1) & Exacta (251/1)